Through a series of articles, we show the journey of how we came to Heart Ridge.
I know we've said this a few times before, but this place has to be it! Look at it. We were still saying many, many prayers, discerning like we should. In particular, this time we were praying to St. Therese. And like I mentioned in the last post, looking for roses. Not too far up the road from Tryon, NC, is another area that had a few potential retreat sites and in a great price range.
While we were looking online--and still praying to Therese, we found this place. It sits in the foothills, near the town of Rutherfordton, NC. This giant mansion in Victorian style was built in 1993--not too old--but it also is on 163 acres and is on the edge of a beautiful river. (And in our price range!)
Not only did the house of rose wallpaper all over the place (remember St. Therese answers prayers with showers of roses) but look. St. Therese is on the wall, too. And here's JPII in the house library.
While we're scrolling through these pictures online, we were jumping out of our seats. This is too good to be true! What an answered prayer!
I did some research online and found out about the owners. They are indeed a large Catholic family. They even had a lovely little chapel in their home. To respect their privacy, I won't say more.
We immediately called our realtor to schedule a viewing. We really thought that this was the one.
We visited here only once. They had a door to go up to the roof on this three story house with a deck (without a railing) for viewing stars.
We loved the property and the river. And although the house was large, with a lot of rooms, we didn't really love it. The family had moved out at least a year before and the place was in disrepair.
It's not that we couldn't look past cosmetic repairs to fix it up, we just didn't think it would fit our mission. There was a lot of land and lots of potential, but if we were going to sink that much money into a piece of property to build cabins, and meeting spaces, we thought we might as well just start from scratch. This place would have provided a nice place for our family to live, but not really much for those coming on a retreat.
Perhaps this wasn't an answer to prayer, even though it seemed like it obviously was. (What was with the St. Therese? And a Catholic family needing to sell their property?)
With each property we looked it, we were challenged to think about our mission and what we wanted to transpire at our retreat place.
Sometimes, we'd try to fit our mission and plans to the property we were looking at-- but with this one especially, we couldn't make it work.