"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." ~ Romans 8:28
Resting in "God's slingshot"
What does that even mean?
After hearing the Holy Spirit tell me that, "I am in His slingshot" I asked the Lord to help me understand what He meant.
The explanation the Holy Spirit proceeded to give me changed my life and my perspective forever.
I want to share what the Lord taught me because I believe it can help you too!
Many of us have faced extreme trials and challenges over the past year and a half.
I won't go into all of the details of what we've faced, but I will share what God's doing in our lives and how the metaphor He gave me can help you too!
A few months before the pandemic, God started renovating my heart.
He tore down idols I had hiding in the depths of my soul and little by little He rebuilt the throne that only He deserves to sit upon.
This spiritual renovation entailed 18 months of stretching, growing, cringing, and many aches, pains, and tears.
I now refer to this process as "spiritual growing pains."
During the past year, I often sat down to write but the words simply wouldn't come out.
As much as I wanted to write and encourage others in their walk with the Lord, it felt impossible to encourage others when I myself needed the encouragement...
Fortunately, in the midst of this writing drought, God opened other doors!
The most prominent door He opened was starting an equine therapy program for children.
My husband and I both work with horses professionally and I've always dreamed of having an equine therapy program for kids.
When God asked me to pursue this dream, I hesitated and questioned the timing of it all.
How could NOW be a good time to start something like that? I asked.
Surely I don't have time for something like that in this season, I thought to myself.
Yet, in spite of my reservations, I lifted this dream up to Him in prayer and I asked for His will to be done.
Much to my surprise, a month after praying and sensing this new door opening, God brought us our first horse!
Meet Spirit! (the furbaby love of my life!)
Excited and shocked at how quickly this door opened I continued to pray for help and guidance on how to start this program.
In all of His goodness and faithfulness, God quickly answered those prayers as well.
The Lord opened the doors for us to meet the right people, at the right time, with the wisdom and guidance we needed to navigate stepping into this program.
God provided a horse property with a barn and horse facilities for us to use, He provided a wonderful horse, and He provided community to help us get this whole thing started.
The main piece of advice veterans gave us was to make sure and get to know each horse for at least 6-12 months before using them in the program.
I adhered to that wisdom and for the first year, I spent every day with Spirit; handling him, riding him, and gaining his love and trust.
Dreams Come TRUE!
After a year of truly getting to know him, God started bringing kids to us!
A few months ago, we had around 12 kids come to ride!
One at a time I worked with each child.
I will always remember the profound peace that poured over me as I walked next to these children and encouraged them to do things they never thought possible.
That day, as I watched sheer joy wash over them, I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt I was walking in God's perfect will for my life.
I couldn't wait to continue down this road with the Lord.
In fact, there's nothing more fulfilling than living the life God created you to live.
Shortly after this amazing day, God brought us our second horse, Miss Daisy Mae!
God continued to open door after door and with each new door that opened, I sensed His Joy, Love, and Peace as we pursued this ministry.
However, my dreams were short-lived.
An Unexpected Chapter
Not long after all the children came to ride, and only a few days after we bought Daisy, everything came crashing down like a house of cards.
Out of the blue, our property manager demanded that the horses leave.
She had discovered the barn needed some repairing and she didn't want to repair it nor did she want us to continue to use it.
To resolve the issue, I found a contractor who could fix it, we offered to pay for everything, we even offered to sign a liability release form to continue using it... but no amount of pleading changed their minds.
Just like that, a year and a half of listening, obeying, and building my dreams with the Lord disappeared.
The barn I spent over a year cleaning, praying over, and fixing so that these kids could come out and spend time with our horses got ripped out from under me in a split second.
To make matters worse, the closest boarding facility to our house is over 45 minutes away!
I can't even begin to describe how confused, devastated, and utterly heartbroken I felt.
The horses I had grown to love and adore now had to live in a different town and I'd have to drive an hour and a half just to go see them!
It felt like no matter how hard I prayed, the doors slammed shut in my face.
In one last attempt, we offered to pay for temporary shelters so that they could live in the paddock but she still refused to budge.
Left with no other options, I moved the horses.
Cleaning out the barn crushed me like a 12-ton steam roller.
I swept and sobbed at the same time.
I pleaded with the Lord, "Why is this happening? YOU brought us these horses, this was YOUR idea so why is everything falling apart now?"
My heart creaked and cracked like a rusted old ship sinking in the eye of a hurricane.
I felt lost and I started to doubt that the horses and the program were even from the Lord.
Had I really heard the Lord right?
Did He really ask us to start this program? Did He really bring us these horses?
The way things were now going, it felt more like a giant mistake.
Then, one quiet evening I heard the Lord cut through all of the lies and clearly say to me, "Kristin, you are in my slingshot."
In that moment, I stopped in my tracks.
What did He mean by this?
I pressed in further, knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that I had just heard from Him and I asked Him to explain what He meant.
I felt the Holy Spirit respond and impart this explanation to me,
"When a marksman takes aim with a slingshot, he squeezes and pulls the stone inside the pouch. It's dark in there and there's tension on the lines as the small stone is clenched and squeezed. At first glance, one might think he's just pulling the stone backward's. In reality, the marksmen is preparing to launch the stone forward. Kristin, you're in my slingshot. You may feel confused and like you're going backward's right now but take heart in knowing I am preparing to launch you forward."
Hearing this from Lord changed everything!
This simple analogy gave me a NEW perspective and renewed HOPE.
Hearing this reassured me that God is gearing up to do something GREAT.
Friend, can you relate?
Have you also gone through a dark and confusing season?
Are there things in your life that don't make sense and that feel out of your control right now?
Have your dreams been ripped out from under you too?
If you can relate, please know that when you place your hope and trust in Jesus, YOU too are in His slingshot.
When you rest and trust in Him, God will use the setbacks you face to propel you forward!
I don't know how this story ends yet, but I do know that He holds all of us in His hands and that when we rest and trust in Him, He WILL bring good out of whatever we face!
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."
~ Romans 8:28
Keep walking by faith and trusting in Him and you too will wake to find the Lord launching you forward!