Learning! Not called to the normal! - Bailey Dykes
Hello there! Welcome to the Fellowship blog page. I anticipate that there are a couple of reasons why you may be reading through the posts here. You could be someone who is interested in applying or have applied for the Fellowship, and you are searching for a kind of encouragement in your decision (this was once me). You may be a past Fellow who is reminiscing and wanting to read about other Fellows' experiences. Or you could have just happened upon this page, and you may not plan to ever work at Sky Ranch. With this in mind, here is my humble attempt to share a thing or two of what I have learned from the Lord through my time spent as a Fellow. As I mature spiritually, through the work of the Holy Spirit, I have been learning what living a life that is set apart looks like, and I have learned that the plans the Lord has for me are not normal in a worldly sense, but much more. I am writing this mostly to the prospective Fellow, but I hope this encourages you in the work that the Lord is doing here through this program, and encourages you to reflect on the work the Lord is doing every day in your own life.
A calling. I think most of my life I have struggled with grasping what the Lord has called me to. I have sat in confusion about what job I needed to pursue and why God had not revealed to me my exact next steps. I know now, that when God rescued me from death on earth to life eternally, he had much more in store for me than a normal life laid out step by step. Yes, more than that, God called me to the abnormal, the ‘in this world but not of this world’ kind of living. Through leading me here to the Fellowship, God has provided for me a safe place where I am given the resources to grow physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I have learned these past couple of months just how valuable of a gift it is to be called by the Lord to live a life that is set apart. And all of us who are in Christ are called to this, no matter our occupation or life mission. This abnormal lifestyle has spurred me on to learn more than I thought I could learn.
Talking about learning, I recently returned from our “Big Trip” which is a surprise trip for both the Horn Creek and Van Fellows. There are 27 of us in total, and we all love the Lord dearly. Now to paint a picture, please try to visualize the 27 of us, on a cruise, having the most fun out of anyone on the ship, not drinking, and treating each other and staff with love that comes straight from the Holy Spirit. Talk about being set apart! We could barely go a couple of hours without being approached by someone asking, “who are you guys?” or “how are you having so much fun?” On this trip I began to recognize just how much the Lord was sanctifying us while at Sky Ranch by how different we looked and acted compared to the people we were around.
In the past couple of months especially, God has been teaching me many lessons and things about myself though the Fellowship. The Lord will often teach me some of these things through the close community I share here. My Fellows, 14 people that I did not choose to do life with, but that I now share everyday with, have been such an obvious and direct gift from the Lord. As I am being refined by the Holy Spirit personally, I am also being refined by the Holy Spirit that exudes in various words or actions from my Fellows. This is such a kind gift. When you live closely with 14 other Christians, you learn so much from each other. We learn how to honor God through how we seek out relationships, we learn how to have joy when working a long day that is physically and emotionally demanding, and we learn what truth to hold on to when we are faced with the death of a family member. When any of us goes through a trial, we are all able to walk alongside that person and observe how that person responds, knowing that we too may have to undergo that trial one day. What a gift it is that it is my job to be sanctified by the Holy Spirit and my peers. Talk about not being called to the normal.
I hope that these paragraphs, as choppy as they are, were able to encourage you in what the Lord is doing through the Fellowship. Some of you may become Fellows one day, and although it is such a different thing to consider right out of college, hear me when I say it is worth it.