Over the next several weeks, Annette will be sharing her experience of applying the 12 Steps in an unexpected area of her life. The Twelve Steps of Healing Through Christ can help us meet and overcome many different challenges in our lives, including “unmanageable horses.”
On Tuesday I gave the prayer in my Healing Through Christ meeting and said, “Help us find something in our lives we can use the 12 step program to overcome, as we start again at the beginning of the steps.” This plea was indeed inspired, though I certainly didn’t want the answer the Lord would personally give to me.
It came later that morning as I went out to feed my horse Ally and her two sons Dusky and Tomie. I walked passed Ally eating peacefully in the lane and out to the pastures where I found Dusky and Tomie in a section that was fenced off to them. I quickly realized they had broken the fence line and gone into a section of pasture they thought contained better grass. I led them back out to where they belonged but then to my horror saw them just look around for another pasture with beautiful grass and break through another fence line. I was so angry—so out of control angry. There was nothing I could do to stop them. They had learned the fences were not hot and with their immense horse strength they could do whatever they wanted with no respect for me. In my anger I vowed right then and there to get rid of them both to the next Amish family that needed a buggy horse. I was done with this life in the country. I would sell my place and move to a condo where I would never have to do “outside” again.
I stormed into my house to tell my daughter what had happened and my decision. I raged about my feelings toward my two horses until I finally calmed down enough for the Lord’s spirit to add some insight to my situation. The words of Step One from our group meeting ran through my mind with a little variation. “Come to understand and accept that I am powerless over the actions, behavior and lack of control of my horses and that my life has become unmanageable.” I was shocked as I realized the Lord had already answered the prayer I gave earlier in the 12 Step meeting.
I indeed had an unmanageable situation and was ready to give up on my farm, my land, my home, the horses I love and the country life that is in my blood. Could there be another answer? Did God want to teach me that He not only cares about each hair of my head and each sparrow that falls, but that He cares about me and my out-of-control horses? I’ve used the 12 Steps to overcome addictions, co-dependency, a troubled marriage and difficult relationship with friends and family. I realized the Lord now wants to teach me that these eternal principles can apply even to my horses and my relationship with them. Over the next weeks and months I have felt impressed to write about this journey to discover God is the healer of all things, even a broken relationship with my horses.