Young widow hears calling in the midst of her grief

May 12, 2005 | Leave a Comment

Young widow hears calling in the midst of her grief

Scripture has always been important to Dana Schaefer. She has favorite Bibles for special segments of her life and has always marked special verses and made notes in the margins. But, perhaps, Scripture had the greatest impact on her as she struggled through the grief of losing her young husband. He was a police officer and was killed in the line of duty just before their second anniversary. The Psalms provided her the most comfort during that time. "The raw emotions that I experienced had been experienced by someone else and were written down!" she thought to herself. "Through my exposure to the Psalms during my grief journey, my image of God became one of an intimate Healer." Ultimately, through searching deeply into God's word, she began to feel the call to pursue theological education. She graduated in May with a Master of Divinity Degree from Campbell University Divinity School with a concentration in counseling and chaplaincy. Six months after her first husband's death, she was at a point in "my grief journey when I just started to realize that the sun would indeed rise again and that life would move forward for me," she explains. That was when she came across 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, which in part says, "the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God." Suddenly, she realized that she had been helped through her pain so that she could help others. "In short, God had given me compassion to minister to people because I had experienced brokenness," she said. Shortly after her marriage to second husband, Chris Schaefer, they moved to Clayton, N.C. She had completed one semester at McAfee School of Theology and soon transferred to Campbell. Only a few semesters passed before he, too, felt God's urge to study theology. "It has been a pure pleasure to have Chris as my fellow student, both in and out of the classroom. We have been able to discuss new topics in our home, set new priorities as a couple, and we even attempted preaching together," she adds. Dana serves as a counselor at House of Hope in Clayton, a Christian therapeutic school, home and counseling center for hurting and troubled girls, ages 12-17. She is seeking licensure as a counselor in the state of North Carolina. In addition to his studies, Chris works for Novo Nordisk in Clayton. They are members of Mount Olivet Baptist Church, Raleigh.

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