What ignites you?
What do you have a passion for?
What do you find yourself talking most about?
What gets your creative juices flowing so much that it’s hard to stop?
I have a passion for many things, my top being Jesus. And add Jesus to my love of people and you get me really pumped. Add Jesus to my love of people and working with my husband and close friends, I’m on fire!
Here’s what has me on fire right now –
Almost two years ago, Phillip and I sat down with our two close friends, Carrie and Aaron, and started dreaming about doing ministry together. Our stories were all very different. Life had thrown all of us curveballs at one point or another and the roads we had walked were unique to us, but the common theme was that God had become our refuge and our rest.
As we dove more into our stories, we again found a common theme – we had all found our rest in the Lord by intentionally seeking Him. It was more than a quiet time. It was more than church on Sunday or joining a small group or doing a Bible study. It was setting aside a stretch of time that we intentionally sought the Lord with expectation that he would meet us and minister to our souls.
We also recognized that in order for us to most effectively intentionally seek the Lord, we had to get out of our own space. If we stayed home, we would clean. If we went to a coffee shop, we would get distracted. If we walked around our neighborhood, we would see a friend. The times where we felt most connected to the Lord and in turn the times where our souls felt most at rest in the Lord was when we were not in our own space.
Additionally, we all had begun to notice that so many people around us were running on E. The gas light was on. Their bodies and minds were screaming for them to pull over at a gas station to fill up, but so many just kept running on the hamster wheel of life.
Our passion was ignited and our heart was that we wanted others to experience the rest and refuge that we had found in the Lord.
But what did that look like as a ministry?
We knew we wanted to model our ministry off of Jesus. Jesus was one busy man, but he knew the most important thing was stepping away to spend time with his Father! Over and over in scripture we see Jesus getting away to remote places to pray.
Could that be the model we followed?
As we kept the conversation going, God revealed to us a big vision that I am so excited to share with you.
The vision was to provide a place of refuge and peace where individuals could experience the gentleness and mercy of God through spiritual, physical, and mental wellbeing.
Our non-profit, Hope Ridge, was birthed!
But again, what did that look like?
The vision God gave us was a big one and pretty far from reach. None of us had any spare cash just lying around so that we could buy property to provide the space!
But we believed that God had called us to start Hope Ridge, we just weren’t sure how it was going to happen.
After months of prayer, conversations, seeking wise counsel and being confident that God would show us next steps, Aaron and Carrie moved to a new house on a piece of property close by with…guess what…a private little cottage.
Y’all, God is so good! And we continue to be amazed at how He is blessing this ministry.
The big vision and long term goal for Hope Ridge is to have a large piece of property that allows an individual to have the space and time to set aside distractions and stress, get alone with God in his creation, and nourish their relationship with Him so that they will walk away with their soul at rest because God is their refuge.
In the meantime though, the little cottage on Carrie and Aaron’s property is now known as the Hope House and it offers a space for day “retreats.” It’s the mini version of our big vision!
And let me tell you what, the Holy Spirit moves in that space!
Friends, life is crazy. We are all pulled in different directions and it can leave us feeling like we are treading water. But that’s not how God intends you to live!
We believe that God wants you to experience His gentleness, mercy and peace. We believe that God wants your soul to be at rest. And we believe that when you have encountered the Living God and your refuge is in Him, you will feel rested, restored and able to walk more fully in your God given identity.
Our passion is for Jesus.
Our passion is for you.
Our passion is Hope Ridge.
“Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God.” Luke 6:12.
God, you are our refuge, our peace, our rest, our hope. Praise be to you.