I saddled up my horse in record time, not a great feat as I had done it thousands of times. But with eyes blinded by tears it was a miracle I got everything correctly in place so it would stay on the horse. My bay horse Slick stood calm despite my hysteria as I swung on his back.
I galloped him by the house, out the gate toward the thousands of acres of unfenced BLM land. It was nothing more than dry rocky dirt scattered with sage brush, cactus, and an occasional jack rabbit or antelope. Sure there were dangers like rattle snakes, scorpions and deep hidden gullies one could fall into when riding at top speed especially when one was not watching where they were going. However, I was riding without fear of what the desert could do to me. These hazards did not matter to me because I didn’t think anything could hurt me more than the pain I was feeling as my heart split in two. In fact, I was hoping the high mountain desert of Nevada would swallow me up so I would never have to return to my miserable failure of a life.
The events which led up to this day were wrapped in poor choices and some gullibility.
Divorce, miscarriage, disloyalty, manipulation, deception, mistreatment, cruelty, violence, neglect, slanders, rejection, lack of self-worth, condemnation, and financial struggles had taken their toll on me. The straw which finally broke me was when I was asked to leave the church.
Where would I go now? I was still too full of pride to admit that I had been wrong and go home to my parents who I knew would accept me with open arms. I thought I had made this bed so now I needed to lie in it. I was all alone except for my faithful horse Slick who had been with me through all of it. He was the only constant in my life. I thought I knew God. But did I really? Maybe I knew a lot about him. But did I really know him personally? Did I really trust him? Apparently not, because the moment I rode out into that desert I lost all hope.
I don’t know how long I rode or where I even went. I just let Slick take me to places unknown. They were dark places. Sometimes I let Slick walk so he could rest, and sometimes I encouraged him to fly like the wind. And he did! I wanted to keep riding until I was hopelessly lost and no one could find me. After a while I got off because thankfully I had not lost all of my senses. I did not want to kill my precious horse Slick by injuring him or even running him to death. It had been hours and we didn’t have any water.
I remember letting go of the reins, lying down on the sandy desert floor letting every fiber of my being scream in agony until it became a weak whimper. I don’t know how long I laid there. I just know my horse Slick never left my side. When I could talk again I asked the Lord to take everything out of me which was not pleasing to him, or just let me die out there in the desert. I surrendered to the Lord Jesus Christ in a way that I imagine a wild horse must yield in order to be tamed.
By now it was beginning to get dark. I had a choice to make; stay, keep going, or go back. My horse Slick began to nudge me. It was the most spiritual moment I have ever had in my life. I didn’t know the way home, but I knew he did. Would I, should I, could I trust him? I did and Slick my champion took me home. As he walked in the dark I let Slick have a full rein as I rode him. He never missed a step. He took care of me as if he would give his life for me. While I rode him I began to gain strength to face the world I was riding into which had not changed. Only I had changed.
See pictures of Slick in my video “A lifetime of Horsemanship” http://youtu.be/fapcPiIEb2M