About 6 months ago, my daughter begged me to take her to a place called Therapeutic Riding Center. She had gone on a trail ride at a local equestrian center, and picked up a brochure for TRC. I had no idea what it entailed, and honestly I wasn't all that interested in adding another thing to our calendar. As I researched it online I thought it would be a great opportunity for her. TRC is simply put horse therapy for people with special needs. Special needs can encompass anything from ADHD to Cerebral Palsy. I decided to go through the volunteer training myself, and have been blown away by these students. They have taught me a huge lesson in perseverance.
The student pictured is one of my absolute favorites! She has to be carried from the car to the arena by her mom. She doesn't have any speech, cannot walk, and cannot feed herself. Some would look at her and wonder "How is she going to ride a horse?" That's where we come in. As volunteers, we have the privilege of walking beside the horse holding up the students if they need our help. I have been absolutely amazed to see students with severe disabilities be able to sit up straight on the horse, use the reins to steer the horse, and develop some language when giving the horse commands. These students and their parents are true pictures of perseverance. Multiple times, I have been side-walking with a student while tears run down my cheeks. I am so humbled to see them overcome such difficulty, and am so convicted when I realize all the silly little things I complain about. These students encourage me to keep pushing even when times are hard, and I don't see any way things could work out. And also, that it's ok to need some help, to need someone to help hold you up when you feel too weak to stand alone.
What are you facing today? What is standing in your way? What seems impossible to you? Be encouraged that if you press on, you will get there. You weren't meant to walk this world alone. The difficulties you face weren't meant to be faced in isolation. I admit that I try to fight most of my battles solo, and just end up defeated and alone. How about if you and I decide today that we will accept help when it's offered, and not cop out and quit before we reach the end.