Recently, due to circumstances changing with my former office located at my church (generously donated by them for the past several years), The Lord moved the ministry out in to the community in to a rented office.
Admittedly this happened sooner than expected and I was not entirely convinced it was time for this financially, but I reminded myself that this was our vision all along, to become a "counseling center" that is not connected to only one church, but as a parachurch that exists to serve all local churches everywhere. Our heart is, and will remain, for the local church where counseling truly 'belongs'. Because we believe that, we offer counseling, coaching, consulting and training for and in our local churches as well as online. This new office will be an effective place to fulfill our mission of expanding the ministry of Biblical Counseling in our community and beyond.
The new office is in a rented space in a unique part of my town called "Old Orcutt". Word of Hope Ministries has a new home here and the future looks bright and exciting! Please pray for the ministry - for the Gospel to go forth, for hurting people to find hope here, and for funding and provision for rent so that the work can continue.
Below are my personal reflections about the first week in the new office, it was good for me to type them out in order to keep an attitude of gratitude. I really did this just for myself, but decided to also share it here. Change is HARD, that's just real. But we can respond to it biblically or selfishly - that is the challenge. I've learned hard and good lessons in this journey (with more ahead, of course.) Maybe this will speak to your situation somehow, too.
My first week in a new place:
*My new office is really nice. You should come visit and enjoy some coffee or tea with me.
*I miss being in a church for various reasons, but mostly I miss knowing the church staff were right nearby, even if we didn't talk every day. I could always count on a good morning or wave from my good buddy Matt. It’s weird to work alone. That’s not a complaint, I am really excited about the potential in this new office moving forward. I just need to grieve a bit and I miss sharing the day-to-day of ministry with my church leaders and friends.
My church cheered me up today by sending me a really pretty "office-warming” plant. So nice!
*I was afraid I’d be really lonely here. I do feel that sometimes, but I also like a certain amount of alone time to work and I have been very productive this week, getting tasks done that I had been avoiding too long! It is a mental exercise to look for silver linings, but there are many here. (And I anticipate the ministry adding volunteers and staff in coming months/years, so being alone here is just a season. It helps to remember that!)
*Music is good company while I work. Like moving to a new house, moving to a new office is full of weird noises that I'd like to mask rather than be startled by them.
*I have a great view of nature out both windows. I am the only office on this side of the building, and the peaceful environment is unique since the building is actually on a fairly busy street that I don't even notice while working.
*Lawyers make a lot of noise when they work in the office right above you. I’m not sure what all the tromping around and opening and closing doors and the big THUMPs I hear a few times a day are, but I’m sure I will get used to it. She probably hears my music, so that’s fair enough.
*So far, those who have come to the office have found it comfortable, safe, warm and very private. Exactly what I had hoped to achieve - environment is very important in this ministry. I’m so grateful for this kind of feedback.
*We have some really great thrift and repurposing stores right here in Orcutt. I furnished this place for next to nothing (compared to buying retail, that is.) And I got everything I was hoping for right nearby.
*The very first house we lived in here in Orcutt 13 years ago is visible from my office window.
*I have generous friends. Thanks to some donated items and decorating advice, things are coming together nicely. Not to mention visits with coffee or lunch in hand, knowing I’d be a tad lonely until I get used to this. It’s been a blessing.
*My first counseling appt. here was with a teen girl. She settled in to the “new” furniture quickly, and we had a great session. I love to serve the young generation, youth are fun, amazing, insightful, deep, complicated, messy, and God loves them and so do I - many more to come to this new place in coming months/years.
*Some have told me that they would feel more comfortable coming to this kind of more private office instead of the church building when they need counseling. We will see how true that is as time goes by. I’m not stating my opinion here, but it is an interesting observation. There are pros and cons to all situations, for sure. I plan to focus on the ‘pros’ as I move forward. Sometimes that is easier said than done but we are all works in progress.
*If you know anyone who needs to know there is HOPE, send them to Word of Hope Ministries, it’d be a privilege to serve them!