No matter how long and unbearable it might have felt at the time, you still boil your experiences down to a few sentences. Like a snapshot that speaks a thousand words. I’m in my fourth decade of seasons, some of which felt incredibly long and difficult, and have learned that the whole point of the story is the how the character is developed; how YOUR character is developed.
My Story Starts as the second of six kids, raised on a farm in eastern Washington in a “Christian” home where the Bible was used to conform us to obedience. I left when I was 16 and never looked back, although I never left God behind and can’t tell my story without including Him. After high school, I left WA for TX, where I finished a bachelor’s degree in psychology, got married, and made a life around my husband’s career climb. That took us from TX to MI to NC, where I also began life as a stay-at-home mom. Life was good! At least, I thought we were on the right track. I thought the hard things we’d worked through were truly worked through, and the things we were ignoring were simply issues we would address eventually. I believed that God was the center of our life and if all else failed, we’d both turn to Him to help us find the way through.
There came a day, though, that my husband began saying textbook divorce-oriented statements. “I don’t love you anymore.” “I was too young to know what I really wanted when we got married, and you’re not it.” “We’ve never been emotionally connected.” “You’ve never really known me.” “I’ve found someone who’s a better fit for me.” I watched him move from complaining about my habits and behavior, to criticizing how I thought, to eventually condemning who I was. I did everything I knew to do to change the trajectory of our marriage. I worked harder to meet his expectations and change the things he didn’t like about me. I prayed harder, sought counsel, and asked my church leadership to help redirect us. I read every book and listened to every podcast I could about marriage, relationships, communication, and crisis. I spent most of my time feeling absolutely alone and having no idea what tomorrow would hold.
But, God (love it when He ‘buts’ in!) saw fit to deeply shape my trust in Him through all this. Having my feet knocked so completely out from under me compelled me to be on my face before Him, learning to spend every moment desperate for His hope and steadfastness. He sent mentors to speak truth and hope to me, and caused me to notice the daily reminders of His sovereignty. In the process, I struggled chaotically to find footing and purpose, and my heart physically, literally, hurt every day for years. I wrestled with fear, with faith, with God’s goodness, with why it mattered to keep pressing forward.
I did want to give up! I could see very little reason why I shouldn’t take everything I could and run! My feisty, rebellious side wasn’t tolerating any of this well. But, God kept working to shape my character to be a better reflection of His, making me ask the hard questions about how I could still honor him in all this, and what it would look like to be a conduit of grace and mercy. And I kept finding Him holding me even when I felt like I was falling in an abyss. One week after our 19th anniversary (six years after the first time he told me he wanted out), our divorced was finalized.
The truly surprising part is that I thought redemption would mean a reconciled marriage and a story of overcoming the ugly underbelly of our selfishness to rise strong and beautiful together. But God’s idea of redemption was even bigger – to expose a love grand enough to cover every bit of my longing without hinging upon another person. I had to learn that healing didn’t have to mean my husband came home. It did mean leaning hard into what I knew to be good, and right, and true, and then taking the next right step forward.
I finished up my Masters Degree in professional counseling knowing that my scars could help bring healing to your open wounds. I had to struggle through depression, panic attacks, hopelessness, worthlessness, grief and redefining what it meant to trust God so I could be here for you.
My passion is to help you see a way through your own pain and grief to add stability and integrity into your daily life, and establish a path of wisdom and joy in spite of the sorrow. Whether you are single or married, an individual or couple, I work to help you add healthy depth to your relationships and create space for you to grow in your own giftedness and passions. My mission is to be a minister of God’s grace to you.