From Deep Depression

To a life filled with love and hope

Julie’s Story | Freedom Farm

Julie Elliot-Eickenroth Founder and Executive Director of Freedom Farm Ministries Grand Traverse.jpg



Freedom Farm, Founder & Executive Director

HeartSkills™ Coaching, Founder & Coach

Hi, my name is Julie and I love helping people grow. Here's why.

Twenty five years ago, I suffered from brutal, debilitating depression. Through my early teens till my mid-30s, I could not make sense of relationships or life. Nothing worked. I experienced continual cycles of excruciating emotional pain. Many days I didn't want to live anymore. My marriage failed. I was afraid of everything ~ people, dreams, life, you name it. Yet I came from a nice family and had no abuse, neglect or significant trauma in my childhood that could account for my battle with depression. I was a person of faith but struggled to make my faith work in real life. It was baffling, frustrating, exhausting. Soul draining. Hope killing. 

Deep inside, I desperately longed to grow ~ to break free from my fears, live out my dreams, and become a productive, accomplished woman. I envied other people that I saw flourishing ~ so why couldn't I? 

At last, miraculously, just when I thought I could not stand my life a moment longer, I found a wise and gifted Christian counselor named Carol. What I learned from her literally saved my life. She taught me how to think like a grown-up. She imparted to me the skills and tools and biblical principles to manage my emotions, pursue healthy relationships, and see life clearly. Depression and pain gave way to healing and hope.

She imparted to me the skills and tools to manage my emotions, pursue healthy relationships, and see life clearly. Depression and pain gave way to healing and hope.

I am forever indebted to Carol for setting me on a journey of radical transformation. Along the way, other miracles appeared in the form of wise, loving friends who also came alongside to help. They challenged me to grow, gave me honest feedback, and never let me forget I was loved. Now I use the tools and skills these faithful friends imparted to me every single day to stay healthy, productive, and pursue my dreams.

I also discovered that my life's purpose is to help others find the same. I have been successfully recovered from severe depression now for over 25 years. Today I teach the sound spiritual and relational principles of healthy emotional self-management, authentic relationships, and peaceful conflict resolution that I discovered ~ profound truths that break the vicious cycles of emotional pain, depression, loss and hopelessness. Yet they are nothing mysterious. Anyone can learn them and walk daily out of pain.

Through HeartSkills™, I use the vehicles of one-on-one coaching, small group book and Bible studies, workshops, retreats and conferences to offer hope for true freedom through a healthy, loved identity.


Today We Are …

Healing • Nurturing • Growing

Today we are Freedom Farm Ministries Grand Traverse, Inc., a nonprofit therapy farm dedicated to healing, nurturing and growing women through permaculture gardening, healthy work on the land, and equine and other animal-assisted therapies. Through the farm, HeartSkills™ Coaching, gentle healing prayer ministry, and healthy, loving community, our goal is to help women learn to live out of a “loved identity” — to find freedom, dignity and joy as whole, healed persons - known, cherished and loved by God with a future filled with hope ahead of them.

Freedom Farm allows for growth and self discovery in a safe community.jpg

Our Approach

In the day-to-day work of the farm, limitless opportunities naturally arise for growth and self-discovery, to experience safe community, and to encounter the love and presence of God. Partnering with others in the work offers abundant opportunities to learn and practice healthy heart skills, and to gain confidence as those “skills of the heart” are employed.