It was a crazy set of circumstances that started on a fall day in 2014. I was driving around my farm with my dad sitting next to me. Mind you, he had advanced dementia, and his ability to communicate was not so great. In addition, two of my three sisters and a dear friend who is like a sister to me were in the back.
As we drove around, we started dreaming aloud about what I could do with this farm I had owned for over 20 years. I had gotten so much personal healing and restoration on the farm—I wondered if I could offer this to others. I remember saying, ‘I picture children … different groups coming out … all these therapeutic experiences—hands in the dirt working together.’
And suddenly, my father, who hasn’t said anything that made complete sense in a long time, says, “This is all going to happen. There’ll be great celebration!”
We were like, ‘whoa’ and fell out laughing. What it did for me that day was make me say I am just the caretaker of this farm, and a lot of people are going to need it. It wasn’t long after when requests to use the farm came in. It started with offering the farm up for two weeks of summer day camp for kids and has expanded to include organizations and groups looking for a place of rest, respite, and restoration for those they serve.
So, years later, when I got the call from John Ashmen, with Citygate Network, my friend Bruce Koblish, and Glenn Cranfield, president and CEO of the Mission, inquiring about hosting a retreat for women in the Mission’s Life Recovery Program, I was all in. When it came time to host the event, I remember asking the organizers to send me information on the women, but I only received photos and their names. Honestly, I struggle with remembering names, but it came naturally to me with this group for some reason.
“I love what Nashville Rescue Mission is doing in and around our community. It’s an honor to be involved in their work.”
On the day of the retreat, as these women started pouring out of the vans, I knew who they were, and I called them by name. I was amazed that the spirit of God amid my crazy hectic world would put a tool in my toolkit that was going to be essential, not for me, but for them, and He did it out of His great love for them.
And unbeknownst to me, the retreat focused specifically on their names and who they are in Christ. Something only God could have divinely planned. It was an incredible retreat. I saw so much hope and healing take place. It was so beautiful, and even still, I remember their names, pray for them, and wonder how they are doing.
We’ve got another retreat booked, and I’m already looking forward to seeing some of them again and meeting new and different people going through the Mission’s program searching for hope and healing.
I love what Nashville Rescue Mission is doing in and around our community. It’s an honor to be involved in their work.