Thursday, May 12, 2011

The Lord Provides for our Heart's Desire...RD World

I am amazed by the way that the Lord has laid out his blessings in my life.
I know a lot of people don't get the whole RD (Resident Director) thing. People frequently call me a RA, think I live in a dorm room, and the confusion goes on.
The truth is ever since College I have wanted to a RD. I know it's hard to believe but it's true. When I graduated from Anderson U. I was unfortunately not in a place emotionally where I could pursue that dream. After taking a year and a half off from school I decided to pursue my MA in Counseling at CCU.

Right after I graduated, my two best friends from Grad school and I went on our annual trip to her Uncle's condo in Florida. My mentor had just given me the book "Dream Giver" and I vividly remember walking on the beach praying to the Lord about my future endeavors and feeling like the Lord was bringing back my dream to be a RD. It was hard to want that b/c I had just completed my MA in counseling and was ready to get into a counseling job. So I just kept praying and even remember having a specific conversation with Rachel about being a RD at CCU.

I received a call from the Dean of Women at that time the next month inquiring about my interest in becoming a RD at CCU. Wow. CCU is a small, private, Christian college. The dorm size is small. And due to that, I was able to also work as a counselor at another dream job (Pregnancy/Adoption Counselor...another story) at the same time. How was this possible? I was offered two positions I always wanted in the same time period.

I had no idea what I was doing when I first started as the RD. My first year was very stressful and the dorm was busting. Girls were living on top of each other which created a lot more conflict. It was an intense year. But its amazing to me how each year I have grown and learned and it's become a natural part of our lives. I know the rhythms of the school year. I am better prepared to deal with roommate conflicts when they arise. I feel more confident in my leadership. I am more light hearted when problems arise. The only other career I have considered outside of Counseling and Student Development is teaching at the college level. After a brief email to the head of the Psych. program here at CCU, I was offered two undergrad classes to teach. Crisis & Grief Counseling and Abnormal Psychology. What a challenging and rewarding experience. This also increased my exposure to commuter and male students, which was awesome. I hope to still teach at CCU in the future.

Well, Eric and I have lived in two different dorms during our tenure at CCU. Our apt now is definitely a lot more spacious than the first. We have worked with well over 500 women during this time. I have served with three different RDs/friends, two different bosses and 25 different RA's (who I love!!!) Many students have become dear friends of ours. We will forever cherish our time here. I will miss all of the knocks on the door (even the late nights). I will miss the in- depth conversations. I will miss mentoring women. I will miss the drama. I will miss the screaming, singing, dancing, laughing and slamming doors. I will miss witnessing the 18 year old girls turn into women during their time at CCU. I will miss the uplifting Christian atmosphere.

A lot has happened in our lives in the past five years.
The run down of our time here...
May 2006 Graduate
July 2006 Begin RD job
Sept. 2006 Get Penny, my dog who was a puppy then
Sept. 2006 Meet Eric
Oct. 2006 Begin Adoption/Pregnancy counselor job
May 2007 Engaged
July 2007 Married
August 2007 Eric starts his MA in Healthcare Administration
December 2008 Pregnant
September 2009 Simon is born
December 2009 Finish working as a counselor
January 2010 Move to the bigger dorm apt.
January 2010 Begin teaching two undergrad Psychology classes at CCU
May 2010 Eric Graduates with his MA and goes right into his first job (Praise God)
September 2010 Began leading the Moms group at our church
December 2010 Pregnant again
February 2011 Miscarriage
March 2011 Buy our first Home
June 2011 Move to our first home

It has been a crazy ride! Thinking about CCU entails so much more than just living in a dorm for FIVE years. We have so many memories here. So many faces. So many women who have entered our "home" and spent time with our family. It has been such an honor and a privilege. Who wouldn't want to live with people like these...

Recently Eric and I were talking as I was expressing sadness over our decision to move on from CCU and Eric was encouraging me that I will still have opportunities to build into women's lives. It will just be in different ways. And I don't know what those ways will be but I'm trusting God to open the doors. I also am seeing my time needing to be largely invested into my little family. They deserve my affection, time and emotional presence. There's no doubt that there are times the family takes the back seat from the job. More family time will be a welcomed change.

One last thing to mention that is also hard for people to believe is that Eric wholeheartedly engages in this RD world. He has enjoyed it as much as I have. His one complaint is that in five years, no one has knocked on the door for But the truth is, Eric has offered the residents a lot of truth and wisdom over the years as well. What a blessing to me that he has supported and encouraged me in my role.