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For months I cried to God in the words of the song “Shepherd Me, O God.” Nothing happened. I was completely lost in a dark valley. I knew I had to leave it, but didn’t know how. Finally I felt the Shepherd’s crook dislodging me from the crevice I had stumbled into when I had lost my way—his way.

Most of my adult life I have been a nurse, a wife, a mother, a nurturer, a servant. I left the dark valley and allowed myself to be nurtured for three months. I rested in green pastures without a thought to the “shoulds” and “musts,” and my soul began to be restored.

These words came to me: “Take care of my flock.” And the seed of the ministry of chaplaincy first dropped into my mind.

“Explore it,” my husband encouraged. So did many friends, as did a chaplain. I spent a month in discernment. My cloud of witnesses grew, and they all confirmed that I was following the path laid out for me.

In January 2010, I walked into the admissions office at Calvin Theological Seminary and said, “I want to explore being a chaplain. What do you have for me?” Less than an hour later I walked out, having enrolled in the Certificate of Pastoral Care program—a new program at the seminary.

My first courses opened my eyes and heart to my spiritual gifts—and my own weaknesses. I am increasingly able to articulate my faith and to relish my relationship with God.

I spent the summer of 2010 working as a chaplain intern at Bronson Hospital in Kalamazoo, Mich. It was an incredible experience. I decided to continue my education in the Master of Arts in Pastoral Care—another new program at CTS.

CTS is changing. God replenishes the table with daily bread, and I can smell the anointing oil.

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