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As a young child, I was surrounded by a loving family and horses. One image from childhood remains. My cousins and my brother and I were out riding horses one summer evening in the huge front yard of my great aunt’s home. We were having a race. It was the kid version of whose horse is faster. Possibly trying to ensure a fair run, my brother hit the rump of the pony I was on, and she sprinted crazily across the yard into the back yard of my aunt's home. All I remember is that I lost both reigns of the pony in the sudden jolt of the horse's fierce run. Every part of me knew that it was important to keep holding onto the reigns, but they had slipped from my hands, and all I could do was hang onto the Cindy with every fiber of my being. I grabbed ahold of her mane and hung on for dear life, knowing that if I fell off, I could be severely injured. My aunt raced out of the back door of her home when she saw me sailing by on Cindy's back. "Hold on tight, Debbie," My aunt yelled to me. "Don't let go." Within a couple of minutes of my aunt's words and the frenzy and fear I faced in that crazy sprint of the horse was suddenly halted at the gate to the horse corral. When the horse arrived at the fence, my aunt was there to stop the horse from its frenzied run. She removed me from the halter of the pony. I was grateful! I had survived. Through it all, I hung on tightly and never gave up until the horse could be controlled again.

This image again flooded through my mind as I remembered the tremendous trials I have faced over the course of my life. I have had so many challenges. However, one thing remains, just as it did that day so long ago when I was scared as I sat on the back of an out-of-control pony. Determination has been part of my life forever. So many hurdles have been thrown at me, and at times it has been discouraging, but the reality is that I didn't give up. I kept going through thick and thin. This has been the key to allowing me to finally open up doors to publishing my book and managing life as a single parent.

Life can be so challenging! Do you have the determination to keep pressing on despite the hurdles and obstacles that are in your way? I just want to be your encourager, just like my great aunt was so many years ago. "Hold on. Don't let go. Don't give up. You can do it." Follow your dreams and visions God has given you to do. Maybe it feels like you, too, are on a wild pony that is out of control. Life may seem impossible and the journey rough, but you mustn't quit. God will help you make it through the stress and difficulties you are facing. Keep pushing forward. You can do it. In time your dreams will come true, and a solution will happen. May God give you the help you need today.


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