Currently the ranch has two volunteer girls, each committed to staying for a year. These mentors are a positive role model for the ranch girls, and they also do a lot behind the scenes... cooking, running errands, washing vehicles, and all manner of things with Miss Sharla and the horses. In return, they learn a lot about themselves and get to watch the amazing process of hearts being healed, and these ranch girls becoming the beautiful, young women God created them to be.
It has been the most painful and yet the most special year of my life. I’ve learned more than I’ll ever be able to express. I learned the scariest conversations are the most crucial ones to have. I learned when you are struggling the most is when you become the best candidate for God’s work. And I learned no matter the situation, prayer is always an option. And yet sometimes there are no words and that is okay too. Reproofs and re-dos are immensely important. When in doubt, go with your gut. And granola on ice cream is a grand combo. I’ve learned God will never take anything from you unless you give it to Him. I’ve learned how to change a flat. I’ve learned that trauma has mind-blowing effects on the body. I’ve learned how to hitch up a trailer and through that discovered the power of WD40 and a hammer. And I’ve learned that I never had control, all I had was anxiety. The act of surrender is one of the strongest, kindest decisions one can ever make. Some nights, I cried myself to sleep. Other nights I laughed myself to sleep. This year has been a year of growth through endless grace and grit. I’ve stumbled more than ever but at the same time I’ve grabbed tighter onto my Father’s hand more than ever. I’ve seen hearts in ways I have never before. I’ve hugged more. Lived more. And journaled more. It’s been a year of watching band aids being ripped off of wounds and wounds being covered up with band aids. Of sweet things turning sour and sour things turning sweet. Strangers into family. Mess-ups into lessons. Anger into acceptance. And fear into faith. I’ve found a Walmart book aisle, a Freddy’s lunch, or a prayer circle have been some of the greatest comforts. The hard truth is that sometimes tough love is the best kind of love you can give someone. No matter how stinking bad I crave to, I cannot calm their storm. But I can sit with them and keep pointing them to the Man that can calm all winds and waves. Through this year, it’s been so vivid to me that every single one of us is simply a human. We all have done unforgettable things, let someone down, and stayed up way too late overthinking. We all are together – all walking each other home. We must truly embrace the indescribable power of God and truly live from that. No matter what. Cuz in the end that’s the only thing that has gotten me through the most painful and yet the most special year of my life. – Jera Doerksen