While I was growing in these areas, I neglected to grow in the area that brought me to the Ranch in the first place, and that was the desire to live in the dark. Once again, it got me in trouble multiple times. But the Ranch helped me back on my feet and gave me more grace than was deserved and we continued life. My love for the Ranch grew and what started off as an original 11-month stay turned into a two-year journey.... Thank you for helping me discover my purpose and encouraging me to seek the Lord in the good times and bad.
Left: Sophie makes a public proclamation of faith through baptism on Graduation Sunday. Right: Student families and the Ranch community gather to celebrate the year's accomplishments.
In my time here at the Ranch, it took me about a month to realize that this wasn’t just a simple program I could get through, but really an aid on helping me grow as a person. I came here to help better myself, but really didn’t know exactly how much help I would be getting. From the mentors that have helped me through my rough moments, to the group around me showing me love I can’t thank them enough. I can see the growth in not only myself, but in frankly everyone around me. Through the hilarious moments and hardships we’ve all gone through, I couldn’t be more grateful. So I’m up here, saying thank you, to my family, friends, and authority figures who have made it possible for me to be here today.
The obstacles and the hardships were just a stepping stone that He placed before me just to show me that He’s got me through it all. He wanted to see me overcome, and I did, I really did. And with that I will always put my worries on Him because I know that He will always get me through.
In late summer, our students and interns were not only exposed on rock faces and exposed to the elements for 15 days, but they were exposed to the reality of God and to one another. Here’s what they learned.
Praying specifically each morning about my fears calmed me down and gave me a sense of peace, and I felt more ready to conquer whatever the day held for me. Meeting this goal each morning then helped me learn in a very real way that God is bigger than my fears and is present with me as I face them.
In the past I’ve had the attitude of “yeah, God is real, but I need something to prove that. I need evidence. I see nature - I get that. But I need a personal experience.” And this trip hit me hard with that. Even though God pushed me to my limits, He showed me through that how real He is.