Twelve days before his death and the day before their daughter’s wedding, an urgent ER trip would soon teach Darla Wurtz that her husband David had Stage 4 pancreatic cancer. The devastating news came with an even direr prognosis: Dave had weeks, maybe just days left. Although she did not know it, this was the second of a triad of events that would make up the “all things” in God’s promise that “all things work together for good to them that love God.” In the midst of this personal tragedy that was preceded by the death of her mother and would be followed by her infant granddaughter’s battle with cancer, God spoke to Darla through recurring scripture and told her not to despair, that she would “see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.”
Through both her grief and her faith, God began to reveal His plan of Cross Creek Meadows, a retreat center housing an equine therapy facility for children and veterans with disabilities. The circumstances of her life were the very foundation of the retreat center. Her mother left 85 beautiful acres boasting of large oak trees, ponds, and meadows. Her husband, who somehow managed to build a deer stand on the property with cancer ravishing his body, had given her another connection to the land and the inspiration to help men with mental and physical disabilities. Finally, her granddaughter and nephews would motivate her to reach out to children with disabilities. Darla has a patriot from the American Revolution in her family line and her grandfather, father and brother all served in the military as well.
Darla prayed intentionally for confirmation that God wanted her to build this retreat center and horse therapy facility. One by one, a series of events would occur and people would come into her life that reaffirmed God’s plan. Darla knew that if the facility came into being it would be completely God’s doing as she had no resources of her own to build it and no particular experience with horses or horse therapy. God made provisions for a road to be built and a well to be dug. He put equine therapists, ranchers, and attorneys in her path that would help guide her along the way. He even had a horse and seven saddles donated to her. After three years of God showing her His plan, Darla, in faith formed a Board of Directors.
Cross Creek Ranch will be developed in three phases as funds are provided:
1. The essentials – electricity, water, fencing, covered arena, barn, and employees
2. Cross Creek Lodge – the retreat center that will host families and disabled vets and future needs
3. Individual cabins – built to expand opportunities
Cross Creek Meadows is the fruition of God’s goodness in the land of the living. Psalm 27:13