“Mrs. Littlejohn, in 3 minutes or less, can you tell our admissions board why you would like to pursue your Master’s in the Art of Counseling?”

I blinked, took a deep breath and reminded myself of what all my amazing public speaking teachers and professors had taught me, “speak slowly, speak clearly, embrace the silent pause and make eye contact.”

I began, “35 years ago, in the privacy and warmth of my mother’s womb, I believe that God knit me together with a counselor’s heart. Even as a little girl, I remember watching people hurt and suffer, and everything in my body was drawn to be close to their pain. I could never distance myself or convince myself to not feel on behalf of others. My husband often says of me, ‘I’ve never met someone who feels as wide and as deep as you!’ I was raised by two parents who constantly spoke over me, ‘People and relationships are our eternal inheritance. People are ALWAYS more important than things! People always win!’ Not only did they speak this over me, they lived it out in front of me. Early on in my adult life, I realized that we are ALL counselors. Naturally, if anyone is in relationship with another human, we are called to walk, talk and sit with each other in community. Community; real, life-giving, God-honoring, deeply-honest, self-sacrificing–truly knowing and truly being-known– community. Community always births compassionate counseling. I am already a counselor by choice, my heart’s desire is to become a counselor by trade. I feel like this program is a culmination of what God started 35 years ago. Our world (my world, my community) is broken, hurting and desperate. Satan has no new tricks. He has used the same tactics for thousands of years. He convinces people they are the only ones who have ever struggled with their particular thorn/thorns. He convinces them they are the only ones with wrecked stories. He convinces them there is no hope for them, no redemption, no way out. He shames and lures them into a dark pit of isolation and cyclical despair. And in that isolation, he has a front row sit to speak lies and damnation all over the hearts of the vulnerable and hurting.  People need real help, with real words from real people who are wise, knowledgeable and trained. Sunday school answers and bible verse band-aids are inadequate, thoughtless and damaging. My desire as a biblical counselor will be to come along side my counselees, sit with them in the uncomfortable places until I am stained by their pain, and whisper over them, ‘You do not walk alone!’ I would be so humbled if you let me come and be apart of your program! Thank you!”

3 VERY long months later, I sat at a junior high basketball game when the notification finally arrived in my inbox.

Dear Mrs. Littlejohn,

Welcome to the Master’s in the Art of Counseling Program! 

I lunged down the creaky bleachers in my boots and sprinted out into the dark of night. There was one call I HAD to make.

“Hello?!” He said quickly. He too, had been waiting all the days to get the news.

“I GOT IN! I GOT IN! I GOT IN!” I jumped up and down like a fool outside the gym as tears pooled in the corner of my eyes. “Can you believe this?!” “Can you believe how kind and good God has been?!” “Can you believe He made a way! He did this!”

“Congratulations, my love!” Mark smiled through the phone line.

I shouldn’t have been so surprised. God has always been faithful to us. After all, He was the one who knit me together with precision. He wrote desires on my heart, and He gave me specific gifts to use to illumine His face to others. We’ve been waiting for the puzzle to come together. At times, we tried to force the puzzle pieces to no avail. As a mama in the trenches, with babies pulling on me 24/7,  there were days I felt like a caged lion. But He met us there, He reminded us to BE ALL THERE. He told us over and over, “Write your kid’s story first! This is the story for right now.” And then the right now, became right.

All this to say, I’m going back to school (I’ve actually been in school since August :)) And we are thrilled, terrified and out of our brains pumped!

This sweet blog will be sorely neglected in the up coming months, as all my brain power pushes out papers for school. But oh friends, it will be so worth it!

Many of you have written asking where I have been, and that makes my heart so happy, you are so kind to me! So, I felt it was only fair to catch you up! While I will not be posting much over here on the blog, I post almost daily on all my other social media outlets. Typically it is just a short snipet of our lives, but it keeps me connected and writing. Feel free to link up with me over there!

As always, thank you for reading!

Here’s to the next journey!

~S

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