As of May 31st, I retired from my role as pregnancy counselor with Bethany Christian Services. I loved working with my fellow staff and serving my clients, but the stress of dealing with administrative work became overwhelming. The time came for someone younger to step into my position.
So now I am watching the soaps and eating bonbons, right? Not yet. God is transitioning me into a new area of service. My new role is serving as a volunteer chaplain for the staff at Bethany.The staff there are under enormous levels of stress. Those that work as pregnancy counselors are dealing with clients facing trauma. No birthmother considers the option of placing her child for adoption unless she is facing extreme circumstances. The caseworkers that work with adoptive parents are also seeing clients in crisis. An adoptive mom may have struggled with grief following a prior miscarriage or the issue of infertility. Our Safe Family staff are constantly dealing with families in crisis, on the edge of falling apart. All these staff spend long hours listening to their hurting clients. But who listens to the staff?
That has become my new role. I go around from office to office meeting with staff members one on one, offering a listening ear and praying for their needs. I am thankful for the way these people have welcomed me into their hearts. Because I have sat in their seat as a counselor myself, they know I understand the pressure they face. Tears can flow without embarrassment. Fears can be revealed. Nothing gets back to their supervisor.
Some changes in life are difficult. For many people, the transition from the working force into retirement is one of the hardest. For me, the shift into this new role has offered nothing but joy. Though I may have left behind a paycheck, God has not set me on a back shelf in a closet. He continues to carry me and lead me into places of service.
One of my favorite passages is Isaiah 46:3,4 where God says, “I created you and have cared for you since before you were born. I will be your God throughout your lifetime — until your hair is white with age. I made you, and I will care for you. I will carry you along and save you.” (NLT version)
What He has done for me, He will also gladly do for anyone who seeks Him…even you.