Death shattered my world as a 9 year old when my 19-year-old sister suddenly died from spinal meningitis. Six years later, I faced the second significant loss of my life...the shocking suicide of my brother-in-law who had been suffering from major depression.
My early experience of LOSS matured me beyond my years and birthed a deep desire within me to be a healer and helper to others suffering from losses. My natural sensitivity and compassion for others, born out of some of my own pain and innate strengths (e.g., including my signature strengths of empathy, connectedness and harmony) led me to set a BIG goal to become a clinical psychologist. It wasn't just a goal, it was my mission. It was a long, difficult journey of 10 years of education, field placements, internship, research, and a psychology license exam (not to mention blood, sweat and tears) to reach the finish line. I was thrilled that I was finally in my dream job working in a community mental health center and later, private practice.
Along the way I married my college sweetheart, Dr. John Anderson and we had two daughters while I continued to work in a very busy, highly successful private practice for 10 years. But as my girls grew older, I felt a stirring to create better work-life balance. It was a tough decision but I knew that a career change would be necessary to better honor my role as a wife and mother. I knew I didn't want to live with regret so I left my "dream job" to pursue full-time employment as a college instructor. Four years later my career shifted yet again into college counseling where I helped students navigate their transition into college while providing them with the skills and support to reach their vocational and personal goals. Along the way I became a leadership coach and helped start a campus ministry, CRU where I advised, discipled and developed Christian student leaders over 12 years.
In 2007, a diagnosis of breast cancer turned my life upside down. There's nothing like facing your own mortality to realize how tenuous life really is. My cancer journey once again taught me to not waste my pain and created a deep desire to find new ways to make a difference in the lives of others. For several years following my cancer treatment and recovery I shared my story of "finding God in the dark" to several groups and organization.
By 2016, I sensed the longing for change as my daughters launched into young adulthood and I was experiencing a growing dissatisfaction with my job responsibilities. I had always thought I would return to private practice but my combined experiences as a psychologist, counselor, instructor and speaker all pointed me into a whole new direction: COACHING. I loved being trained to help people in a whole new way, capitalizing on my strengths and skills as a psychologist but focusing on helping people achieve goals and upscale their lives. What mostly appeals to me about coaching folks is that it is all about inspiring people to move FORWARD with confidence living in alignment with their unique design.
However, to voluntarily leave a "secure" position (is there really such a thing anymore?) to create a business is risky. Fear of change kept me stuck UNTIL...a defining moment occurred as I left the funeral of a close student I had coached and encouraged from day one of her college experience. She died the semester before she was to graduate and she was only ONE year older than me! I was struck with the same powerful question I had when I was diagnosed with cancer, "What if your life ends with your song still inside of you?"
It was then I KNEW that I didn't want fear to keep me from living my best possible life even if there were no guarantees it would work out. So I took a leap of faith, announced my early RETIREMENT and, with God's guidance, created my first business, Crossroads Renewal, LLC at age 55. My guiding principle: you are never too old (or too young) to dream a new dream. As long as we have breath, we are here to continually develop ourselves into the best possible version of ourselves to bless the world with.
My rich journey of education may have started through formal schooling, but the most profound learning has occurred in the school of "hard knocks" (including many successes and failures) as well as ongoing professional development (learner and intellection round out my signature strengths.)
I am grateful for each experience that has taught me how to be the BEST LEADER of my own life so I can lead and impact others in theirs. Each difficult transition has helped me create the life I now love ...full of peace, joy, balance, confidence and significance, leading to the legacy
I want to leave behind..
That is who I am and what “CROSSROADS RENEWAL” IS ABOUT. I would love the opportunity to come alongside you EMPOWERING you to grow through challenges and transitions as you learn the right mindset and take the right actions to create a life you love.
Now that you've learned a little about me, let's get you growing forward!