In the year 1991, my then-husband and I took the position of Senior Pastors in a church that we discovered was actually a church falling into crisis. The previous pastor had been having affairs with multiple women in the church and we did not discover this until after we began pastoring. I learned that the position we actually stepped into is called "After Pastor" by the Catholic Church. Never before in my life had I experienced such chaos, pain, gossip, and confusing behaviors by adults. There was no "ministry as usual" and in order to seek answers, I started doing some research.
In 1997 I created the first online community for pastors' wives and women in church ministry called Sarah's Tent. The need for support, communication, and resources that addressed the unique challenges that clergy experience was the goal. In March of 2007, TIME magazine mentioned Sarah's Tent in an article focusing on the challenges of being a pastor's wife.
What I discovered was a deep pool of familiar stories that come from unrecognized trauma. Trauma in childhood that continues through adulthood affecting families and communities-- and especially churches where people are the most vulnerable.
To supplement my income I utilized my talents as a cartoonist, desktop publisher, and WordPress webmaster to help entrepreneurs, authors, and speakers.
Much to my surprise, I saw common patterns of behaviors, challenges, and mindsets in people who were building their businesses and those who we served in the church setting. From my experiences, studies, and as a result of the resources I was finding, I found myself coaching along with providing creative services.
The coaching was something that flowed from me and was highly effective, so I took the next step. I attended the Christian Coach Institute and received training as a Life Coach.
For more than a decade now, I've taken what I've learned through a lifetime of ministry work, leading a church in crisis, building an online community for pastors' wives, working with entrepreneurs, while studying and researching for answers to what I've come to call "unrecognized trauma". The results are astonishing and extremely gratifying as I coach individuals in helping them to understand the dynamics at work in their lives, business, and ministry. Now that's what I call making lemonade out of lemons!
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