The Journey, Part 7

To me, many of the wilderness years have blurred together. There were a handful of minor victories and minor setbacks throughout them. It was more about what we learned than what we did.

I was given more opportunities than I ever had before. I had been pursuing a degree in professional counseling for several years and had come to the point where I had to complete an internship to graduate. At just the right time, God led me to an internship site at a local church that already had a counseling program that consisted of other graduate students.

My parents were also given opportunities to minister in the same church. In our previous state, they had had a successful ministry to young couples, which they sought to replicate in our new church. My parents connected with some key staff members who gave them hope of a possible staff position one day.

A majority of my counseling work was done at an inpatient substance abuse treatment program for men. These experiences opened my eyes like never before to the reality of people’s struggles. For the first time, I began to understand why people struggle due to the terrible family situations they were forced to grow up in and continue to live in.

My parents found similar results in the young couples they worked with. Broken homes and family systems were leading to destructive generational cycles. Though many young people wanted to break these patterns, they didn’t know how. My parents, through the power of the Spirit, helped them however they could.

However, the more we became involved with the church, and we got in pretty deep, the more unusual things seemed to become. Something was lurking beneath the surface that we couldn’t put our finger on. Doors seemed to be opening for us to pursue full-time ministry after leaving the other job behind. Nonetheless, an entirely different lesson was waiting for us: one that we would have never chosen if we had known about it beforehand.

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