I was born into a post-Catholic, Evangelical family and grew up being active in church. My first intentional prayer for Jesus to save me was at age 5 in Sunday school. Since then, faith has been a journey, a process of coming into greater and deeper understanding of Christ, who and where He is, and how to best follow after Him. I was active in youth ministry during high school and junior college, then entered a period of questioning during my undergraduate years. As a fully formed adult, my questions were met with faithful followers of Christ being faithful to show me grace. My faith journey continues to be marked by questions, but now, instead of questions driven by doubt, my questions are driven by hope, being confident that Christ will be found the answer.
To reference Eric Liddell, I teach because God made me a teacher, and when I interact with humans in this way, I feel His good pleasure. Teaching is a wonderful compliment to my work as a counselor. I want to see people heal and grow because I see in each person the Image of God. As a counselor I teach about holistic health. As a teacher, I nurture character growth. The end goal is always the same – to see individuals achieve the fullness of who God made them to be.
One of my favorite authors is Jonathan Safran Foer, author of Extremely Loud, Incredibly Close and Everything is Illuminated. I appreciate his style for being catchy, melodic, whimsical and evocative. I appreciate his stories for entering the dark of human existence, honoring the pain, but finding beauty. He is one of the authors who has most profoundly influenced my own writing style.
I am inspired by individuals who have experienced marginalization, oppression and systemic barriers, but who have persisted in finding hope and continued to find ways to rise above their situation. Conversely, I am inspired by individuals who actively advocate on behalf of the oppressed.