I never thought that I might have something in common with Goldilocks (you know, the one who made herself at home at the Bear Chateau), but our journeys do parallel in experience. Goldilocks was a very bold young lady who saw what she wanted and pursued it. She sought to find the right fit for the best seat to sit in, the best meal to eat from, and the best bed to sleep in. She had to try three times until she found what was right for her. Now, I must say that I wouldn’t go as far as to walk uninvited into someone’s home and make myself comfortable (especially not into the den of bears). Yet, I do find some similarities with Goldilocks’ experience of trial and error as I have been on my path of finding my own professional best fit.
My first professional taste of porridge was that of teaching special education at the elementary school level. I found that being a special education teacher was too hot. I enjoyed teaching my students and interacting with my co-workers, but burned my tongue on all the other things that came with teaching that made it scalding at times. I did not feel that it would sustain as a best fit for me. I liked it but I didn’t love it.
So, I prayed and asked God what He wanted me to do. Well, I kind of asked/told God that I was open to anything but teaching (showing some of Goldilocks’ audaciousness). I was led towards studying art therapy and absolutely loved it. It was a good fit for me and I proceeded to do my thesis on spirituality and art therapy. Oh, this was some good porridge and I felt it was right, but God kept telling me it was good but not great. Alas, it was too cold.
I knew I was called to more and applied to the PhD program at Loyola on a leap of faith (www.loyola.edu/pastoralcounseling/academics/phd.html ). I have found that pursuing pastoral counseling (www.loyola.edu/pastoralcounseling) has been and continues to be Just Right. I began taking prerequisites in the Spring of 2011 and continue to find that I am challenged and growing and maturing and loving more. I can see the potential in my professional development and am in awe at the synchronicity of the lessons learned in this program. The curriculum, classes, and students are so unique and I feel that I fit in and have genuinely found a place to call home in pastoral counseling.