So, I’m a farmer’s daughter. I grew up doing chores-feeding livestock, bailing hay and straw, helping move livestock from one lot to the next. My brother would argue that I wasn’t always the best help, lol. I’m his little sister, so he always had to “out do” me right?! I was a 4H’er for several years and with some great help from my neighbors, I fell in love with sheep and caring for them. Springtime was glorious when it was lambing season! I loved bottle feeding the little lambs. I sure learned a lot about life and God’s creation because I grew up on a farm. My family continues to farm, right down the road and I’ve made jokes for years about our front yard being my “sheep lot.” Chad has never agreed. Lol.
Since we started GLOW Like Sarah and especially “Fire & Music” nights, I’ve been having a different dream for our front lot. I’ve been seeing a barn. Not just any barn, but one that glows and is filled with the sound of music and people, not animals. A place that feels warm, inviting and safe. Safe for young people to come and ask questions, discover who they are meant to be, and be nurtured and cared for.
At first, Chad wasn’t having this same vision. That’s ok…I knew God would let him know when it was time and He did! Knowing ourselves well, we both struggled a bit with how we could build a barn and truly make it feel like “us.” We tend to like old things…things with character. Last fall we walked around the front yard as we day-dreamed about it. We got out the tape measure and discussed how big of a barn should we build? Flippantly, after measuring several different ways, I just said “I think it should be 50 x 40.” He just looked at me with a slight smirk on his face, but nothing was decided. We kept the dream just to ourselves for bit. We assumed a pole barn would have to do, but God has revealed a plan B-which of course, is really plan A in our dreams. We just didn’t know if it was possible, but hey, He’s the God of the impossible right?! Some dear friends happen to have a barn on some farm property that they no longer need, when we expressed to them our desire to have a barn for GLOW events, they offered it to us. We’ve been looking at old barns for bit, thinking we could salvage the wood to use on the inside of a pole barn, but this barn…it’s different. When Chad stepped inside the barn for the first time, he knew THIS was the barn. The structure is in pretty good shape. We think it’s about 120 years old. It’s a work of art and God loves to rebuild what has long been destroyed. We believe he wants to restore this barn and use it for His glory.
We began researching old barns and how to move them, dismantle them, etc….Hey, you can learn how to do anything on YouTube right?! God is providing all the right people at all the right times, with the right tools and hearts for such a project. Oh, and did I mention that when Chad measured the barn, it is 53 x 40?! We know it’s not going to be easy. We know we’re going to learn a lot along the way. We also know that somehow this is part of our healing, but also the hope that we have for our community and this generation of young adults that has captured our hearts. God is drawing them to Him and His truth.
So, Colton Dixon has a song right now called Build a Boat. After hearing about our project, a good friend shared with us that she now sings “I will build a barn” instead. Lol. That’s how we feel. We’re stepping out in faith and letting God lead us one step at a time to create this space…a sacred space. It will be His to do whatever He wants. We know He came in a barn the first time and we fully believe He wants to meet people again in a barn. I think the Good Shepherd is going to meet us here often. So, you could sort of say, I’m even getting my sheep lot!
Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.Matthew 13:30 NIV