The beginning of the end….

I’m into the second week of the next to the last term of my graduate work. This term includes an onsite practicum. It took me over two weeks of effort at first one agency, then another, to secure a practicum contract. Last Thursday, with the first week’s classes already behind me, I was still struggling to identify an appropriate, qualified site. On Thursday I called a retired doctorate counselor friend, whining to her about my struggle. She listened while I bemoaned the closing of one door after another in this process. She said that she herself would supervise me if it were in her power. I love her for loving me and for listening to my tales of woe when they come. In spite of the fact that she can’t solve the problems for me, it is good to have someone to whom I can cry who understands.

After I talked to her I had a fleeting impulse to call another counselor that I know who has done supervision through the years. I hoped she might give me a lead, an idea, some perspective. If I didn’t line up something within a matter of hours, I was going to feel compelled to drop the class and try again next term in order to avoid losing my tuition investment. So I called her cell phone and got no answer. In the mean time I talked to the university office and got a couple of leads of agencies who’ve participated in the past. Calling both of them, I left messages and said a prayer. After lunch I got a call back from one of them and I explained my need. The director at the agency was understanding and thought that her agency could help, telling me that they had recently added a qualified supervisor to their staff who, it so happened was the same counselor I had tried to call for advice just a hour or so earlier! Within an hour I received a call from the second agency, with encouragement to submit my request and reassurance that he thought they could accomodate my need. Now we were moving!

By the end of the day I’d had a call back from the counselor I’d felt led to contact and, after taking some time to pray about whether to take on the supervisory responsibility, she accepted my application. I made the deadline for the university, got the contracts delivered, and scheduled my first appointment to be on site for Monday morning.

During the week that all this maneuvering was occurring I was reminded of a time in my life about 15 years ago during a time when I was pursuing a career change. I had been thwarted in one effort after another and was feeling bereft of ever getting out of the job in which I felt very stuck. At one point I’d made a short written list of the minimum requirements for the job that I felt I needed- pay, benefits, geography, etc. Within a few months I did locate another job and when the offer letter came from the company, it was interesting that every one of the items I’d listed was met within that offer of employment. I was amazed at God’s answer to prayer- so specific, so to the heart of my expressed need.

It was interesting to me that I’d remembered that experience this week, even sharing it with my friend and prayer partner on Wednesday morning before all of these events broke my way on Friday. I had not gone to the point of writing down the minimum requirements for my practicum. Those were already well defined by the university’s contract. But I’d had a “wish list”, based on being able to be in a Christian environment among people I knew with one or being able to obtain some credit toward a paraprofessional certification in another. As it turns out the place that God has put me is a place I’d have least thought to seek out, but one in which I am quite comfortable, having volunteered there in the past. I am already beginning to see that I will have opportunities for learning there and may even make some new friends! And it is a Christian environment where I may exercise my faith along with practicing my counseling skills.

God’s ways and timing are perfect. He knows what His plans are for me. I know that I can trust Him. This is going to be a good two months. It is indeed a Good Friday in many ways.