This thought, old saying, quote, or whatever it may be is a sentence that almost everyone has heard at least once in their lives. Maybe it's the season you're in. Maybe you're going through hell and your life is in status red, and you just need to get out or need an intervention. If this is where you are, please reach out to a trusted friend, family member, or a professional to help intervene the chaos and guide you to a place of safety and rest.
Let's go back to that old saying, "Run and never look back". Sleep ended early this morning, around 2:30 am to be exact. I have no idea why, but sometimes it happens. I usually will get up, make coffee, get comfy in the recliner (this morning with a heating pad on my back), and get on my phone. The routine is pretty standard: I do my daily devotion in the Bible app, check my email, and scroll through Facebook. Then I usually get my computer and start in on work tasks. Emails, schedules, grant applications, fundraising, project designing, program development, online training, certifications, and on and on. The other day, my psychiatrist reminded me of how fast the vision that began in October of 2020 has turned into such a big reality, and it has. Reigning Hope Ranch started as a vision and an answer to a year of agonizing prayer. Yes, agony.
This morning felt different to me. Instead of my normal routine, I felt a tug on my heart to open my old Bible. The one that got chewed on and partially ripped apart by my chocolate lab pup. I got that Bible when I started trauma therapy. I was at my rock bottom. I felt like I had two options: I could climb out of the darkness (which felt unattainable and impossible), or I could give up the fight and stay in that hole (Literally, six feet under). Yup, I was there, in the doctor's office answering yes to several of the suicide questionnaire questions. I will write more about that season in another entry, but my point is that it was a time that I wanted to run and never look back. This morning I was led to look back. I flipped through my Bible and read all the verses that I had highlighted and notes I had written. I read MY OWN WORDS. The words I read still rang true to me, but the woman that wrote them was a very different person. Images that I had sketched reminded me so clearly of that space I was in. Now, don't expect Van Gogh or Picasso, it's more like child's art for the refrigerator.
That season of my life was hard but going back and reading the journal entries reminded me of the joy that I now carry. The joy that remains even through hard times. It is God given joy. I am here only by the grace of God. I am humbled that I was given the vision and the mission of Reigning Hope Ranch. My prayer through a year of intense trauma therapy was this, "God, please bring something good out of this hell. Please use me story." The work that has been done is more than the work of people alone. No matter who I tell my story to, whether they believe in God or not, they cannot deny the supernatural chain of events that has brought Reigning Hope to where it is today. For me, there is no question of how it all has come together. I remain in awe of the transformation and healing brought to my life. It has been a journey of grace and redemption.
So, as I get ready to head to the barn for morning feeds, I want to leave you with this: There is ALWAYS hope. There is no trauma that can't be healed. Start the journey, it's worth it. If you have been through hell and you're back on solid ground, take a moment to recognize your growth and victories, examine where you can continue to grow, and know that even though it was really bad, your story can be used for good.