I am Pamela Hardin. I find my identity in Jesus Christ. I am a beloved daughter of the Most High God, a wife, a mother of four amazing adult children and two perfect poodles, a counselor, a coach, a writer, a researcher, a student, a teacher, and a friend.
I am passionate about continuing to grow my relationship with my husband, Bob, and loving my family well. Exercise and healthy eating are now part of my DNA. I have a heart for people who find themselves stuck ~ whether in a cycle of anxiety or depression, an unhealthy relationship, a life transition, or on a quest to know God intimately and intentionally.
I am an avid reader and researcher of all topics. My teaching career included many years spent with first graders, kindergartners, preschoolers, and their beautiful families. Confession Time… I often found myself more enthralled with the relationships and social issues surrounding teaching than the actual academic content of the job.
God revealed my purpose as only He can ~ often in the rearview mirror as I look back over my life. My last teaching assignment was at a University Lab School. The families I served often struggled ~ with poverty, domestic violence, parenting challenges ~ you name it. I fell deeply in love with serving them and found myself relying moment by moment on Jesus. A summer mission trip to Haiti and leading a small group at our church further sharpened my vision. But, I was left with a restlessness, a quest for purpose; there was still a missing piece.
Who knew that the missing piece would fall into place through a health crisis?! I came home from Haiti in 2012 and my husband and I both sensed my purpose and my passion were soon to be revealed by God. We waited. And waited. And waited. The months rolled by into May 2013. In the span of four short weeks, our daughter graduated from college, married, and moved to Virginia. Our sons completed graduate school and launched their careers. And me… I was diagnosed with breast cancer. This was not the summer we had anticipated. My husband and I were puzzled. This could not be the collision of my purpose and passion. But our thoughts are not God’s thoughts; our ways are not His ways.
So, I did the hard stuff. The surgery, the follow-up treatment, and the healing. In the midst of the hard, I decided to pursue Christian counseling to help me process, grieve, and recover. And right there in the middle of my pain, Jesus met me. He carried me, He counseled me, He held me. And that’s when I knew in my bones that my pain would become my purpose.
I would like to say I immediately signed up for graduate school ~ but I never do anything the easy way. Instead, I continued my work at the University Lab School until our program lost its funding. Next, I applied to Seminary for a Master’s program in Clinical Counseling. I was accepted but did not feel settled. After much prayer and …. RESEARCH, I applied to a different graduate school and decided to study pastoral counseling instead.
And that is where you find me today. I am a pastoral counselor and also a life coach. I published a children’s book, “My Name is Mimi," to honor my late friend, created a website and blog with the creative expertise of my young techie friend, and organized an annual team to walk in the Step Up for Stefanie Walk/Run to benefit the Stefanie Spielman Breast Center. Passion and Purpose collide.
I live out my purpose daily by focusing on a large pink index card in my home office. I placed it there the day I started graduate school and it remains front and center on my desk, “She believed God could, so she did.” Each counseling session I prep for begins the same way, “Lord, open my eyes, open my ears, open my heart, and open my hands so that I might meet this person here with you. Holy Spirit, I want to get out of your way.”
As you wait for your Passion and Purpose to collide, there will be challenges ~ expect them, welcome them, and learn from them. I discovered that there will always be naysayers ~ sometimes they may even be friends or extended family members. I heard, “You’re going back to school?!” “You’ll never recoup your financial investment at your age!” “Aren’t you ready to retire?” That is the moment when you find your mantra ~ whatever it is ~ and imprint it on your mind, heart, and spirit.
If you are still searching for your purpose ~ that passion~ the reason to get up in the morning: Don’t give up! And never, ever discount your deepest hurt ~ because sometimes you just may find your purpose waiting patiently within your pain.
You can find me at pamelahardincounseling.com which is also home to my two blogs. My journey through breast cancer is chronicled in pinkisnotacolor.com and my current counseling and coaching blog is “Solid Ground.” My Facebook Business page is Pamela Hardin Counseling and Coaching.
Be patient ~ passion and purpose will collide.
Pamela D. Hardin, MA
Pastoral Counselor and Life Coach
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