Thursday, July 29, 2010


I knew that once my parents left I would start my search as to where my therapeutic skills be best used here in The Bahamas. I knew it but I fear I was not ready for it. I have over the past few months been given business cards, names of people to contact, all the while doing my own research too. But when it came to making those first few phone calls I fear I looked like the first time I did going off the high diving board at swimming lessons. I would gear my mind up the strength to pick up the phone, then ever so quickly put it down. Next I would pick up the phone and dial the first few numbers then just as fast hang up the receiver. I was not ready for the unsettled feeling in my stomach. I was not ready for the nervous sweats. I was not ready for the self doubt.

I really was caught off guard by these feelings, I normally go full force into something new and allow myself time for reflection, change the things that did not work then do it again. That is my MO of handling nerve wracking things, but not this time. I was down right nervous and nearing the dysfunctional level of worry.

After reflecting I was able to catch some of those thoughts that instilled the fear. What if my skills only work for Canadian teens and their families. What if I cannot get the culture and miss some of the bigger issues for my teens, What if I am not as approachable or effective as a therapist because I am not originally from here? What if I cannot gain a work permit? What if I cannot balance work and family, what if ..what if.. what if .. I started doubting so much that my insides began to revolt and I began to wonder if I should even try to find a place to work. So I hung up the phone and took a break.

I sat there looking at my desk when it dawned on me, those questions while they did get a bit out of hand were reasonable in nature. In fact if I did not ask them I would be a lousy therapist. To assume I could just jump right in and start work without paying attention to the newness around me would cause me to bring in my Canadian expertise into a non Canadian place, which would equal a lousy therapist. So I allowed those questions but asked them to not come at me so hard as I promised to do research and go slow with decisions and commitments. The tumult inside calmed a bit and I could once again resume my phone calls.

I know I have a lot to learn and I miss the confidence that my well established career in Canada had offered. I need to focus on the new and amazing learning curve that I will experience down here and I need to look to the reason why I do what I do in the first place, which in my opinion crosses all cultural boundaries. The reason I do what I do is because I believe with all my heart that everyone needs to know they are loved and there is no need to do this thing called life alone.
I will keep these truths in my heart to keep me going when I begin to fear. I will hold onto the truths when I feel self doubt knowing that it is okay to doubt myself because it is not my strength or abilities that I need to rely on. God has brought me here and I know He has a plan, and I know he will give me the strength to learn what I need to learn and do what I need to do.

Thank you for listening.
Shine on and thank you for shining into my life!



  1. HI Allie

    I can only imagine the immense fear that being in a new environment can bring...especially trying to figure out where you can be used. You are an amazing woman and God has given you a real gift, so I will continue to pray for further guidance and a peace that passes all understanding when it comes to figuring out where He wants you to work. I miss you, but having all your updates makes you feel like you are around the corner.

  2. My dearest Allie-

    The Enemy has a gifted way of making us question ourselves...and turning our "self-talk" into complete negation of all that we are gifted to do.

    You do what you do well, because you know from Whom your gift was given. You are a listening, very caring soul, whom I believe that God has placed in thie Paradise for His purpose.

    You are also a gifted studier of others...those who you will work with will teach you how your new culture and community will play into your times together.

    And with your shining personality, visible and genuine love of can you not have things go any other way, but well?

    I'll be praying for you, and for those you will be working with...and God will smile upon you and He walk with you off the diving board.

  3. What will serve you well is your ability to realize that the questions needed to be asked, which means you are sooo on the right track! Paul teaches us to be mindful of who we are talking to and be willing to adapt in order to reach them ... I think it's not too much of stretch to say that it applies to your circumstances as well. It will make you very effective when you do start utilizing your craft/gift in a more organized way (ie as part of a therapist's, or counsellor's daily work) in your new country. As someone who is native to this country, I predict that MUCH, dare I say, MOST of your outlook, skills and experience will be transferrable and your willingness to appreciate that there is a difference in culture will help in applying the 95% that is easily transferable ... your heart and God given mind will help get the other 5% covered. Keep God's love as your guidepost and it WILL get sorted out ... to His glory!