Several years ago, I was lent a book written by Kim Meeder. I instantly fell in love. With her, her heart, her ministry and the stories she so generously shared. I quickly engulfed them all… some dozen or so. Then, I was blessed with the opportunity to visit her ranch. To sit across from her face to face and share about our shared experiences. As my heart would have hoped, she was in person, how I had imagined her to be.
What a joy it was to walk the ranch. To envision what it was back when she and Troy began their adventure, which now, took some creative thinking to envision.
Prior to my visit, I suspected that I would be mostly captivated by Kim herself, and then the horses… and I was, but I was caught off guard at how I felt just being in that “space”, itself. The details were charming.. the signs were all entertaining and perfect. The structures sweet and dreamy… but, there was a spirit that was palpitate. An amazing blend of love, excitement, anticipation. As if God himself had taken up residency. And of course, I know He had.
I was shaken by the flood of emotions I felt as I watched kid after kid.. each with their own story, bond with their new four legged friend. I watched as these kids faced fears then pushed through them. It was all… stunning. I found myself trying to capture it all through my camera lens, hoping not to miss a thing. As I found my little perch and watched…. listened… breathed in and out .. I felt I was on hallowed ground. Maybe because I was in the midst of a place where everything I loved, everything that spoke to me, was now encapsulating me. Horses, families, the smell of dust in the light breeze…. or maybe it came from a sense of knowing the needs these kids represented and watching as Troy and Kim weaved through them as if they were “just” another helper… had I not known who they were… I would never have known that they weren’t part of the herd of volunteers that keep the ranch working so well. Kim was busy in the arena working one on one with a kid.. and a horse. “One kid one horse”.. is their motto.. and there she was, living it out. Troy and his truck were parked down the lane, repairing something in the fences line.
When Kim’s lesson was over, her assistant lead her towards me. I felt bad knowing that she had to carve out time for me.. a writer. At the beginning of our interview, you could tell that even through her gracious spirit, she was here out of duty. There was still (after all this time and success) a part of her that would rather be out with yet another child, doing another session in the heat, than to be placed up on a petal-stool of any kind.. but, not being a stranger to the process, she also knew marketing, and stories, meant reaching more kids. I felt the need to verbalize to her that I sensed that… and it changed the interview. I felt her relax as I shared parts of my story with her.. parts that we shared; her story and mine.
I stayed for the cowboy church service that evening.. hundreds poured into the barn… they came for dinner and stayed for worship. It was wall to wall people, brilliant. Each with their own story…
I left.. forever changed. Not because of Kim, or Troy or even the ranch itself, but because of the amazing example Crystal Peak Youth Ranch is of how deeply God wants to work with us to make a difference in the lives of others.
Kim will be sharing their story on Focus on the Family Tomorrow and Friday.. Please take the time to listen, I know that you will love what you learn. https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox/15d378c4c3e91d43 Kim’s books can be found on Amazon or at their website https://www.crystalpeaksyouthranch.org/