This week began with the plan to shut down our Pastoral Counseling offices at the end of September. It was a hard decision, but necessary as the health of my business partner, DST, continues to decline. The plan was set but then suddenly yesterday I had to say we cannot wait. It was just too much for him. Hearing my justifications, he quietly agreed. I believe he was waiting on me to take that stand against his wants and my wants and make a decision in his best interest and those of our clients.
See, he was trying to work until next year when I would be able to retire. That was his plan, but it was just too much for him now. It was therefore too much for our clients. So many lives were clearly in the balance and continuing would go against everything we stood for and built on.
What did we build on? Excellence in therapy and compassion for those who often hurt the worst but won’t often admit it – Pastors, Pastor’s Families, the Military, and military families. These were our clients. The centers were two businesses built upon our deepest wounds in these two specific areas. And yesterday, I heard in my heart, his own cry that he just couldn’t admit.
So…today was the first day of his retirement. I still have the offices to close and hundreds of various tasks and then we will see.
God has a plan. I started our pastoral counseling center 30 years ago, along with DST, a friend who was also my pastor, who was also a pastoral and professional counselor. He did the counseling and the training of counselors. I did everything else. He had Divinity and Counseling degrees. I had Business Management degrees. He was Clinical Partner. I was Administrative Partner. We and our many other associates were at one time the largest counseling practice in the state. And then one practice turned into two practices. We gave these special nonprofit counseling centers everything we had. Our families did too. Our time, our finances, our gifts, and our love. Our children grew up alongside us as we worked. As they could, it provided their first jobs. These businesses/ministries gave us back a life with great purpose, and that has been one of my greatest joys. How many lives can you touch in 30 years? They are countless. Truly this was a gift from God.
Now I am 60 years old and it is 30 years later. Here I sit reminiscing. I have peace even in the midst of so many feelings.
My mind goes to one of our office mottos – Principles have no value, if they don’t have a cost.
That is so true today! Oh, the costs to stand on the principles of excellence and demonstrations of love. Oh, the costs!
Then my heart takes over and rejoices louder than my mind cries, with a verse I shared earlier this week.
The Lord giveth and He taketh away. Blessed be the Name of the LORD! Blessed be the Name of the LORD!
And when my heart starts to falter then my soul takes it’s stand and screams to the top of it’s lungs – THY WILL BE DONE!!!! In DSTs life, in our families’ lives. THY WILL BE DONE in my life as it is in heaven. THY WILL BE DONE!!! Thy will be done!!!
All we can ask and all we can ever need is right there. When I feel I have nothing else…this I have and this I know. It is everything to me tonight. Four “little” words I have prayed over and over these last five years of this journey. I’ve prayed it and others have prayed it. So many have prayed and so I have to believe I am seeing it manifest –
Thy Will be done! Amen! Amen!