It was a rainy and humid August day in NC. We had made arrangements with the realtor to see the house. If you take a look at the photo above, the house is stunning. From across the water you don’t notice the peeling paint, the years of being whipped by hurricane force winds, the toll of salty air, the effects of rising flood waters or the loneliness of the years it sat there empty and abandoned.
Now take a look at the house up close…click on the photo to enlarge it, and you can see the weathered look, the peeling and faded paint. The years of standing there, empty and subjected to the elements of nature.
I love old homes, and especially farmhouses. This house was built in 1870. The middle section of the home is the original farmhouse, and the two wings were added on later. As I stated in the last blog post, we already had the name Magnolia Landing picked out. As we drove up to the house, the view we got was quite different than what we were expecting. The front of the house faces the water; we actually drove up to the back of the house, as seen here.
You can’t see it in this picture, but just off to the right, there is a beautiful HUGE magnolia tree. We are pretty sure that it has been there since the house was there. I’m not going to lie…I got pretty excited when I saw that big, old Magnolia Tree.
I knew this was going to be the spot. My husband on the other hand was not totally convinced. When he looked at the house all he could see was all the work that needed to be done.
This is where “Her Story” begins.
You see, we are founded on three core values – Perseverance, Grace, and Dignity. Those values were determined before we ever found this house. The core values were symbolic of the magnolia flower, but also values we wanted the women of Magnolia Landing to embrace and live by in their own lives as healthy and recovering women.
My husband, Ty, was itching to get back in the car and get away from this place. I stood there looking at this home — I stood there looking at “her”. This was it…this was going to be “Where healing calls home.”
Ty stepped away from the car, as he realized I was not going anywhere, anytime soon. He stood beside me as I looked at her…and I said, “The house is the women.” I am pretty sure I heard him mumble that I had lost my mind. He knew I had made my mind up, and unless that house crumbled right there before my eyes, nothing would convince me that we should look any further.
“The house is the women” — What does that mean? Look at her…she symbolizes everything about the women who will seek out healing within her walls. Built in the 1800’s surely she has faced more than her fair share of storms. In my 37 years of living in eastern NC, I have seen the devastation of hurricanes, coastal flooding, and tornadoes. I have seen homes washed away, boats that have been found miles from their docks. Yet, there she stood. Empty, tired, abandoned, lonely, and surely not as regal as she once had been.
Now was her time…she was ready to receive the help she needed to become more than what she was in her current state, and yes it would take time. It would take A LOT of work, and it would take a massive amount of love and dedication, but she was there….she has withstood the test of time and she “showed up.”
Sometimes, that’s all it takes…to show up. I’m not saying you have to look excited, but we have to be willing to show up in order to start the work. Certainly, she did not look excited, but she was there and she was ready to become.
Perseverance….what an example this house was of perseverance, and she continues to persevere.
Grace….Oh my…did she need to be granted grace, and she was going to get it, and lots of it. To be seen by someone for more than what she was then and there that day. For someone to see her potential, to lift her up, and give her support. To forgive her of her shortcomings, and see the beauty underneath all those layers. The beauty hidden by years of adverse conditions.
Dignity….I could see this house after all the grace and love had been poured into her, she would stand with dignity. Her doors would one day open with great excitement to give the women what she was going to receive…grace and healing.
This is “Her Story.” Now is her time. Our next blog post will focus on Perseverance, and where she is in her journey to become. We hope you will continue to come back, because the next posts will document her transformation of becoming, where healing calls home.