In 2002, I found myself in an all-day training session to become a peer counselor at my local crisis pregnancy center. Looking back, I have no idea how I even knew about the opportunity. Perhaps I heard something about it from my church or by word of mouth, but I was there, listening. As I listened to all the possible scenarios the center finds itself ministering in and heard about the immense need for caring and compassionate counselors, something clicked. This was my calling! I was getting a minor in psychology, so of course my 21-year-old self thought that made me an expert on all things counseling. I knew this was what I was meant to do.
Because I was in college, I was assigned to the moms and babies room, where material assistance is provided for mothers who have chosen life for their babies. Every Thursday night, I would go up the stairs above a little Italian restaurant in a Winn-Dixie shopping center and spend two hours volunteering. I would fold baby clothes, read pamphlets and articles, and spend time getting to know these precious pregnant moms. I had so much to learn.
I wasn’t quite the counseling gem that I had imagined myself to be. One client was making conversation and asked if I had any children. My reply was, “Oh, no, of course not. I’m still in college and I’m not even married!” She was also in college and not married. Open mouth, insert foot. She took my comment with grace, but I still shudder when I think about it. Clearly, God had much to teach me about ministering to the vulnerable.
About a year passed, and I had to leave Tallahassee and the center that I had grown to love. I was getting married, and we were moving to Kentucky for my husband to go to seminary. ...1
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