Body Trust and Horses
This was beautifully written by one of our volunteers about what the Lord is teaching her through her time at the Ranch.
I cannot recall a time when I trusted my body- it’s ability to function properly, my ability to see it realistically, or quite honestly it’s worthiness to be treated respectably. I look at old pictures and see the shape and size of my body and stare in disbelief. In the pictures, I look nothing like the image I had so convincingly conjured in my mind that I too saw in my reflection. It’s confusing. Though the stability of my pants size should be evidence enough to negate the irrational belief that each bite equals fat, often, it isn’t sufficient. The game of comparison has overwhelmed my thoughts for years: “her legs are smaller than mine,” “I am fatter than her,” “even my brothers are skinnier than me”. This unfair game, with ultimately no winner, fed the control-obsessed-monster that became an eating disorder. Soon my lack of trust in my body became an addiction to control all with the potential to effect my body.
Close your eyes and fast-forward through pain, lies, manipulation, loss, and depression.
Now open your eyes and see the group of people who loved me back to life as Jesus freed me from the monster.
Here I stand on the other side of 200 days at Mercy Multiplied. While I can honestly say that I walked out of those doors with a firm grip on the hand of Jesus, my surrender to Him hadn’t yet met a resolution to trust the vessel carrying His Spirit. I left with a confidence that I could stay on track with a healthy meal plan and continue exploring once forbidden foods. I did not, however, walk out believing my body would ever function to its fullest potential again. Comfort in my skin is something I am still fighting to attain.
Here’s where the horses come in: some how, some way, God opened an unexpected door and I leaped right through it, landing amidst the adventure of a beautiful person’s beautiful dream. Simply put, I get to walk aside kids as they find refuge in a farm- the perfect place for the Creator to show himself to his children through his creation, the horses. Part of this adventure also involves me learning to ride. From day one I have absolutely loved it. There is nothing like connecting with a 1 ton+ animal and trusting its willingness to submit to your minute, human-sized authority. Nothing. The thing about riding a horse though is that you go where the horse goes, and the horse goes where your body tells it to go.
I like to believe that I am a logical and reasonable person, therefore in my mind it would be mechanical in a sense. Motion is simply the reaction to force, right? Wrong. I learned this as I slid, in a not-so-graceful manner, off the horse and smacked into the not-so-forgiving earth. I didn’t trust my body’s natural ability to adapt to the bouncing of a trot and instead attempted to control my every muscle as I bounced up and down. I didn’t know how to relax my body. As my sore bones continue to remind me, this is something that is going to have to change.
I’m a pretty persistent person. When I commit to something, I like to do so in excellence.
I think God had this in mind when He opened that door I mentioned earlier. I think He knew I’d fall for the horses. He knew that my lack of trust in my body would remain until I was forced to come face-to-face with it, and so, He began a passion in me that would require such a confrontation. Thank you God for always having a plan, even when right now it feels like you are poking me in all of my tender places.
Hoping it won’t require too many more slipping, falling, and crashing moments, I’m going to face this long time beast. Now with a more tangible war to fight, I am going to pick up the weapons of truth I have learned and apply them to this new world of horseback riding. I am going to believe that the One who holds me in the palm of His hand, also holds heaven-filled flesh. The Creator knows His Creation. He sustains every function of my being. He pumps blood to my heart and fills my lungs with breath. He floods my cells with commands each moment of the day. It’s time that I allow Him to do His work in me. Maybe somewhere along the way, the dots will connect and as I allow Him to flow through me, my body will settle into the ups and the downs; maybe it will settle into the ride. #jesus #horses #ranchministry #freedomreignsranch #eatingdisorder