It was May 2012, we were driving back to Ohio from Florida, windows rolled down, sun warming the whole car, road trip playlist humming in the background.
My husband had the wheel, while our two best friends were in the backseat. Something about **kid-free** road trips has always lent itself to almost a retreat-like feel, a sacred space to reflect, journal, read, and think. On this particular day, a special dream was conceived in my mind and fleshed out with pen and paper, a dream for Hope Anew.
I have the journal sitting in front of me now, as I write this. I can see the progression of thoughts, as they slowly developed into this grand dream. The thoughts started with this quote:
“The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet”
- Frederick Buechner
I then went on to journal of my “unexplainable desire to be with horses”, the love I have for these “majestic, strong, free-spirited animals”, combined with my desire to live a purposeful, whole life. The crossroads that Hope Anew first came to life was in this place of longing to know how all of these things would fit together.
Then I drew a picture of a farm. Several houses, a horse, a garden, trees… and the acronym started to evolve …. What is now Healing Occurs through Purposeful Elements: Art, Nature, Environment, Well-being. The original vision for Hope Anew was a place where people could come and engage with these various elements in order to experience healing. To experience wholeness. To make steps towards living a full life.
This moment of inspiration really stuck with me through the years. Hope Anew became a dream that was in my heart. I thought of it wherever I went. We were living in Marion, IN, at the time, where we both graduated college. I was doing home-based interventions with families and wishing I could incorporate art and horses to help these families rather than being limited to what I had been trained to do.
We moved to the Dominican Republic in 2013, and I wondered if Hope Anew would happen there. The beauty of where we lived in the mountains just took my breath away. We were working at a therapeutic boarding school for troubled American teens and I remember telling several staff there about my dream. I would always get a smile, but could tell that it didn’t resonate.
Even in 2015, when we moved back to the States, I remember trying one of those direct distribution companies with the goal of making enough money to sustain owning my own horse. We lived in a rural town in Ohio and my extended family even owned land 10 minutes from where we lived. The first time my husband and I went to visit this land, he had a huge revelation: he used to play on this land as a kid! His dad lived in the apartments that my grandparents put on the property years ago and he played in my family’s woods! I really started to wonder about Hope Anew taking place here… and then we chose to move to a big city instead.
When we moved to Columbus, OH, in 2017, that things started to take shape. I was given an opportunity to work at a non-profit that did Equine Assisted Psychothearpy and began my certification process through Natural Lifemanship. By October 2018, I completed my dual certification as an Equine Professional and a Practioner. Right around the same time I completed my certification as a Life Coach through JRNI Catalyst Coaching Intensive. I was fully enjoying the comfort of still being employed by someone else and was able to start doing some Equine Assisted Coaching.
In January 2019, the non-profit that I had been working for let me know that they were closing their Ohio office.
And January 17, 2019, Hope Anew was born. I actually received what looked like was a birth certificate in my email. It was the certificate stating that Hope Anew was approved to do business in Ohio from the Secretary of State, but it seriously reminded me of a birth certificate!
Hope Anew is in its infant phase. A lot of nurturing is taking place of new partnerships, new clients, new programs. It is happening, one slow step at a time. I still fully believe it will grown into what was originally envisioned- a physical place with land, and a community of people collaborating together to offer a wide range of healing opportunities for people who are longing to live to their fullest potential. To empower people to live in the crossroads where their deep gladness meets the deep hunger of the world.