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Choosing a New Path

Black woman in a green shirt sitting in a chair.

On June 12, 2023, I launched my private practice. I began a new journey.

I pivoted.

I changed my mind.

And then, I changed my plans.

It’s a terrifying thing when choosing a new path. It’s not easy to pivot from a previously laid plan and follow an idea, a desire in your heart, a prompting from Holy Spirit.

Choosing a new path

As a mental health therapist, the idea of starting a private practice was always somewhere in the back of my mind. But I always envisioned this being a later part of my career. With 10+ experience in the field, I sometimes still feel like I’m so new to the field.

Comparison is truly the thief of joy. At times, I look around and see some of the things people I either graduated with or interned with have done, and at times, I feel like I’m lagging, like I need to catch up. And then, I start to question my life choices.

Comparison is truly the thief of joy.

However, the truth is, the journey from graduating with my Master’s degree in Mental Health, to completing postgraduate hours, and to independent licensure has been riffed with trials and personal battles. It has not been an easy road. I gave birth to 2 children, I lost my sister suddenly, I watch my mom fall into depression following my sister’s death, and I was diagnosed with stage II breast cancer all along the way.

While professionally, I may not have checked off some things off my list, I have been through so many personal fires, and I am still standing today. And comparing myself to others completely minimizes my experiences and is totally unfair to me. Also, I have no idea what kind of trials these individuals faced in their own lives. Lastly, I realized that comparison undermines God’s plans for my life.

While I do not have a clear vision of what He will use me to do in my life, I know that He has plans for me.

God’s route to the fulfillment of His purposes in our lives look differently for everyone. It is our choice to submit to the way He wants to lead us. Look at what disobedience did for the children of Israel! I do not want that for myself. And I do not want that for you, either!

Choosing to trust God

My original plan was to work full-time for a company for a few more years and slowly build a part-time practice in the afternoons. As you know, I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2022 which completely uprooted my life and my plans.

I was placed on medical leave for a year. During this time, I just began to experience God calling me to prepare for the start of this journey for when I returned to work. And my treatment lasted much longer than I anticipated. At the time of writing this post – July 2023, I still have 1 pending surgery, 3 more weeks of radiation and 1 month of immunotherapy left. As I parted ways with my previous full-time job at the start of 2023 as I was not medically cleared to return to work, it would be difficult to start a new job with a constant request for so much time off.

Therefore, I began building this new practice while going through radiation and immunotherapy. I am learning to lean into God’s provision for His vision for me.

There are many moments of:

  • Uncertainty
  • The fear of failure
  • The fear of success
  • The judgment of others
  • Making a mistake
  • Despair and disappointment
  • Fearing that I heard God incorrectly

There are no shortage of fears and doubts that linger. But oftentimes, we must lean into our faith and believe in our faith more than we believe in our fears. Even if I heard God incorrectly, He knows that I was trying to be obedient so I can be expectant that He’ll right my course along the way.

Walk in faith, not in fear

This journey of building a private practice, of becoming an entrepreneur, of pivoting, and of moving into a new direction is a journey of faith. It’s me choosing to walk in faith, not in fear.

So, I encourage you to do the same today. What’s that thing that God has placed on your heart, and you’ve been afraid to take action? What do you feel God is calling you to do? What’s something that you can do today to begin this journey? I’ve learned in past seasons of my life that if God calls us to something, He’ll sustain it. We won’t ever be fearless, but we can hold fear in one hand and faith in the other and take small steps forward. He is patient and will wait for us. But, at some point, we must make a choice. And staying stuck is also a choice! So, I hope you will choose to take God at His word and choose to move in faith today.

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