Have you ever found yourself in a place beyond hope? Me too. In life. Work. Relationships. Homes. Moves. Health. But that’s never the end of the story. So let me tell you one…
We are homesteading in a fifth wheel in an abandoned place built in 1913, deserted in 1948, empty most of 70 years before we arrived. I wish my ancestors knew we were here.
It sounds crazy but the longer we stay the more I see myself reflected in this place. Color faded, marred by storms, missing and sunken parts where fullness and fresh paint used to be. The unlikely recipient of a new beginning. Yet she is beautiful.
In our 50’s, Hubby and I share only a hand full of years together now with pasts marked by gravestones, broken families, swept clean of all we believed would last. Spouses. Health. Jobs. Houses. Places. Things.
Sometimes new beginnings are best grasped with empty hands.
Even though I’d secretly dreamed of living in this place since I was small, when I sensed it finally inviting us to come I resisted for three years. “Impossible!” I’d protest.
Miracles can be hard to believe.
Me – thin and weak from years of illness, the bright fire of a long career in suits and heels gone dark.
Hubby – widowed after 17 years. Need I say more?
This place – the road in a faded two mile rut scratched over windswept hills that sometimes disappeared beneath drifts of snow for weeks at a time with ashes where the house once stood.
Yet she beckoned like a ghost ship inviting us home.
So I compromised. Filled quart jars with wheat and soil from this place. Brought them back to our tiny house in town to watch and see and wait.
Healing came. Slowly. Gradually. Miraculously. In bodies. Families. Hearts.
At first we came to repair the well for the farmer who farmed for my mom. His cows the only souls in residence for years. Their water trough needed kept full. We dug and cleaned and patched. With breaches repaired a silver pool rose up ancient cistern walls sparking a flicker of life in an old dream with some very dry bones.
More years passed.
A new road was planned to make way for the farmer’s bigger tools. A road winter wouldn’t close.
Perhaps the impossible was becoming possible after all.
We prayed. A lot. Sought godly counsel. Prayed some more. And waited.
With the new road carved we came to camp, spending weekends and all our spare time.
Six months later we finally stayed.
Most thought us crazy. To live in such a remote place. In a camper instead of a home. Two miles up a private brown dirt ribbon of a road. With a dream to rebuild, raise food, and share.
With us we brought…
Trust – that through brokenness God Joys to rebuild unimaginable things.
Hope – that walls could be straightened, doors found, roofs replaced.
Faith – that fallen trees would become stately fences where new garden and orchard would grow.
Belief – that barn and coop would once more team with raucous bleats and crows yielding milk, eggs, and meat for shared meals.
Skills – to find and fix and grow.
A dream – that through this place beyond hope new life and new stories would arise.
A hint of mystery – that it wasn’t just about us but the lives it would touch, and those who would come after us when we were now the photo hanging on someone else’s wall.
It’s been two winters, 60 critters, and many visitors now. It’s taken more than everything we had to give. Yet she thrives and grows and gathers with each true need always met in some unexpected way. And this is just the beginning of the story…
So take hope. Because sometimes, when you find yourself at the end of the road beyond hope, something extraordinary is about to begin.
Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. ~ Psalm 42:5 NIV
QUESTION: What if there is a new story waiting for you on the other side of what feels beyond hope? What if it would even bless future generations?