Sky Ranch > The Fellowship

Holding Your Life with Open Hands - Ashton Roots

The Fellowship. Something that I never knew I wanted or needed.

A year of refinement, community, and hard work. My path to the fellowship was somewhat unconventional. As someone who grew up in Lindale, I was surrounded by Sky Ranch staff in my everyday life, and even worked as a counselor in Van for two summers. After my second summer, I looked around and told myself I would most likely never step foot on Sky Ranch property ever again. I had no real desire to go into camp ministry even though that’s what I was raised in. I wanted to go my own way, blaze my own path.  

As my college graduation was nearing, I realized that I had no real plan for my life. This was very on brand for me, so no one was really surprised. Graduation came and went, and I decided that I was going to spend the next four months of my life living overseas in the Middle East. That’s right. I got on an airplane all by myself and journeyed across the world to teach English in a small community. This trip changed my perspective on life, and community.  

I felt alone, like I had no one to share my life experiences with. That was partly true due to the nature of the culture I was in, but it forced me to talk to God a lot. I just remember praying that he would lead me in the way that he wanted me to go. After returning home from my travels, I decided that my next step would be to move to Dallas and try to make a life for myself there. I had a full-time job, an apartment, and all of the things that the world says you need to be successful. I was met, once again, with extreme loneliness and lack of community. I prayed each day that the Lord would send me a community of people to pour into me, and hold me accountable in life, that I would find lifelong friends who wanted me to look more like Jesus.  

One day, as I was scrolling, an ad popped up on Instagram for the Fellowship. I clicked on it. I’d like to say the rest of the story is history, but this really is just the beginning of a huge heart change that the Lord started in me. I was pretty closed off to the idea of doing the Fellowship. How could I just leave my full-time job and apartment that I had leased? Is this what the Lord was calling me to, or was I just discontent in the life I was living currently?  

I started praying more and more that the Lord would guide me, and I couldn’t get this program out of my mind. I would think about it all day during work. How I would love to be outside all day, living with other like-minded people, being pursued in Biblical discipleship. I decided to fill out a little section on the Sky Ranch website, that I believed was to simply get more information about the program. Next thing I know, I am fully in the interview process, which I was not prepared for. It became very apparent that this was where the Lord was leading me.  

The next week, I quit my job and found someone to cover my lease for the rest of the year. I packed up my whole life that I had just moved to this new city, and suddenly I was back in my hometown waiting for the Fellowship to begin. This year has been the most life changing season of my life. The Lord answered my prayers in giving me a community that loves me and points me to truths in scripture every day.  

Yes, the Fellowship will push you outside of your comfort zone, and will force you to do things you’ve never done before. It will also give you the space to be led spiritually by those around you. I feel like I have a never-ending flow of believers wanting to pour into me and my peers. The lessons that I have learned this year are more than I could have ever expected. Jesus showed up in my life in a new way, and I am forever grateful for this year. I feel like I’m creating memories and stockpiling stories that I’ll tell around a campfire for the rest of my days! Hold your life with open hands, expectant of what The Lord is going to do with you. Follow Him where He leads.