Tuesday, July 8, 2014

New Cradled Group in Tennessee!

We have lived in the Nashville area for a little over a year.  I was going through a bit of a mid-life crisis in the sense of not knowing exactly what my purpose is right now--where do I best use my gifts?  Or is there something new I am to be apart of?  I know there are many ways I could get involved, but I was having difficulty finding my place.  I have seen a lot of people start blogs and it got me thinking.  I started this blog to share my story about losing Grace before blogs were ever popular.  Do I need to start a new blog and focus on writing?  But I don't feel like deep inside I am a writer or speaker so promoting myself in that way is not important.  I don't really have a particular story to share right now other than my random musings.  And I don't have that magnetic quality some people have where we wait on the edge of our seats to hear what they have to say.  So if writing/blogging/speaking/art is not in the works, where is my niche?
I felt stuck--are we having more kids?  Are we supposed to adopt?  I felt a little lost and confused, almost to the point of tears.  And then I remembered--I do have a story, just as everyone does, and looking back on my life will help me know where to go from here.  What has happened in my life to this point, what have I been uniquely trained for in all of my life experiences and jobs, and how has God prepared me to be used today?  It's often obvious to see in other people's lives and how their specific story has placed them in their significant role, but I was having difficulty seeing it in my own life and connecting all the dots.  I wrote down all the areas I knew I could develop more but also leaving the door open if there was some new challenge I am to pursue.  I have background in politics--working for Mike Huckabee while he was Governor of Arkansas--and now living in a Capitol city again; I helped lead therapy groups in college at the local drug treatment facility and spent a lot of time getting to know the clients. I love knowing people's stories and being a balm to their hearts by listening.  I do work with Baylor alumni and Tri Delta Alumnae.  Should I get involved with the Vanderbilt chapter and work with college students?  I have my music background with piano and orchestras.  And I have experience working with youth ministry.  Should I commit to the church orchestra and help out on Sunday mornings?  Should I lead a women's Bible study?  And of course there is the work I did with Cradled in Waco and talking with women individually who had lost babies.  After praying for God to show me where I should focus my energy, so much of my life kept falling into the category of helping people who had lost babies.  It became clear that all my experience with counseling and my social work classes and how comfortable I feel listening and reflecting on what people say as well as my experience losing Grace has brought me to my original passion--that it only made sense to start a support group here for women who have lost babies to miscarriage, early infant loss or stillbirth.  As my life from junior high until now flashed before me, it became clear again that this is my niche.  I enjoy all of those other areas, but for now this would be my focus.
Once I made that choice to start a support group, everything fell into place quickly, a lot quicker than I had expected!  I had just helped out with our middle school group at church for their "Go Week" (like Bible School except they do service projects and have small group Bible study).  It just so happened that the Middle School minister's wife coordinates the groups at a counseling center connected with our church.  I met her and boom.  We are set to have our first Cradled group in Tennessee August 6!  I am so excited, and while I hurt for these women who have endured their losses, I feel energized knowing this is what I am here to do for this part of my life.  Of course, I have nervous jitters about who will be in the group and how it will all play out, but my hope is that it will be a safe place of healing for families in this community.  I still am confused about the future of our own family (if we are to have more children or not) and how this would impact the time I have to commit outside the family, but for right now I am confident this is what He has prepared me for and this is my special place in this world.  What is yours?

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