Tuesday, 12 February 2013


Such a beautiful horse. One of those wild brumbies from the south, small but fierce and strong. Barely contained passion and



Me, once.

I was in church a couple of weeks ago for the evening meeting, which is just a time to meet with God and let Him speak.

I was standing there, and everything that's happened in the past few weeks - my decisions, ones not yet made and ones already in place - were facing me. I didn't break down. I was broken already. Raw and with nothing left to faff around, to hide behind, to push in front. Just me.

I saw the image clearly, and it came out of the blue. 

The horse was caught. By whom, I knew already. I'd been captivated, taken out of the wild and shown just how beautiful life can really be with God. Years ago - I must have been twelve.

But I thought that meant the wildness had to go. You can't ride a wild brumby. You have to tame her. Sharp spurs tearing into soft flesh, the saddle blistering and the handler riding her until she's shaking, great breaths shuddering from her bones until she's completely and utterly exhausted. Her spirit crushed. The wildness safely snuffed out.

I was so terrified of that happening. And I tried so damn hard to be a good girl and let the wildness slip away. I was resigned, when I saw the brumby standing there. Her head was sunk close to the ground, flanks heaving. But she was safe. Tamed. She could be useful.

I never wanted to break you, came the quiet words. I was still standing up, but it was like something - the last thing in me - crumbled. I sank into the chair.

Big sobs, snot and tears.

I wanted to gentle you.

The handler standing in the centre of the ring, waiting for the brumby to simply come to him. She eyes him skittishly even though he has made no move. He stands still, waiting. All her struggling, all her fears, all her instincts. She comes close, though. Walks closer still. 

Finally, tentatively, she comes from behind and hangs her head over his shoulder. Touching. Vulnerable. She's close enough to be hurt. But she knows he won't. Knows she can trust him.

No bit, no bridle. No leading rein. A decision, though. A choice.

Daughter, I love your wildness. Keep it, but trust me to lead you in it, came the final, echoing refrain. And I sat there, embraced finally and completely that I had never really given You everything. Perhaps I'd thought I had.

I don't know where I got the idea that I had to lose my passion and my verve and everything that made me me when I became a Christian. I took things which were said - about sacrifice and giving You everything - things that were said over me and taught to me and I thought it meant that the way You wanted me was quiet and submissive and basically Proverbs 31*.

Except I'm not like that, Daddy. I'm messy and I'm passionate and I'm fiery and I find it really hard to keep quiet when I see things that are unjust. I spill over. I weep and bawl and then I fight for them.

I just wasn't okay with anyone fighting for me. I didn't realise that being vulnerable wasn't the same as being weak. That fragility isn't exchanged for strength, but complements it.

And as I've been learning over the past few months, submission is beautiful. It doesn't mean losing who you are, but it does mean trusting You to know what to do with what I am. It's saying 'I want You to have all of me, and it's Yours.' Genuinely. Giving it over to You everyday if I have to.

And living like that is beautiful. I've never felt freer. And it all started in Kate and Simon's living room. Thank you so much for letting me sob quietly in your arms. Thank you for parenting me, but most importantly, for showing me what beautiful submission looks like.

Much love,


*(Proverbs 31 is awesome, by the way. But I didn't quite get it.)

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