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Tales from the Edge: Susan

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My path to becoming a counselor, specifically one specializing in helping married couples, began more than thirty years ago in college. I have always had an interest in psychology, but my practical parents steered me to business. I got married the summer after graduation and began working at a bank. It was nice to have a steady paycheck as my husband Tom was paid primarily through commissions. When Tom’s income became more secure, I had the opportunity to “retire” and become a full-time mom which was easy to do because while I liked my job fine, I was not passionate about it.

Fast-forward a dozen or so years later and I had four sons, the youngest in kindergarten. I was involved in a Bible study with women from VRBC, and we were studying a book called Women Who Do Too Much (which basically made all of us feel like we did nothing compared to all the author’s responsibilities). She explained that for every person who signs on to live as God’s person in God’s Kingdom here on earth, there is a Kingdom job to do and a Kingdom place to do it. Psalm 37:4 states, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” God plants these desires—hopes and dreams—and wants us to use them for His Kingdom purposes. That challenge to discover my passions led me back to my interest in psychology, but with the added purpose to use this desire to serve others.

After speaking with Jaletta Parsley, a psychologist, I decided to look into counseling programs. Kendra Apple, a student at Dallas Theological Seminary mentioned that DTS offered a Master’s degree in biblical counseling and invited me to a class. I was hooked. I was able to fit in two to three classes each semester and graduated in May 2013—seven years after starting! But my story doesn’t end there.

Around the time of my graduation, I got caught up in some unexpected home projects that caused me to put off looking for a job. During a quiet time that October, I confessed to God that I had gotten off the path on which He called me, and I asked for forgiveness. I recommitted to looking for work as a counselor.  By the end of the week, I received an unexpected call from a classmate with an opening in couple’s work (what I really wanted to do) and had a job a week later. God was faithful, and His timing perfect. My dream job would not have been available to me had I started looking in May.

When the Dixons were  looking for a couple to partner with them in bringing re|engage to VRBC, my training in counseling, with an emphasis on marriage, and my 28-year marriage to Tom seemed like a good fit. We were honored to be asked and are excited to see how God will use this ministry to heal marriages, strengthen families, and strengthen communities. I think back to a quote from one of my professors, “How great it is to be used by God to make a difference in someone else’s life.” I am grateful for God’s call from the comfortable middle to edge, to where I can fulfill my Kingdom job.