We have been busy working on all the paperwork that has to be turned in to the IRS in order for us to obtain a nonprofit status. Bright Side Youth Ranch has been recognized by the state of South Carolina and now the federal level is next. So much hinges on this mountain of paperwork. We need to build fences and put up a barn and do so many other things to get ready and have the ranch fully operational, and we cannot achieve all that on our own. This in between stage has been challenging to my patience. We are here, we have property, and we are so ready emotionally. but there is much to do during this "not yet" timeframe.
One of the pieces of paperwork that has to be done is a projected three-year budget for the ranch. For weeks I have avoided that like the plague and cross just about everything else off the list until it has come to the point where I can ignore it no longer. I am normally a positive and optimistic type of person, but numbers do not energize me. However, this has to be done, so I did it. A few finalized quotes are still needed so there are a couple of blank spaces, but all in all, three years worth of dreams and hopes are placed into neat little rows and columns. I was depressed for two days afterwards.
I finally had to assign numerical values to the things that I held dear to my heart. It was hard. It is still hard to face the numbers. I feel the weight and the enormity of this huge mission and vision. Part of my logical mind screams out that this is crazy. And then the other negative voices pour in and whisper: this is impossible. It cost too much and I have too little. What makes me think that any of this could be done through me? I'll just mess it all up anyway. It might all crash and burn before we even really get started.
As Devin and I met for the first ever budget meeting for Bright Side, these feelings only increased. We both feel incredibly inadequate every moment of this process. Yet I imagine that is exactly where we need to be. It is in these moments that we are reminded this isn't our vision anyway. This is all sourced in God and we have to daily depend on his strength, wisdom, direction, and providence. And we certainly can't do this alone. We need the help and support of so many others.
We have a tendency to see things with the perspective of scarcity rather than one of abundance. Just because we don't have everything we need and a bank account to meet the budget right now in this moment doesn't mean it is all impossible. As I learned this past weekend, it only takes a moment for God to meet a need. Just as I was wondering one day how in the world we could even pay for some of the initial budget items, God brought someone along on the very next day to say that they would pay for a portion of fencing once the nonprofit status is official.
That along with the simple milestone of sending out the first Board Members email brought back a positive perspective. Gone are the days of wishing dreams to come true. We are now in the days of seeing them unfold. The steps right now might be a little slow and small, but they are steps forward nonetheless.
God continues to be so good and so faithful even in the midst of all my doubts and questions. Trusting Him is still a daily process.