Those who see me with any frequency in their FB feed know I’m just a country girl at heart. I got the chickens to prove it! It’s been comfortable here on our acre in the burbs of Lakeland, documenting the little nooks and crannies we’ve cared for over the last ten years. Florida is a beautiful place, and most of the eastern US thinks so too! Folks from other parts are moving here, drawn to the ocean, the climate, the swaying palms, and sandy beaches. Florida is growing.
“Times are a-changing,” as the song goes, and many see and feel the inevitable, tangible possibilities. There’s unrest in the air, and if possible, a call to get out of the hustle of congested places. I’ve been praying for a long time that Yah would show us what He wants for our lives and where He wants us to be. I began seriously looking for someplace else to live several months ago, yet the timing wasn’t right. Even so, Yah introduced me to a place in the Clinch Mountains of Northeastern Tennesse – but our little family wasn’t ready.
Then on March 11, a virus turned into a pandemic. There was no turning back now. Worldwide, everyone’s lives changed dramatically. The “old” world, as we knew it, began to change profoundly. In 24 hours, we began to learn New World Order terminology: herd immunity, shelter-in-place, curfews, quarantine, coronavirus, super-spreader, flattening the curve, tracking, new norm – and the list goes painfully on.
As a family, we began seeing this world through the eyes of Matthew 24. Yes, I know – Yahusha [Jesus] was speaking about the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70, warning them to flee before the overtaking of the city. But could there be more to that prophecy? Admittedly, Yahusha’s words seem to indicate this. In verse 3, the disciples asked Him a question: “Say to us, when shall this be, and what is the sign OF YOUR COMING, and the END OF THE AGE?” We certainly understand that the overtaking of one city is not a worldwide event, but His Coming is. His coming happens at the end of the age! Now we know we have a prophecy that contains a duel interpretation, the fall of ancient Jerusalem, and the undoing of the world at its END.
According to Yahusha’s response to his disciples, it looks like we are experiencing what He referred to as “birth pains.” First, He cautions, “Take heed, that no one leads you astray.” Then He elaborates further, warning us of false messiahs, fighting (and rumors of), nation rising against nation, scarcities of food, deadly diseases, earthquakes around the world. He tells us not to become anxious, for though these things need to happen – the end is not yet. Sounds pretty gnarly, huh? Even though the “end” is not – at this very hour in time, Yahusha used a parable to explain the gravity of THESE days before His second coming. He said, “Learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that the summer is near. So you also, when you see all these, know that He is near, at the doors. Truly, I say to you, this generation shall by no means pass away until all this takes place.”
We feel it’s prudent to be mindful of the times we now live. That phrase Yahusha used: “summer is near,” means the same thing as, “this generation shall by no means pass away until all this takes place.” It’s time, many of us feel, to follow His leading so close that there is nothing else that matters more than security in Him. It’s certainly easier to hear Him in a place where the hustle and bustle of city life ends, and quiet serenity and nature begins.
Not everyone can do what we’re about to do, but every one of us can petition our Heavenly Father for instructions for how to proceed. I encourage you not to be skeptical during these times. Remember the general populous in Noah’s day, and what happened to them? 2nd Peter 3:4 warns: They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For, ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” It just isn’t so, folks! “Things” are not as they were from the beginning of creation! Please, be mindful of the worldwide situations rapidly fulfilling the very words of Yahusha.
I looked in Missouri, searched Kentucky and West Virginia. The process is draining when you have limiting parameters and don’t allow yourself a minute’s worth of compromise. I knew we’d need a running creek, forest, and acreage. I understood David needs a river to wander. With the current state of affairs, it quickly became apparent we didn’t want liberalistic governance or a place with high crime. Everything we thought would work had some hiccup attached – no creek, not enough forest, on top of a main road thorofare. It became discouraging; then, we decided to look at Tennesee again.
That particular listing in Tennesee from months earlier was not on my mind, though Yah continually interjected it in my path. Back then, a realtor painted a picture of this place that turned me away. But now, with the help of a new realtor, I began to see a more complete picture – one that appeared to pose even more problems! “YAH! What do You want,” I asked! I’ve been building my faith muscles, and Yah was giving me a good ol’ workout. If you ask – He will deliver. Anyway, we found ourselves putting an offer on this place and making arrangements to travel over 700 miles to look. What we found was intriguing, and we fell in love almost immediately.
The 25-mile ride from our motel to the property was ravishing – mountain ranges wandering through wildflower valleys dotted with grazing cattle, old cabins, and barns you’d wonder why still stood! The air captivated us, perfumed with honeysuckle, the coolness of the mountainous topography felt like home. David has since said our remote holler already feels like home! I told him it’s because YAH has chosen this special place, just for us.
We close in the next three weeks, or so – then the real challenges begin. David won’t retire until the first of next year, so Robin and I will start making the “holler” home. The property has a two-story, cedar-clad house perched along the bottom of the mountain for David and I. Across the drive, there’s a little footbridge crossing a mountain spring runoff then up to a sweet, tiny, in-the-shadow-of-a-mountain cabin for Robin. Up the drive a piece is a sturdy 2-story, rough sawn wooden building with many possibilities. On up from this is a sizable pond, teaming with white, orange, and yellow KOI! At the front of the property, a mountain creek meanders the length along an extremely secluded, dead-end, dirt road. Its genesis is two springs that feed into a second pond and pass through a culvert under our driveway. We have peach and apple trees, tulip poplar, hemlock, sassafras, blackberries, and many edible herbs and plants folks have forgotten.
Though there’s much work to be done and locals to hire for help, we see that Yahuah has been leading us all along. He’s given us our heart’s desire: a place of seclusion to await His coming.