I was a city girl with starry-eyed dreams of a farm that I could call my own. I had felt this desire repeatedly over the years…but had pushed it down down down, so I wouldn’t feel it any more.
But it pushed back. And in June 2013, we found ourselves calling that farm home. Expansive mountain views, a sweet little barn with prayer flags, a tiny house for guests, and a wood-fired hot tub were included in this corner of happiness. And with 1½ acres, our three little girls explored freely every day. Life was beautiful.
It was a rental, but we were ok with that. “A trial farm!” We said. “Let’s do it!”. And so we did. Oh how we did! We didn’t just tiptoe into farm life. We threw off fear and bravely dove headfirst into the wild unknown of chicken poop and goat yelling.
There were magical mornings. Pink and purple sunrises. Roosters crowing. Eggs gathered. Goats calling to me across the field. The connection we felt with our animals was surprising and immediate.
The energy of the farm was ever changing. Constant noises from chickens, ducks, goats and a llama…along with an occasional snort and snicker from neighboring horses reminded us where we were. We were exactly where we needed to be.
We discussed the possibility of purchasing the farm…so that we could truly call it our own. Plans swirled in our heads…barn paint colors, guest accommodations, gardens laid out in our minds.
Everyone who visited swooned upon arrival. We loved hosting parties and having overnight guests. There was space for the kids to run and explore. Campfires to dance by and wild open skies to view the stars. It was truly a dream.
Then, the day before Thanksgiving, as I was working diligently to prepare the farm for my entire family to arrive, we received a call from the owners.
They were coming back to live at the farm…and our plans came to a screeching halt.
It felt as if someone had punched me in the stomach. Hot tears came immediately…and anger started seeping in.
Why did we have to start over?! I thought this is where we were meant to be! So much energy was spent pouring my heart into that space. Seeds planted. Flowers tended to. Animals cared for. Sacred spaces created inside our home.
Only to have it all taken away.
I remembered a scripture I had read in Isaiah earlier that week:
“See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness…”
I took a deep breath.
Allowing my heart to accept.
I could not change it…so my only option was to embrace it.
I started working quickly to find new homes for our beloved animals. They had changed me…all of us…in a way I had never expected. It was a teary goodbye. One that sat deep in my soul for a long time after.
We packed up the farm and turned our eyes towards the mountains.
Now, instead of admiring those mountains from afar, we are settling into them. Our first home purchase in 8 years of travel and constant transition.
Towering pines surround the house. Swaying in the wind. The grounding energy of the granite rock face is powerful and certain. He made a “way in the wilderness”…and I couldn’t be more confident that we are on the right path.
And so, this spring we celebrate new beginnings.
But with every new beginning, there is a releasing. A letting go.
We are mourning the death of a dream. Our little farm dream.
And as followers of Jesus, on Good Friday, we mourn His death.
But if these deaths would not have taken place, we would not know the amazing life that we are experiencing today.
Jesus conquered death. He rose triumphant on Easter morning, settling our debt once and for all. Any doubting has ceased. We rest in Him and His care.
And oh how grateful I am for that care.
And for God’s remarkable timing.
He knew that saying goodbye while the farm was in the full bloom of summer would wreck me. It’s my favorite season and one that I richly celebrate.
Instead, we closed the gates for the last time during the dark and dormant days of winter. The gardens lay bare. The barns sat empty and quiet.
We are nesting and building and blooming in our new space, just in time to see the splendor of creation do the same all around us.
Wildflowers! Warm misty mornings! Foxes running through the back prairie!
It’s all kinds of wonderful.
A way in the wilderness is our new dream. Our new beginning.
Perfectly suited for us.
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Sara Janssen dances on a mountaintop above Boulder, Colorado. You can find more of her writing at www.nestinggypsy.com.