My Sunshine? She's gone.
That gorgeous girl - the fulfillment of a dream - down to her name - that I had years before her precious former owner's came into my life, a blessing I received two years ago in the early hours of a surprising Christmas morning. It was a bitter cold day, but that didn't seem to get in the way of us getting to know each other.
In one of those early days I held her purple rope tight around my hand, still timid of her majestic self right next to me - they can smell fear - & I whispered into her ear, "I have so much to tell you."
You've heard the quote, "If you want to have a stable relationship, get a horse."
It's so true.
I didn't get to tell Sunshine too many deep dark secrets, because there tended to be people around us all the time in some way or another. Dreams had to die when she did. When her broken leg broke my heart.
Grandpa Kerwin told me the day I received my fancy-first-name-Dancing-Sun - less than a month before he died - that horses can teach you everything you need to know in life.
...and it's so true.
Have you met a more forgiving, majestic creature?
Grandpa - he was awfully worried about getting my Sunshine her own saddle. Even though I had some beautiful hours with my beautiful girl, we always borrowed one of her clan's. She never had her own saddle, but she was styling in whatever she had on nevertheless. On the occasions that I rode her, she rocked the color of royalty oh so well.
Now there's this pair of boots, though, that will now be worn with a sting, because they're just for pretty now...
Sunshine stretched my comfort zone. I've always liked horses - but I have only loved them from afar.
It was such a fun challenge to work with her & to finally become comfortable with her on my own.
That day - the Thursday morning of Spring Break that turned everything upside down - we celebrated her life, three little ladies & I, with frozen pizza & Disney movies. When it seemed like all the tears had been poured out already, I pull into our driveway & I think about what I'm going to have to do. Wash my hands. Wash the dirt from under my fingernails from loving on my Sunshine for the last time. It's those things that made me leak. It made me weak, to be filled with His strength in a fresh way. There is a helplessness in grief that only brings relationships closer together.
That line about being a mentor being the best accountability? It's so true. I wanted to have a pity-party all day, but I had three little ladies watching every move I made. I've lost enough relationships lately, & one of the most faithful ones He took away. I had to turn my back on that voice & instead ask, What would happen if they learned how to use grief to bring Him glory in their lives this early on? So, instead of blaming God, we swung on the front porch & talked about the reason bad things happen to good people - the sin we allowed to first slither into the garden of our hearts.
That Sunshine song that inspired my hope-to-be wedding colors & the song I didn't get to sing to my Sunshine enough times? The lines streamed through my head in a happy scene of one of those Disney movies & weakness in my flesh abounded. Remember, though, being heartbroken, dear heart? It isn't a sin. Maybe, someday these words that pour salt in the wound will be happy again, but not right now.
You are my Sunshine
My only Sunshine
You make me happy when skies are grey
You'll never know dear
How much I love you
Please don't take my Sunshine away
Those last lines ruin the mood & make me lament. Last Sunday morning though - one phrase added to such a well known truth - changed my week. Began to change me a little bit more.
"Faith is built on trust: trust is founded on the belief that God is good - & that He intends to be good to you." -Pastor Grant
There is an incompleteness that I feel when I reflect on Sunshine's death. We were going to go to camp this summer together. I still had to introduce her to so many of my friends. We weren't finished yet.
I started a Job 1:21 wall. It's incomplete, because it lacks an actual picture of Sunny yet, but it's beautiful. Because love will have the final word.
There's a mistake in that canvas - but there is not a mistake in this master plan of His.
He intends to be good to me. He is good to me.
He has given so generously.
Some people are wanting to find another horse. I understand their want for me to jump right back in - but I have no intention to do so in the near future. For now, at least, I'm going to work on filling this grief healthily. If I got another horse now, I would simply compare it to Sunny & be only taking care of it to fill some void that she left. Someday, the Lord might open a door for another horse to walk into my life. Sunshine was given to me directly from His hand. If He leads me to another sweet horse, then I will have no choice but to say yes.
It's a freeing thing when you truly realize that every void in your heart can be filled with the love of God.
He has taken away... & because I got to yell "Hey beautiful!" as she came running at my sight, because I got to know the unconditional love from such a sweetheart, because I literally was able to hug the Sunshine, & because somehow the sun still shines on the grey skies of confusion through His peace:
Blessed be the name of the Lord.