Last May, I shared about the passing of my friend and neighbor, Sarah.
But one thing I didn't tell you in that story was my last "conversation" with Sarah before she died.
Just days before, she sent me several messages through twitter (of all places) curious to know if we had any interest in her pony, Ariel.
If you've been reading this blog long enough, you'll know that my daughter Emma is a horse girl. From her depths, the girl loves horses. Childhood "passions" come and go, but Emma's love of horses has only grown deeper roots in her little heart.
She has been riding and taking lessons since we moved back to Maryland. I watch this video of her, four years ago and I am reminded that she has been waiting for "a pony of her own" for quite a long time.
But a pony is no small commitment. If I had a dollar for every time I answered the question, "When do you think I'll be ready for a pony of my own?", I'd have enough dollars for seven ponies by now. Aside from being old enough for a pony, or having enough know-how, the big, glaring issue was right outside my kitchen window.
A farm with no fencing.
You can ask any of my close friends to know that I've been trying to figure out ways to get this little farm of ours started, to find the money in our squeezed-tight budget for fencing. (It is SO expensive!) Should I do something on kickstarter? Should I get a job? Should I make stuff and sell it on etsy?
Meanwhile, I'm telling my anxious daughter that some day the time will be right. Pray, I say. God knows your heart. And He already knows the perfect pony for you. And He knows when the time will be right.
I often needed to remind myself of the same things.
When Sarah sent me those series of messages, asking if we were interested, something jumped in my heart.
Little did she know, that many of our errands brought us driving right past her house. That Emma would often get quiet in the back seat, hiding her tears–not just for a pony, but for Ariel. "She's the perfect pony for me. I don't think they have anyone riding her right now. Do you think they'd ever sell her?" And I'd give her my same words of wisdom, which by now she could probably recite to me by heart. Pray. Wait. When the time is right….
That morning, when Sarah asked me, I immediately got on the phone with Dan. Teary, nervous. I had no idea that Sarah was just days from the end of her fight, but I knew this was one of those things she needed to settle.
Dan simply said, "Tell her yes. We'll just have to figure the rest out."
We didn't tell Emma anything. The heartbreak if anything fell through would have been horrible.
The man who owns the barn where Emma has been riding for the last several years said to bring Ariel there. She could stay until we were ready. For free. A gift.
But for a handful, Emma spent every morning this summer at the barn–taking care of Ariel, learning from the wonderful people who work and board their horses there, from my stepmother, who has taught her everything she knows.
Eventually, with all this planning and fussing, she began to put the pieces together.
"Is Ariel going to be mine?"
Finally, last week, in the middle of the aftermath of Hurricane Irene, Ariel arrived home.
By perfect timing (and God'd faithfulness to Emma's prayers, I believe) we found the funds for fencing. While we were in Virginia, a team of Amishmen descended on our farm and installed it.
Everything has come together. The timing is finally right.
And there, in the midst of the sorrow of losing Sarah, is the big, bright glow of joy. She's sitting bareback on a pony grazing in my back yard.
57 comments on “joy in the sorrow”
I am so so happy for Emma! What a blessing in so many ways. xo
In the midst of such heartbreak, what an incredible parting gift, M. Beautiful. xx
a beautiful story. God is faithful.
a true gift in so many ways.
Oh Molly, I can only imagine how much this means to you all.
Wow, what a beautiful story.
oh! i know this is two dreams realized, two prayers answered… both mama and daughter. so happy for you both. xo
Oh, big tears! And Sarah is watching her ride from a happy, happy place.
This brought tears to my eyes!
It brought tears to the eyes of my Ana (2 years old) also. Apparently she wants a pony of her own!
What a beautiful story, thank you for sharing your and Emma’s faithfulness.
What a lovely, perfect little gift.
how beautiful, a tribute to your friend, and overwhelming joy for a patient daughter. so happy for you, emma, ariel.
this post made me all weepy… beautiful story with such a sweet ending 🙂
I am so happy for Emma. It is so magical when we find out what we want is now ours.
That last photo says it, what a beautiful story and a perfect ending. I love Ariel’s little knobby knees, so sweet.
Beautiful. This story brought tears to my eyes. Sigh.
oh, Molly, I am so weepy. God is so faithful.
a true blessing indeed. best wishes to emma and you all for years of joy together.
Oh, this is so touching it practically leaves me speechless. How beautiful.
What a sweet story. Those two were meant for each other!
This post is making me all teary eyed…sniff. Beautiful, such a blessing.
The picture of your daughter and Ariel brought tears to my eyes. What a beautiful connection. Reward for your daughter’s patience and Ariel seems to know she is in the best hands.
A beautiful story…
Having followed your blog for some time, this is such wonderful news to hear for Emma. Her own horse. Such a blessing on so many levels.
Well I must say not much usually makes me teary eyed but this one sure did. It is an amazing thing when any little girl gets thier first horse and how this came about is even more special. Enjoy everyday with this special gift.
Molly, what a moving story – I’ll be passing this along.
Molly, you and your writing are such a gift. Thank you for opening your home, your heart, and your faith for all to share and delight in. You are such a blessing and inspiration to many of us. May God continue to smile down on your family.
What a wonderful post! It definitely brought tears to my eyes and reminded me of the power of God’s love and His faithfulness. What a blessing your family has received! I’m not sure how I stumbled across your blog (homeschool resource searching I think?) but I am thoroughly pleased that I did! As a fellow Marylander, I can relate to so many of your stories. Your family sounds beautiful and it just reinforces my desire to homeschool my own two young children. Thank you!
So so sweet. God is in the endings and in the beginnings. So happy for Emma.
What a wonderful story and such happy news for Emma and Ariel.
How much He loves us!
Oh, you moved me to tears – such a very touching story. I hope Emma and Ariel have the most wonderful adventures together.
This is just amazing Molly. And the photo of Emma & Ariel there together makes me teary. So precious.
what a beautiful post and story. I am so happy for your family.
I am sure it’s not just pregnancy hormones, but this made me cry for you in the loss of your friend and for Emma and for Ariel. I really do believe that all things work together for good, when we trust in our Father.
and Sarah is resting in peace, knowing her pony is under your loving family’s care.
Simply wonderful !
Glory to God! Such a deeply moving story, Molly.
Go works in mysterious ways. What a beautiful gift your friend has left you to remember her by.
i have the chills. love this, and so happy it all worked out for you.
tears here. God has blessed your family and Emma’s passion. I can so relate to this, as my Joan has the same deeply-rooted love and need for a dog, which presents some challenges for our family right now. I tell her the same; pray, trust, in time …
Awesome!! As a grown up who had to let go of her dreams of ever owning her own horse, this brings sheer joy to my heart for your daughter.
and that just broke my heart wide open. joy, underpinned by sorrow is so much more joyful, isn’t it? much love, from a former horse-loving little girl.
what a beautiful story, molly. your relationship with your friend, the joy of giving and acceptance, watching your daughter come to the realization that ariel’s journey is now with you, and the depth of all that brought her to your family. xoxo
What a precious story, beautifully told.
Wonderful good news! Thanks for sharing it with us.
I love this story. I love the answer you gave your daughter. I love this story SO MUCH as a woman who was horse-crazy as a little girl, who lived in town and still begged for a horse. . .who still thinks wistfully of owning a horse. Thank you for sharing this.
I know Sarah is smiling knowing how much Ariel will be loved.
So beautifully written, so touching, meaningful and heart-felt. A true gift.
congratulations to miss emma, for her patience, perseverance and prayers. and to her parents, for their faith and gumption. your miss sarah would, i’ve no doubt, be beyond proud.
And what a gift to your friend to know that her pony would be in such good hands. Wonderful story, and wonderful lesson for your little girl (and the rest of us!).
Beautiful story-thanks for sharing it!
I am so happy your family got this horse. What a touching story!
wow.amazing and wonderful. and sarah must be smiling down watching this all unfold.
i love this, thank you for sharing