For the bulk of 20 years, I had a very clear career path that I was on. I studied for it, I volunteered for it, and I got paid for it. I was convinced I’d be doing this same type of work for the remainder of my life. However, when I hit 40 years old, I had just slogged through some hefty disenchantment. I began wondering to myself, “What do I want to do when I grow up?” I posted something along those lines on social media. A few days later, I received a phone call from my step father-in-law. He had made the switch from a successful food service career to social work. He shared with me what that massive shift was like for him, and he continued – “I think YOU should consider social work. I think you’re built for it!” We spoke for quite a while. After hanging up, I was convinced that I wanted to make that same shift. I became a man on a mission, applying to grad school, researching everything I could about this career that I knew little about. From that phone conversation to this very point, I have not had ONE red flag about making that choice. I have zero regrets about shifting from church-based youth ministry to becoming a clinical social worker, with eyes on behavioral health and school social work.
This adventure so far as a social worker has been incredibly enriching, challenging, and affirming. My unique gifts, abilities, & strengths make a perfect cocktail for serving those who need a leg up, who could use an advocate, and who are looking for help along their own journeys. My whole life certainly paved the way for me to place great value in skillful mental health professionals – From the death of my mom when I was a teenager to the divorce from my first love, from severe depression to the threat of alcoholism, I have experienced quite a few devastating events that have shaped the way I feel about myself, my world, and my relationships. I am deeply grateful for the friends who picked me up off my face & who urged me to get professional help. With the one-two punch of therapy and medication, I have been able to navigate the challenges of my depression and anxiety, with just a few bumps in the road along the way.
I am also extremely grateful for my wife and life partner, who is the most live-giving person I’ve ever encountered. Her support, encouragement, and love have fueled my desire to become the person I’m designed to be. We have two young sons who remind me frequently that life is an adventure, and that laughter, hugs, and pranks are an important part of a mentally healthy life!
I am a man of faith. My spiritual journey has had more twists and turns than a Colorado mountain stream. But as I have made it through to this side of things, I have been able to brush aside a lot of the extraneous man-made, cultural “stuff” that obscures a clearer look at Jesus. I want my life to continually be pointing toward Jesus, and I want my life to be characterized by that same radical & ridiculous love that I have experienced.
My work is not Christian in nature, but I am Christian in nature. What I mean is that I will come alongside anyone who needs help, regardless of belief, creed, color, race, sexual orientation, or favorite football team. This works amazingly well because I am not in the business of providing you the answers to your problems; rather, I help you discover your OWN solutions to your problems. My faith, instead, gives me a measure of compassion, empathy, and kindness.
What have you encountered along your journey? I would love to encourage you. I’d love to equip you. I’d love to empower you. Let me know how we can connect so you can have strength for your journey!!!