“The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”
― Frederick Buechner, Wishful Thinking: A Theological ABC
I’ve never known what my calling is. Timing lately has been pretty good in the children’s grief counseling path though. After I realized my head was no longer as firmly up my ass lately, I knew it was time to start volunteering again. I’d heard there was a kid’s grief group in the area, and I’d done several in Virginia so it seemed like a good place to start. When I called, they didn’t need any regular volunteers, but they were just getting ready for their fall camp, so that was pretty perfect timing.
I applied to be a counselor and got assigned to the teen girls’ cabin this weekend. The format was a bit different than the camp I go to in Virginia, but pretty much the same goals and results. I had a great weekend – much better than my head-up-ass time in May, thank God. And at the end, someone pointed out the woman who runs the weekly grief groups in my area. I knew she didn’t need help, but figured it would be good for her to see my face so she remembered me when I started pestering her about wanting to help later in the year.
So it turns out that she just lost two weekly volunteers and couldn’t have been more excited to have me get started! I’m super psyched to get back into the grief support groups. Yes, they sound dreadfully depressing and sad and morbid – and sure, there are moments of that. But once you cross sides to the world of mourners, all you really want is to tell your story to someone who can just be with it. Someone who doesn’t have to fix it, who isn’t sorry, who doesn’t tell you you’re a poor thing, and someone who knows what it’s like to be sad. I am SO that person. I can be with sadness and pain and weird conflicted feelings.
You also want someone who knows it’s okay to cry one minute and make a terribly inappropriate joke the next. Again, I am SO that person.
I also talked to more local counselors and people in the schools I’ve been looking at, so I have a good idea of what I’d need to do to become a counselor. I’m still not quite sure it’s my calling or even the path I’ll go down to find my calling, but it’s there for me if I decide to.