I am a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Florida. I am housed within the College of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry. I would be happy to share more of my story if interested, but I want to just provide a few highlights that I hope will provide encouragement to those who may be going through similar situations to what I have experienced in life.
I was born and raised in a Christian household, attending church and Sunday school pretty much every Sunday since birth. I heard the good news of Jesus's work on the cross but never really grasped it while in my youth and probably even in my young adult years. I have idolized education and success since as far back as I can remember. By age 4, I declared to my parents that I was going to be a doctor and held firm to this until my junior year of high school.
Many things contributed to my shift in educational and occupational goals, but one of the primary things that contributed was my realization that I wanted to have a family and started to doubt the ability to balance being a physician and being a mother (plus, I was dead-set on only considering either being a neurosurgeon or cardiovascular surgeon at this age). Thus, I started to consider psychology and entered Auburn University in the fall of 2000 as a psychology major.
For the first time in my life, my beliefs were challenged. I got indirect feedback from the professor of one of my psychology classes that I was "in the wrong field" for my beliefs that the Bible is the true word of God. I continued to push forward and got accepted to the Ph.D. Clinical Psychology program at Central Michigan University. I received some additional challenging there as well. I was discouraged, and there were times I thought that maybe I should abandon my career choice and just do something different. I worried about being able to complete my degree and finding a job as a licensed clinical psychologist.
Some decisions made in my personal life contributed to a very dark period of my life, and through this, I was challenged on my idol of academic success and on my need for control. Almost everything I set out to do at the beginning of graduate school (for example, graduate in 5 years and become a child psychologist) were all slipping away and becoming unfulfilled goals. Without those experiences, I would not be where I am today.
My main area of focus as a professor at UF is clinical work. I work with a population of only adults, and they almost all have a co-morbid substance use disorder. When I started in psychology, I had said there were three populations I would "never" work with: those with a substance use disorder, those with a personality disorder, and those with an eating disorder. However, I love where I work and those with whom I work, and I can see, looking back over all the struggles, frustrations, failures, disappointments, uncertainties, and tears, that I am exactly where God had always intended for me to be.
I have three children of my own, and God is still working within me to tear down my idol of intelligence and to really submit myself to Him. My goal is to glorify God in all I do, whether that is when I meet with patients, interact with colleagues, teach students, supervise residents, or interact with my husband and children.
"Romans 8:28 is one of the most comforting texts in all of Scripture. It assures the believer that all 'tragedies' are ultimately blessings. It does not declare that all things that happen are good in themselves, but that in all the things that happen to us, God is working in and through them for our good. This is also firmly grounded in His eternal purpose for His people.” -- RC Sproul
Friends describe me
Quiet (until you get to know me more), hard-working, a good listener, caring
Music, writing, playing with my children, watching football (WAR EAGLE!!)
Fantasy dinner guests
I would love to have dinner with Jesus and to get to hear Him teach directly. I also have questions I would love to have more clearly answered.
Best advice I ever received
Stop trying so hard. Trust God.
My worst subject in school
If I weren't a professor, I would
a medical doctor. I would like to say I would probably still pursue being either a neurosurgeon or cardiovascular surgeon, but I would also like to think that I would be more open to pursuing another specialty within the medical field.
The Harry Potter series, The Prodigal God by Tim Keller
My latest accomplishment
Completing the requirements for a certificate in Educational Development. Also, being an introvert, I have defined leading one of the Bible study sessions of my women's Faculty Commons discipleship group as an accomplishment as well.
I am currently looking at beginning my research. Will update this when I have it up and running.
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