Lori Hernandez thought God’s vision to start a farm was absurd. But after faithful, hard work, she saw the beauty of the flowers and of her calling. This personal calling story is part of a series on purposeful living.
W hen my daughter was a few months old and I was rocking her to sleep, the Lord revealed to me a vision of our family in a beautiful vast garden. The garden was lush and abundant, full of rows of vegetables, herbs, and flowers. But the most curious part: the garden was also full of people.
I didn’t recognize any of the people in the garden, but it was clear that these were “my people.” We were laughing and talking and sharing like we were old friends.
When the vision ended, I laid my daughter in her crib and went to my bed. I laid awake for hours whispering to the Lord, “What was that? I don’t understand. Why did you show me this?”
He simply replied, “Go make this happen.”
For months, I held that vision in my heart. I didn’t know anyone else who had experienced something like this, and I was scared to tell anyone about it for fear they would tell me that I’d lost my mind. Didn’t visions only happen to important people in the Bible? I was just an ordinary person.
At the time, we lived in the city, and I had a 10 foot by 10 foot garden. I was confused and bewildered. Why were we being told to leave our safe, comfortable life and enter into the unknown? Making a huge life change based on a vision felt absurd.
Finally, I worked up the courage to tell my husband and it went something like this:
Me: “So… a while back, this really weird thing happened to me. I had a vision of our family in a big garden on a farm. I think God wants us to buy a farm.”
Husband: “Huh. That is weird… Let’s do it!”
So we did it. And it was really hard.
There seems to be some false teaching that when you “follow your dreams,” life will be easy and everything will just flow. But that was not the case.
We spent years figuring out how to make the vision become reality. The blood, sweat, and tears flowed freely. The work was hard and never ending. At times, I cried out in frustration, “Lord, this was your idea, not mine! Throw me a bone here!”
After years of struggle, my husband came home one day and announced he wanted to grow these flowers called dahlias, which I had never heard of. I shook my head in disbelief. Money was so tight, and he wanted to waste our money on flowers? Plus, he didn’t know how to grow anything (I had the green thumb), and I knew I’d end up being the one responsible for growing “his” flowers.
We don’t do anything halfway, so instead of planting 30 dahlias, like I expected, he came home with 300 dahlia tubers. I grumbled under my breath the whole season as I planted, weeded, tended, and cared for those “worthless” flowers.
And then, one day in August, I walked out and found our very first dahlia bloom. All my anger and frustration melted away as I stared at the bloom in awe and wonder. It cracked open the hard parts of me, and I discovered something soft and tender underneath.
We were both so enamored and delighted by the blooms that we started growing more and more of them. We would harvest the blooms together in the evening, and the peace and calm we felt was undeniable. One evening, we said to each other, “What if we opened up the farm and invited people to come and cut flowers, too?”
That conversation, in a field filled with blooms, inspired us to build a U-Pick flower garden. When we opened the gates the following season and people came, it was just like that vision from so many years ago. These were “my people.” We laughed and talked and shared like we were old friends. It was a dream come true.
Looking back, our story feels absurd. The path was never straight or easy. But we transformed that vision to reality, and by doing so, our lives were transformed. Our story has encouraged and inspired others to step into their own story of transformation.
Maybe you’re being called to do something absurd, too. I invite you to lean into that call. I don’t have all the answers, but here is what I know:
- It won’t be easy.
- You’ll be asked to sacrifice and do “weird” things.
- God can do more than we could ever ask or imagine.
- God’s plans are incredible.
Step forward with curiosity and expectation. There is something waiting for you on the other side.
Photo by Lori Hernandez.
Are you living your purpose?
Lori Hernandez owns and operates Three Acre Farm in Byron Center, Michigan, with her husband, John. While they grow over 100 types of cut flowers, herbs, and vegetables, it’s the dahlias that have stolen their hearts. Lori loves helping others learn more about the extravagantly loving nature of God through the lessons she learns in the gardens.