The last six years of my career as a counselor have been a time of tremendous learning. They have been a challenging six years, too. In fact, my job as a counselor and as the Executive Director at a counseling center was one of the most challenging jobs I ever had. In typical fashion, though, the Lord has taught me so much about Himself, and myself.
When you listen to people’s struggles much of the day, although rewarding, it can stretch your abilities as you do your best to help them. But if you tend toward being heavily empathetic, which I do, the test can stretch your boundaries like few things in life. One would think an empathetic ear is good to have as a counselor, and it is. But it’s challenging when you’re extremely empathetic. And that would be me. But again, I learned much.
Among the many things the Lord taught me, was learning to listen well, sitting with people who are in extreme pain, asking penetrating and purposeful questions, and the discipline of not offering advice, too soon. I wasn’t always great at that last one, but I improved ever so slightly as time progressed.
On the other hand, one thing that I enjoyed the most was learning how much I love discipleship, mentoring, and shepherding. As part of my doctoral work I wrote a curriculum to help pastors think with a marathon mindset in their lives and ministry. I was honored to take two groups of pastors through that material. During that time I realized how much I love shepherding them. That was part of how the Lord opened up new options and choices for me in this direction.
Additionally, last fall I applied for a job with a local Christian non-profit. Their mission and needs seemed to fit my skill set, however, I was eliminated after the second round of interviews. Nevertheless, in the process, their leadership was very affirming of what I do have to offer. They want to be able to direct me to some of the Christian non-profits that they consult with. They believed that my bent toward shepherd/encourager/mentor would be very helpful for the CEO’s and executive directors of these organizations. It’s exciting to be able to pursue that in my new position with Cru.
Providing all of the details of the Lord’s amazing work in my life would take too much space, but let me summarize by saying that it has been a full and robust journey, and a very exciting one (at least on this side of it :).
I’m thrilled to join Bonnie and the Cru City team as we serve to see lives transformed, serve the needs of the city, and multiply the Church. As of today, I plan to work with millennials, pastors, and non-profits to help them succeed in reaching the city, and the world, for Christ.
Of course, we’ll share each month through our newsletters. But we’re also planning on staying in touch through Instagram. Follow us @nealeandbonniedavis.
Lastly, I hope to email our newsletter and if you’re interested in receiving that please let me know by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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