By Justin Nerdrum,

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Broken from trauma, restless from choices, and feeling “sub-par” due to life events are just a few of the chains our Warriors carry. They feel stuck with no place to go. What they’ve tried on their own has not worked. Even through doubt, in their hearts, they know there is a way out. 

Veterans and First Responders are brought to one of the ranches in hopes of healing. Twelve men decided to take that first step this March in Haymaker, VA.  

On Monday, when these men walked through the doors, they brought their struggles and hardships. While each individual is different, many of the issues are similar. Feelings of rejection, depression, isolation, and failing marriages, are just a few of the common struggles. 

Throughout the week, we start to uncover the roots of their hurts by learning and understanding Jesus and the salvation he brings us and diving into areas to become strong men of the Lord.  

As we discussed forgiveness, walls started to come down.  

Forgiveness is a tough topic, and many of us have a hard time with it, whether granting forgiveness to others or searching for forgiveness from those we hurt. We think it’s impossible as we keep our minds filled with darkness. God can forgive us. We don’t deserve it and can’t earn it, but through Jesus, we have been forgiven, showing his everlasting grace and love. That knowledge sets us free to forgive others and make amends with those we have hurt. 

God is at work in these men, allowing them to offload their burdens, pick up the Word of God, and start building a lasting legacy. When they leave, they are no longer the same as they came in but are now renewed and made new. 

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28-29. 

True healing doesn’t come from our efforts. Many times, we find ourselves stuck and alone. But we aren’t alone. Jesus wants us to pass our struggles to Him, allowing Him to walk by our side and help us through our dark times. 

But it starts with us making the decision to surrender, repent, and follow His ways. His promise to us is to redeem and restore us.

“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.” Ezekiel 36:26-27

Our past doesn’t define us. But, if we look to the world for answers and help, we will be disappointed, alone, and without hope. Through Jesus, we have His mercy, hope, love, and forgiveness. We can be free of our bondage and made new. First, we need to turn our hearts to Jesus; from there, He will walk with us through our restoration. 

The Warriors are encouraged to leave their pack, or burden, at the ranch and depart with the framework to build a lasting legacy. 




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