I have been using my training in various ways over the past 13 years through counseling, teaching and ministering to others. I have enjoyed both growing in this myself and watching God work in the lives of other people.
In 2015 I was asked by my Pastor to use my training through Calvary Baptist Church in Eau Claire. I was adamantly against this idea since I was only visiting one last time to the church before I moved back out to MT. All my stuff was packed, I had a job waiting for me and I had a place to live. The church sent me on a three day retreat to pray about all of this. As I half heartedly started praying I found myself in the middle of a fight. I refused, argued, debated, yelled and clenched my fists at God, but by the end of the three days God had made it abundantly clear what I was supposed to do.
Since then I established my own business, Everyday Armor Biblical Counseling. I continued to work full time and counsel whenever I was able too. Once again that was not what God wanted me to do.
Last November I quit my main source of income and relied on miscellaneous income from various odd jobs that I did.
Over the summer I have been the recipient of some pushing and prodding from a wise businessman in our church. He has taken me on as a project to help me on the business side of my counseling. As you know I have always looked at it as a ministry and not a business. However, God has led me to do counseling full time which means I have to develop it as a business not just a ministry. My first “assignment” was to come up with a fee that would allow me to live and cover all my living and business expenses. I also had to be able to break it down and explain how I came up with that fee in a way that I could share with others. Not an easy assignment for me.
My next “assignment” was to talk with someone about being interviewed on the radio. I had a month to complete that. Well, I put it off and fought the idea all month. The day of my deadline came.
I had been praying that God would make it clear to me if he wanted me to pursue this…..here is the story.
First my devotion that morning included the statement, “Those who think God may speak will probably not hear him. Those who know he will speak can trust what they hear.”
I was looking for a place to sit for the sermon when at the last minute a friend asked if I could sit with her child until childrens church started. When it was time, I brought her out to the atrium where mom took over to bring her back to childrens church. I sat down with someone to talk when someone else came up and was distraught that they lost their money in the soda machine. I said I would go get the key from the lock box upstairs and as I got to the top of the stairs, there sat the person I was supposed to talk to about the radio interviews. I hesitated but then thought, ” he doesn’t know I was supposed to talk to him.” So, I went behind him to the lock box when he grabbed my arm and said, “Hey, you’re supposed to talk to me.” My heart skipped several beats I am sure. I walked away from the exchange of words having agreed to come up with five different topics that I counsel and having him interview me on these topics over several different interviews.
Hmmmmm………..I guess that was a pretty specific way to answer whether I am supposed to do it or not.
Next, due to the fact that I was extremely busy this past spring with counseling, I began phasing out all my extra jobs so I could focus on counseling. My last source of income outside of my few hours cleaning the church ended the end of September. OK. What now? I believe God wants me to counsel full time but without people to counsel I don’t know how my bills will get paid. In the summer people typically quit counseling. This past summer was no exception. In a moment of panic I started looking for another job and was convicted of my unbelief.
I came home and came across several statements in my reading (all from different books) that seemed to be directed my way:
-“How often do we take matters into our own hands?”
-“Why don’t we pray and give him a chance?”
-“When we wait for him instead of rushing ahead of him, we will be amazed at what he provides and what we learn in the process.”
-“Anything we hear from God will be designed to glorify him and reveal his nature to us.”
-“When faced with choices that won’t wait for the clarity we are seeking, prayerfully assume he is leading you to take the path which he will be most glorified and lead you into a deeper experience with him.”
It reminded me of the three ways we can wait: frustrated waiting which can lead to rash decisions, quiet waiting-be still and know that I am God and praying and finally expectant or active waiting-taking steps of preparation and expectantly looking for God.
I chose to actively wait. For the next two weeks I finished putting together my information packet and made a plan to personally hand it out to churches and community services. I came up with five topics to be interviewed on. I prepared ads to submit to the free christian newspapers in the area. I will continue to follow up on any leads for counseling and any networking leads pertaining to counseling. I am fervently praying that God would lead me in all this. Along with doing these things God gave me several other things to occupy my time.
My two week deadline to reevaluate whether I should seek other employment was pushed out once again. As I continue to prepare for what God has for me, He gently and sometimes not so gently reminds me that His plan is the best. I can look back and see His faithful hand in everything to see how He brought me to this point.
What a journey!!! I can’t wait to see what God is going to do……..also I think all my fingernails will be chewed to the quick by the time he does it. As I have been reminded of often lately, He will provide my DAILY bread.