Cowgirl up {when life knocks you off your horse}

She’d been waiting for me.  Anticipating my arrival.  Anxious to hear the truth.

Was her son really dead?

I’d been the one to last touch him.  To brush the wisps of blood-caked hair from his gnarled face.  Holding his hand until the warmth finally departed from his mangled body.  Knowing his spirit had long been gone.

She needed to hear from me.  His only child.

To be wrapped safely with the security of love. 

old saddle by WoodyH1 via flickr

I dreaded the encounter.  Telling my grandmother her son had passed from this life to eternity.  She’d never again hear his truck engine rumble loudly next door nor look out the window to see him doing yard work.  His booming voice would no longer greet her at the door. 

And how would I keep my composure.   He was my daddy. 

I entered through the kitchen where family gathered, and the room fell silent.  Her eyes caught mine with a glimpse of hope that the story was only a rumor.  Wanting to believe it had all been a lie. 

Without words, but by a heavy embrace, she knew the truth.

Her moans and sorrow erupted violently.  And she begged of me to answer her. 


With questions of my own causing doubtful resolution, I was speechless.  But, I was determined to stay strong for this grieving mother.  My grandma.  A woman with quiet fortitude and a Cajun humor.  Steadfast and full of grace.  Yet, fragile and weak with a broken heart.  Her son gone. I felt the need to protect. 

She wept loudly and began spiraling into despair.  Confessing she could not take hold of what life was placing into her aged and feeble hands. 

Taking a deep breath, I drew strength from what I’d learned through the one sitting before me.  And I reminded her.

Yes, you can, Grandma. 

You still have it. 

Reservados by Eduardo Amorim via flickr

You’re going to do what you always do. 

What you taught me to do.

We’re going to do it together, Grandma.

You and me.

We’re going to cowgirl up. 

Tenencia by Eduardo Amorim via flickr

Somehow this resonated in her soul.

A firm decision to get back on the horse and ride again.  Dusting off the dirt.  Grabbing the horn, driving the foot into the stirrup, and pulling up into the saddle.  Taking hold of the reins.

Life is hard.  Around each bend, I encounter unexpected obstacles.  I’m often knocked off my horse.

Dirty and bruised.  Weary and worn.  Wounds caked with bloody grit.

Wiping the dust from my face, with jaw set, I take a determined stand. 

Stomp the mud from my boots with a strengthened spirit. 

Jump back on my horse.

And cowgirl up.

So don’t throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you need endurance, so that after you have done God’s will, you may receive what was promised. (Hebrews 10:35-36)


16 thoughts on “Cowgirl up {when life knocks you off your horse}”

  1. Cristal, this was both spiritually moving and full of encouragement. How may times have I fallen? How hard is it sometimes to choose to get up? To set the jaw. To live with the determination and strength God has planted in our hearts. Fragile, weak, broken hearted becomes strong, determined. . full of Him.
    I loved this post. Thank you friend.

    1. We have so much in common, Danelle. I can relate. There are times I wallow in the mud and throw myself a pity party. I want to always remember the view’s much better while sitting high in the saddle!

      Blessings to you today,

    1. Thank you for the kind words, Vince. And, I agree, I have found much strength in difficult moments. God’s strength seems magnified in my weakness.

      I’m glad you stopped by,

  2. Agonizing and awe-inspiring… Thank you for sharing such a sacred space. I love the imagery paired with the phrase “Cowgirl up.”
    May further healing be found in the encouragement your story provides for others.
    Blessings to all of you.

  3. Thank you for this beautifully written, emotionally moving and inspiring post. While I’ve never been a cowgirl, I love phrase, “cowgirl up!” I think I’ll do just that!

    1. Thank you for the encouragement, Judy. I’m also not a cowgirl (although they do abound in this neck of the woods!). Nevertheless, we ALL qualify in the sense of needing to “cowgirl up” sometimes! 😉


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