Hope is Alive

This Thing Called Life . . .

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Hope is Alive

By Patricia Knight 

“Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength” (Isaiah 40:31). 

We were watching the final segment of a law enforcement show on TV. The police found the perpetrator of a crime hiding at his mother’s house. As officers were escorting the felon into their squad car, one of them lingered to offer words of hope to his mother for the probability of a shortened jail sentence. She immediately retorted, “hope is useless” and turned away. There was no doubt about the growing bitterness and hate that was seething from deep within her being. At the conclusion of the show, overwhelming disillusionment spontaneously erupted from her heart as the door slammed shut behind her.

Hope is not about what will happen to us or around us. Hope resides in God and in His promises. King David admitted, “In His word I…

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How Did God Know?

I’ve been an instructor and equine therapist for over twenty years. Realizing that I’m only half of a team it’s essential to work with only the best ponies and horses. One such pony was my amazing Quest. He was a funny little guy. A Hackney cross of unknown origins.

Fast forward ten years and he is my reliable little packer. He loves teaching as much as I do. I trust him implicitly and he falls into the routine of being the farm’s favorite.

Each year year he slowed down just a little bit more. This year he lost all of his teeth and we estimated he was about 45 years old. He never acted old though. He’d still gallop with the herd or put my big thoroughbred in his place.

That’s why it was so hard to accept his very sudden death on a cold winter’s day.

Only three months prior I had bought a cutie that we named Dumpling. He is learning to fill the void of our loss.

I marvel at Gods infinite wisdom to provide a diversion in my student’s grief. No pony can take Quest’s place, but Dumpling gives me a reason to continue my work at my farm!

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Quest and his kids!
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Dumpling learning how to fill in Quest’s big shoes.

 

 

 

 

WITH GOD ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE!

 

My home sold, now the task at hand was finding a farm, one that I could afford. I was looking in four states: Maryland, New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania. My dream state would be in the rolling hills of Maryland or Pennsylvania. It wasn’t until I was driving to a friend’s Bible study that God spoke to me directly. No, not an audible voice, just a “knowing” that I should only concentrate in New Jersey.

Once I arrived at my friend’s home, my heart was heavy with sadness, for the last state I wanted to live in was New Jersey. Tears welled in my eyes and the women at the Bible study surrounded me and prayed for me to have peace, and like a warm embrace I fell into the serenity that only God can give me.

My fortieth birthday was quickly approaching on June 3, and I was using this milestone as my stopping point. My realtor was a stick-thin-high-octane-quick-talking woman with bleach-blonde hair with six inch heels and a mini skirt. She was a mover and a shaker in the community and I was confident that there was a farm for me; she would be the one to find it.

With great excitement she would drive me to the middle-of-nowhere-New Jersey and we would either find a beautiful home and a ramshackle barn, or a barn that was pristine with a home that was in shambles. I had my standards and my criterion was quite daunting on a tight teacher’s budget. I wanted at least ten acres of flat clear land, great fencing, a barn, and a three bedroom home with a garage. One particular adventure we drove an hour away. She was in her standard realtor uniform of high heels, pencil skirt, jacket, and blonde hair in tight little curls that framed her beautiful face. She was newly engaged and her finger was weighted by the five carats that glistened in the sunlight as she drove her sports car. It was an unusually warm day in March and she had the top down with the heat blasting. She was full of hope, and I was holding onto the promise that God would lead me.

The farm was located on a particularly hilly part of southern New Jersey. As she drove, I read the description and combed through the pictures. This was a farm that I was desperate to see, for it exceeded my expectations. It had thirty acres, three barns, an indoor riding arena, and a four bedroom turn-of-the-century home. Once there, I noticed that the fencing was barbed wire and the owner met us in the driveway while his menacing Rottweiler growled and barked ferociously at us.

He swatted at the dog with a lead-line to get him to back away and my realtor quickly put up the windows and closed the roof of the car. The owner, a skinny cowboy type that could be thirty-five or fifty-five, his face was partially covered by a big black Stetson. Once he secured the dog, we reluctantly got out of the car. He steered us to the barns, there was discarded feed bags, hay strands littered the floor and the scent of heavy manure surrounded us like a dark shadow. My realtor began tip toeing around the mess, and it was somewhat comical to see her, for her face said it all, she hated this place.

The horses must have thought they were getting fed, and the sound of us in the barn started them to gallop down the field and into the barn. All I remember was the realtor screaming in terror, and I ran to her and pushed her against the wall to protect her from the scrambling horses. In his haste to show us the barn, the owner had never closed the barn doors. The horses saw the opening and out they flew down his driveway and across the street to a big corn field.

He started to scream at us that it was our fault and we needed to get his horses. My realtor just got into her car and grabbed her cell phone. It was just too much for her. I asked the man for lead lines and some feed, I told him that I would help him get the horses from across the street. He just glared at me and stalked away. I got into the car with my realtor and I noticed that her hands were still shaking. I drove her back to the office, and though I found the whole thing a little humorous, it was too much for her. She would never go to another farm with me. Instead she would send me listings via emails and I would drive myself to these forsaken places. None interested me and I was losing all hope that I would find a home that would hold my dream.

April had come and gone. My dream was slipping through my hands. A farm usually takes sixty days to close and my heart was breaking. So many miracles had happened in this short time period. One was my home selling without it being for sale, and this encouraged me. May first I got a phone call from my realtor, and I was reluctant to drive to the home that was listed as a contemporary farm house.

My vision for my farm was a sweeping tree-lined driveway. A yellow house, red accents, and red barns would be my choice of a home. As soon as I pulled in the driveway, I knew this home was what I had been searching for the whole time. It was situated just one mile outside of a small Victorian town with a hundred year old high school.

Once inside the home, I knew it would be mine.  It was everything I ever wanted.  An engineer bought it and was quickly transferred to Michigan and though they had only lived in it for one year, they had put up two barns and fencing.  The home exceeded my expectations it had a large office, sun-room, living, dining room, huge laundry room, an open kitchen, hardwood floors, and three bedrooms with a gorgeous master suite.  The master bathroom had a tub as big as a pool with jets to rest my tired body.  The ultimate caveat was that the bath looked out on the horse pastures. Within twenty nine days, this was my new home.  I celebrated by taking a Jacuzzi bath and looking out on my horses in the field of my first farm, Raise Your Dreams Farm.

Want to see this testimony? Watch it on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4G8uPkMXcHc