A couple of years ago I was doing a lot of soul-searching about the direction I wanted to take with my career. I was a chaplain for hospice, and my minister’s license and Bible college degree wasn’t meeting new requirements. I needed to receive a Master’s Degree to continue working in the field. Unfortunately, after crunching the numbers, I decided to explore other options. This would be the start of a long journey of self-discovery.
It was tough letting go of the identity I had with being “Chaplain Sunshine,” and the fulfilling work of providing spiritual comfort. Even writing about it now brings up a soul ache. I will always be grateful for the special bonds I was blessed to make with patients and their families during such an intimate time. This was one of those patients and families that became so dear to my heart.
(I received permission from his daughter to share this.)
This photo was taken on his 91st birthday. He spent his life empowering and equipping underprivileged youth in New Orleans with skills to enter the workforce. His daughter, Dr. Adrian Woods, shares his passion. She is the Director of Academic Programs at Xavier University.
At the end of the day, I had to pay the bills so I was determined to find a career that would provide meaning along with a good salary. Since I loved hospice work so much I thought nursing would be the path, the only problem was I had this awful habit of fainting at the sight of blood!
In the meantime, while I was trying to figure out if nursing was going to be a fit, I had several side jobs just hoping that I would stumble into my dream job. I mean it happens for some people like that, right? Psalm 37:23 does say the steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord
I was a server at Movie Tavern, took a job during the holiday at UPS, was a sitter for elderly patients in their homes, kept personal training . I don’t think I’m forgetting anything.🤔 Oh, I was a Starbucks barista for a day..Yes, A Day! LOL
It was very humbling. I was concerned with my image and that the people would think less of me if I made another job transition.
I needed to pull myself together and get a solid direction. I did a lot of journaling. I asked myself hard questions and tried to listen to my inner voice.
It took a good year and a half for me to finally get real with myself and admit that nursing wasn’t for me. I knew from my soul-searching that I wanted a career where I could share my qualities of coaching, compassion and knowledge to help others. I applied for a 2nd time, for a health coaching position and this time I received the job!
I Peter 5:6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.
Every day I wake up and thank God that I get to do something that I love and that I help people just by virtue of being me. I might not be preaching before a physical audience, but every day I stand at my “pulpit,” aka, standing desk, and encourage others to live healthy in every area of their lives.
As a digital health coach, I’m on my PC most of the day, so yes I get to frump mostly;) I build a bit more activity into my life by alternating sitting and standing. In the photo with me is Sammy, the floppy dog, and Penny Wink, the guinea in the cage;)
One thing I learned from my Bible college professor, Les Bowling, is that it’s easier to steer a car that’s moving. I definitely followed that advice very well, but I also needed to trust God to do his part.
We all go through things that take us to the ragged edge. It’s hard to be patient and wait for things to work out. There is a spiritual solution for every problem. Allow yourself the time to look within yourself, discover what makes your heart sing, then trust the process.
This in an affirmation I used often, and it might bring you hope on your journey.
There are people looking for the exact skills and talents I have to offer, and you are being brought together on the checkerboard of life.
-Louise L. Hay