Last weekend we attended the Homestead Festival here in our hometown. It was amazing y'all. To be surrounded by so many people who desire to live a different life was so encouraging and filled our hearts with a huge sense of gratitude. We started this journey without knowing all the answers. We jumped in with both feet, trusting God completely, and y'all he provided way beyond our expectations. If you have followed our journey from the beginning you probably know most of this story, but I think it is important to reflect on how far we have come.
As with most of the nation, 2020 was hard. For Jordan and I, it had absolutely nothing to do with the pandemic. We were broken. We were fighting a battle that many will never know. We needed change. We needed a miracle. If I am honest, I don't remember much of that year, it was such a blur. I do remember a lot of pain, a lot of tears, and a lot of prayer. God carried us through it and I am so thankful he did. In January of 2021 we took an impromptu trip to visit our friends for the weekend. It was on the trip that we found our new home.
I remember the first time we arrived on our property, knowing that it was a special place, and knowing that it would be our home. Most people thought we were crazy, probably because they could not see past the overgrown field of weeds and brush. They could not see what was hiding, what was neglected, and just asking to be revived to what it once was. But thankfully, we both saw the potential of this little 5 acre farm. It would take a lot of work, a healthy dose of patience, and one key ingredient.
As we began to unfold and clear the intertwining vines, thorns, and brush, we uncovered some painful challenges: sink holes filled with trash, a decrepit leaning shed, and piles upon piles of buried barbed wire. At times the work on the farm was disheartening. But we had to push back against the overgrowth. We had to pursue a greater purpose. We had to start by unpacking and revealing some painful challenges. The building of our farm was oddly parallel to the complexities of our past. So we pushed forward, continued to pull back what was long buried under the overgrowth of our minds, sometimes leaning a little too far into the weeds, getting lost in the thorns and ivy, but always coming back out into the sunlight.
I think at first the farm work became an outlet to get out any anger, bitterness, or frustration. Early on, we worked independently and not always together, not always on the same page. But the more work we put in, the more building we did together. It wasn't just our farm that grew it was our relationship as well. Each day we worked we saw a little more of the fruits of our labor. More sunshine on the pasture, more grass, more growth.
I learned that when you do something a little crazy, crazy becomes easier each time. I never thought Jordan would agree to getting a cat, now we have two. I never thought we would rescue multiple dogs. I never thought I would own a farm, get 6 chickens, get six more chickens plus 20 something more, raise cattle and goats, and milk the goats. What once was just our crazy farm dream, is now a daily routine.
I still get glimpses of what the property used to look like. While most of the ugly overgrowth is gone, some things like that decrepit shed that was transformed into our chicken coop remain. The Redeemed Coop is not just our farm name. It's a constant reminder of how God has redeemed us and this farm. God didn't just plow over our past, but He transformed it into something beautiful. When we sit in the peaceful moments watching our cattle graze under a beautiful sunset, I can't help but praise the Lord. I am so thankful that we are in a place of looking forward, reflecting, and experiencing the peace of God which surpasses understanding.
We started this farm with a 3-5 year plan. God put that on fast track and it took just over a year. While your journey may look different than ours, hold fast to that one special ingredient: hope! Hope will push you to your limits and encourage you to keep going. It will build up the necessary perseverance to accomplish what you have set your sights on. Don’t ever lose hope.
How can I pray for you?
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