I was born and raised in Minnesota where I was frequently found in some activity involving friends and fun (and my fun-loving spirit continues today). As a pastor’s daughter, I developed an early love for Jesus and God’s Word. Those values remained a priority as I raised three wonderful children – Danielle, Ashley, and Nathan.
I earned an M.A. in Industrial Relations and spent twenty years in organization development. After the loss of my dad, I caught a vision for counseling. I returned to school and graduated with an M.A. in Counseling and currently practice as a licensed counselor. Although I had experienced a few valleys in my life, overall I was feeling blessed – life was good.
The chapter in my story that changed my life…
May 17, 2008 I was woken up with a knock on the door. As I approached the front door, I froze. A nearby street lamp cast a glow across the porch, silhouetting the unmistakable form of a police officer. Instantly, panic surged through my body. He must have seen the terror in my eyes as he walked in. A mother’s worst nightmare came slamming into reality as he said. “I’m so sorry to tell you. Danielle was in a car accident and she did not survive.”
I collapsed into a sobbing heap. Darkness and despair completely enveloped me and I remember doubting this was a journey I could survive. In a single moment, the family I had cherished was changed forever. I had been plunged into a new reality that was terrifying.
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Something about me – I dislike movies with sad endings, and before I even start to watch a movie I want to know whether the story has a happy ending or not. My rationale is simple: if I know that I’ll like the ending, it frees me to enjoy the movie. I didn’t like what the policeman’s knock on the door did to the story of my life, and over and over it seemed like a bad movie with no ending. Fortunately, what helped me survive was the knowledge that ultimately, there would be a happy ending—eternal life in Heaven with Jesus.
When suffering enters our life, it is critical to have a vision that keeps us from being swept away by despair. For me that vision is eternal life and knowing that Danielle is home. I now understand the brevity of life, realizing that we are just passing through…on our way to our final destination.
As God began His healing work in me, He helped me see so clearly that my little life is part of a bigger story—a story with a broad and beautiful purpose. God’s story reminds us that no matter how dark the chapter we’re living in, in Christ there is always another chapter. A continued story that is ultimately victorious.