Recently we posted in celebration of International Women’s Day. While this important day provides a natural opportunity to celebrate women, we want to honour the contributions of women to the church and the world throughout the whole year. We hope that starting these profiles in ministry with our female staff and faculty demonstrates just some of our appreciation of women in the ACTS community. Today's profile is in celebration of Danielle Vriend-Fluit, Assistant Professor of Marriage and Family Therapy.
I felt called to go into the field of counselling, particularly with couples, individuals and families because I saw that as a Christ-follower and Kingdom-worker, I could walk with my clients through some of the darkest, most difficult and painful times of their lives and hold hope for them.
I felt called to work for the Kingdom of God in the deep and dark places of clients' emotional pain and journey alongside with them as they worked for greater healing and wholeness in their lives.
Ministry to me, as a Registered Psychotherapist and Marriage and Family therapist, involves so many different aspects: helping clients name and enfold truth, accompanying clients in pain, sojourning with clients in "the belly of the whale", listening well, accepting their humanity, seeing the image of God reflected back to me in clients' eyes, admiring God's handiwork and artistry in each unique client and story, advocating for clients who are voiceless and marginalized, delighting in the worth and value of each client, praying for my clients and their journeys and trusting that God is at work in my clients' lives and is bigger than their pain and trauma.
It's joyous when I hear a client, Christian or non, bond with Truth in their lives - when they are able to recognize and find healing from trauma and freedom in who they are meant to be. It's amazing when I can witness my clients restoring shalom with themselves, with others and with the world.
I encourage all women to have open eyes and ears to whatever call God is nudging on their lives - this guidance comes through the words of a trusted friend or mentor, a particular teacher, Scripture, prayer and reflection, the twists and turns of their own lives. Have open eyes, a reflective heart, and, of course, a good dose of courage to follow - because it usually involves risk!