Hometown: Conway, AR
Title/Position: Director of Pastoral Care at Methodist Family Health
Briefly describe your role: I provide pastoral care to the children, teens, and adults in our behavioral health facilities. I also try to provide support to staff and work on bringing volunteers in to help enhance spirituality throughout our organization.
Q: Is what you’re doing now what you always pictured you would do?
A: Not at all! I wanted to work in a ministry setting from a fairly young age, and I’ve always been interested in ministry outside the walls of the church, but I never would have imagined that I would be working in the mental health industry. I love it though, and I’m so grateful to be here!
Q: What do you see as the greatest challenges for women in your chosen industry? What are the greatest opportunities?
A: There are still people who are very surprised when they find out that I am a woman and have a pastoral role. While I think we are moving to a place where this is more widely accepted, there have definitely been times in my career where simply being female has been a struggle. As far as opportunities—women in ministry have the chance to continue demonstrating that we are capable and gifted and have a place at the table.
Q: Who has inspired you in your life/career?
A: I would say that my dad has greatly inspired my understanding of the importance of serving others, and my mom has instilled in me the necessity of doing things well. I’m also inspired by the clergywomen of the church who have paved (and continue paving) the paths for those women coming after them. Finally, I’m in awe of the men and women at Methodist Family Health who so diligently serve young people in our state who are in need of mental and emotional support.
Q: What advice would you give to an aspiring professional?
A: Be sure to work toward balance. I have loved every organization that I have served, and I have enjoyed working hard, but I also have always made sure that I have taken time for myself. We can’t give to others if we are running on empty, which is why it’s so important that we are taking time to care for ourselves—spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. Schedule time doing things you enjoy and keep those appointments as diligently as you keep others.
Q: What’s been your secret to success?
A: I wouldn’t necessarily say that it’s a secret, but I think that in order to be successful we have to be willing to do hard or uncomfortable things. Just because something seems overwhelming doesn’t mean that we walk away. I feel like growing up, my introduction to leadership positions came just because I was willing to do that which others were hesitant to do. Sometimes we may not feel completely prepared or equipped to do a task, but we can’t walk away because we are afraid. I have found that the most exciting jobs are the ones that are a little scary!