News - Calling: When God Tells You What I Should Do

Calling: When God Tells You What I Should Do

By Dr. Thomas R. Clark '63

For today's students, Kinney and LaDue are names on buildings, but to Dr. Tom Clark '63, the names call to mind two professors whose tag-team prayers profoundly influenced his career path. Read Tom's account about what happens when God's call comes through a third party. 

I was in my junior year at Greenville College (1962) and had just realized my goal of early acceptance (with a scholarship) to the University of Michigan Medical School starting in September 1963 with full intention to become a physician. However, the Lord had other plans.

The Lunch That Left Me AstonishedKinney

I started to take a few psychology courses under Dr. Elva Kinney simply to meet degree elective requirements along with my biology major. After my first psych course with her, she took me to lunch one day and shared that I was one of her best students and that she had been praying  for me; she felt God telling her to share that my gifts might actually be in mental health, not physical medicine.

I was astonished and told her that while I was on speaking terms with the Lord as well, He hadn't told me anything! 

She asked me to pray about it for a period  of time.

Astonishment Times Two

Mary LaDueI shared this information with one  of my music mentors, Dr. Mary Ladue, who thought and prayed about it as well. She affirmed/confirmed  that she agreed with Dr. Kinney. 

To make a long story short, as it were, the more I prayed about it over the next few months, the more I felt led by God to change my career focus to a PhD in psychology as opposed to my original MD goal. I must admit, I did not like the idea of giving up that scholarship to U. of M. Med  School, since I had visited the place the previous two summers just so they could  know who I was (especially being  from a small college like GC). 

A Step of Faith and Subsequent Blessing

However,  I ventured out on faith at God's leading and the support of my two professors. I applied for the PhD program, was accepted, and given a free ride when  I was awarded a doctoral fellowship that not only paid for my tuition for five years, but also paid for room/board/living expen­ses, plus a monthly check to live on, all tax-free (and I didn't even have to do research or teach).  

What a confirmation that was for me.

Now, after a long and  successful  career as  a psychologist with my own clinic, it is very clear to me that God's hand was in those decisions, and I am deeply and eternally  grateful to those two GC professors that felt led by God to lead me in turn. God said, "Follow me." They did, and I  did.

Clinical and police psychologist Dr. Thomas R. Clark is president and executive director of Alpha Psychological Services. He also specializes in addictions, sports psychology, anxiety, mood disorders, sexual dysfunction, as well as post-traumatic stress disorders. Dr. Clark is a member of GC's Alumni Board.

GC Vision: We inspire our students to embrace God's call. Go here to tell us your story about embracing God's call.

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This story was published on November 03, 2016

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