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While this story is not fiction, I couldn’t help but read and share it. As you read through the back of the book and my review, I think you’ll understand why.
by Jennifer Marshall Bleakly
From the back cover:
Joey needed a second chance.
The ranch needed a miracle.
With her fledgling horse ranch, Hope Reins, in dire financial trouble, the last thing Kim Tschirret needed was one more problem. But when she met Joey, a former prizewinning jumper who had been abandoned, neglected, and malnourished to the point of blindness, she saw in him the same God-given potential she saw in every abused and abandoned child her ministry was created to serve.
So, despite the challenges that would come with caring for a blind and wounded horse, Kim took a leap of faith and brought Joey home to Hope Reins.
But as Joey struggled to adapt to his new surroundings, trainers, and pasture-mate, the staff’s confidence began to falter. Could Joey learn to trust again―to connect with the children who needed him so badly? What if they couldn’t take care of Joey? And how much longer could they afford to try?
A heartwarming story of loyalty, friendship, and healing, Joey is a profound testament to the power of blind faith.
About the author:
Jennifer Bleakley’s love of the written word began with a coffee pot. As a shy young girl, she found it hard to verbally communicate what was in her heart. Her perceptive father began writing notes to her and leaving them in front of the coffee pot for her to find in the morning. Jen took great delight in replying to her dad—leaving her own notes for him to find. Thus beginning their “coffee pot chronicles,” and Jen’s lifelong love of the written word.
Jen holds a master’s degree in mental health counseling, and worked for several years as a grief counselor before relocating to NC with her husband and staying home with their two children.
With her career plans on hold, and while living in a sea of dirty laundry, Cheerios and apple juice stains, Jen found comfort in journaling—recording evidences of God’s hand, still at work, even in the midst of the mundane. Her journaling morphed into a blog, where she still writes regularly about glimpsing God’s grace in our daily lives.
Jen is a contributing author for Treasuring Christ Curriculum and She Believes Online Bible studies, and she writes curriculum and devotionals for her local church in Raleigh, NC. And even though she once swore she was too introverted to speak from a stage, she has found that God’s grace is big enough to allow her to do just that, and now delights in speaking about His extraordinary grace.
When Jen is not typing away on her beaten-up computer, you can find her hanging out with her handsome software engineer/wood-working husband and two rapidly growing children, chasing after their very needy Golden Retriever, or sitting in carline. If you can’t find her there, she is most likely buried under a pile of laundry daydreaming of the beach.
Animals sense and respond to the pain (both physical and emotional) of the people they love. That interaction between human and animal can lead to tremendous healing, and this has been seen with a variety of animals, including horses.
Joey is the story of one such horse who had a huge impact on those who knew and worked with him. His story is told in such sweet memories, you’ll find it hard to read the story without wishing you’d had an opportunity to know him. Not only is his story profound, but the story of Hope Reins shouts of God’s faithfulness and provision when we are obedient to His calling.
If you see animals as pretty much all the same, you may not “get” this story. But if you have had the privilege of working with animals, seeing their personalities, and understanding the impact they have on others, you may need a few tissues as you read. Our God is so good, and the power of the testimony shared through the story of Joey is sure to impact your heart.
(I received a complimentary copy of this book. The thoughts expressed here are entirely my own.)