Danielle's Story Continued...
I was trying to go to church with my kids because I knew this was the right thing to do, but was not attending regularly due to my addictions. My kids were going through a traumatic time with the loss of their father, and I was not able to be there for them emotionally like they needed because I was unhealthy myself. My pastor, from the church we were going to, came to my house and asked if I was okay.
I broke down and explained our situation. Broken and in need of healing, he suggested the Ranch. I decided to quit smoking and every other thing I was doing that had to do with damaging my body.
That Friday, he came over, and we went to look at the Ranch that Sunday. I met with Scott Bradley, who is the founder of 5Rock Ranch. I told him a little of my story, nothing he has not heard before as he has been working with hurting people for a lot of years. He said he would pray, as should I, and discern if this was God’s will for us as a family. I had decided by the second day of praying that I felt it was. He, as well, came to that conclusion.
We left everything we owned except for a small amount of things like clothes, pictures, etc. We moved into a motel room setting, me and the three kids. They call it the bunkhouse. It is a one story building that has 20 some rooms all set up as a motel room. When you first arrive, you are given a time to just relax with no responsibilities, as most of the people that come have not had a place of refuge for years.
The other building that is there is the Lodge. This is where the community living takes place. There is a living room, dining room, café, and kitchen. Downstairs are meeting rooms set up for church meetings and such. Upstairs is the administration area. The Lodge is beautiful and right beside it is a fast flowing river that is beautiful. This is where people spend much of their time, especially in the winter.
So during this time of rest you are getting to know and feel comfortable with the people you are residing with. Everyone eats family style breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Some people have never gotten this chance to experience a meal at a table with friends and family. After this time of rest, you are placed in a position that best suits you, whether it be inside work or outside work.
Everyone has a chore which teaches them things along the way and gives them the opportunity to get to know someone more intimately. During the summer, the ranch can and probably will be busy with retreats and weddings as this is part of the ranch. It is a nonprofit organization and is only funded by supporters on donations. So summer with these types of events helps with that.
Once you decide to stay, you become staff and will be working these events. During the summer,there is not a lot of time for bible studies or growth through the word, but most folks grow in other ways through this service, communication, working as a team, learning to serve, and getting to meet a lot of great people. Not to mention the awesome river and mountains that you have at your fingertips.
During the winter is when they have something called the Journey, where they are given a chance to be submerged in the word of God. There are many bible studies during this time and the individual is given an awesome opportunity to build an intimate relationship with the Lord. God, in miraculous ways, shows them how much he loves and treasures them. Roots are given and a strong foundation, one that cannot be moved.
In my personal experience, I had never realized how much God loved me and who I was in Christ. He taught me integrity, reverence, and gave me the power of the Holy Spirit to be his witness. I was pulled away from this world and given a second chance, along with my kids, as God revealed to me that they were being healed as they slept.
I was emptied out, an empty vessel at one point, and God miraculously filled me with him. All the bad was emptied and I was filled with his righteousness, love, forgiveness, and mercy. I was no longer who I used to be. There were hard times as well; it is as though you are on the spinning wheel of the potter. At times it is spinning so fast and other times it slows to the speed of a heartbeat. I was growing at a fast pace and some of the growing pains were painful, same for the kids.
When leaving the ranch, I was leaving knowing God loved us tremendously like never before; I was the mom I was meant to be. Healing took place in many areas, and my children were shown who God was. I was also given the heart and power to be a servant and serve in ministry. When it was time to go, the Lord made it evident to me, and when leaving, he provided everything we needed. Not saying it landed in our lap, but with us taking steps forward he was definitely at work.
I would never take back the time and opportunity we had at 5Rock Ranch. It has changed our lives. The leaders there are in tune with God and his plan. They are being used in an awesome way to change lives, and they are there to be God’s hands and feet. I would encourage your friend to go if he or she is willing to give up the world, and to seek the Lord for a vital time and with an open heart.
My kids and I lived up there for one and a half years. My uncle saw what the Lord did in our lives, and wanted that for himself as he was also at the end of himself. At the end of yourself is where you need to be for God to be able to intervene in a super powerful way. Letting go and letting God, that is the key. I hope this information has been helpful. If you still have questions let me know, and I would be happy to answer them.
Pray, and discern if this was God's will.
A time to relax...in a place of refuge.
Know someone more intimately.
Build an intimate relationship with the Lord God.
[Molded] on the spinning wheel of the potter.
Letting go and letting God.