I’m always curious about the serendipity of things, especially since I don’t believe anything is simply happenstance.
I’m not sure I chose to attend The Story Workshop in 2009 as much as it was something that just had to happen. Yes, I asked to be placed on a waiting list. Yes, I booked my own flight, drove myself to the airport, checked into my hotel, along with all the other things I had to physically do to get to The Story Workshop. But it was more.
My good friend, mentor, and pastor invited me to this conference in Seattle. He knew I admired Dan Allender’s work and hoped I would come with him to visit this graduate school taking a different approach to theology in its integration of psychology.
I was a pre-med student at the time, pondering a calling for pastoral work, and I was intrigued by the provocative brochure asking me about my story. I wanted some answers for what was next in my life, but I didn’t know so many of those answers would come from looking into my past through my work at the Story Workshop. I didn’t necessarily want the answers I found, but they were still the answers I needed to begin the wild goose chase The Story Workshop has sent me on toward knowing myself more deeply.
The impact of The Story Workshop was like an infinite echo. Because of what God whispered to me in those places of my story, I will never be the same. For those whispers and the tears of my Story Workshop peers and facilitators, I will be eternally grateful.
Compelled to pursue my own story, I found my heart for narrative and clues as to who I was created to be vocationally. The Story Workshop focused my eyes to see who I am and who I really want to be.
Before I knew it, I was recanting my medical school applications. After a year’s discernment, I decided to continue my story work and training as a Counseling Psychology student at The Seattle School of Theology & Psychology. Not all participants in The Story Workshop choose to up and move, change vocations, or relocate to pursue a degree at The Seattle School—though I was certainly not the first nor will be the last.
Still, we are all deeply impacted by The Story Workshop in the same way. Just like many of those who come to participate, I was living my story not knowing that I was the main character in my own play. The Story Workshop taught me that the script needed my help—God was inviting me to collaborate.