Ranell waving from car

Trusting in God’s Plan at Big Oak Ranch

Miracle Moments


Brought to you by: Molly Maid of Birmingham, www.mollymaid.com/birmingham

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

I can still remember the long, awkward ride from my “home” to Big Oak Ranch. It was April of 1990, and I was 14 years old. It’s my most vivid childhood memory – arriving at Big Oak Ranch. As I was welcomed into my new home, I watched my dad drive away and I stood there uncertain and angry.

Ranell waving from car
After arriving at Big Oak Ranch at 14, Ranell Tillet still calls the Ranch home today.

All I had ever known was a life of brokenness, instability, and chaos and I didn’t see how Big Oak could change that for me. In fact, I was determined to let no one pass the protective walls I had built around my heart. The walls seemed like a refuge from the cycle of disappointment to which I was accustomed. But little did I know, Big Oak was being written into my story because God wanted to reveal Jeremiah 29:11 as a promise to me. One year from that day, I realized His provision in my life. I experienced the love of Jesus through the lives of selfless, seed-sowing, faith-filled people – a love that would tear down my well-built walls. My biological sister also arrived at Big Oak during this time, and I began to see a work unfolding in both of our futures. I was finally able to reflect with gratitude and praise because God had not only provided me with a home that day in April, but a place I still call home today. I grew to trust His plans for me, and I stayed at Big Oak through college. 

Ranell with here Children
Ranell Tillett is seen here with her four children.

The care I received then prepared me to be the wife and mother I am today. I have been married for 23 years and I am the mother of four children. As my husband and I raise our children, I am blessed to return to the examples of my childhood at Big Oak. The powerful love of God that intervened in my life continues in my children. Even more, because of the generational impact of Big Oak, my biological parents experienced the love of Christ and, later in life, came to know Him as their Savior! From an untrusting 14-year-old girl who knew nothing of the plans God had for me, I now stand boldly upon them as a daughter of God who repeats Philippians 4:16, “being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

-Ranell Tillett

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