News - Calling: Thanks Mom, Gentle Conversation and Wise Counsel

Calling: Thanks Mom, Gentle Conversation and Wise Counsel

Mallory Sample ’07 was a high school freshman when her 38-year-old mom was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer. Just days after diagnosis, her mom underwent a double mastectomy and began chemotherapy. Thus begins Mallory’s tale about a wise but gravely ill counselor who gently guided her daughter to embrace God’s call.   

For the next two and a half years my mom would ride the ups and downs of someone living with cancer.

  • She would enter remission and begin reconstruction only to find out that once again her cancer had returned in full force.
  • She would encourage her kids to live their lives, to not let this slow them down or impact their decisions.
  • She would do her best to keep things "normal" and apologize when she couldn't.
  • She would shield us from so much of her pain and discomfort.
  • She would smile and laugh with us instead.

Private Talk

When I was a senior in high school and trying to figure out what I wanted to do, my mom was not able to handle too much activity. She spent a lot of time in bed. I would sometimes crawl in with her at the end of my day, and we’d talk.

On this particular day I explained how I thought I had wanted to be a teacher. But after shadowing an elementary teacher for a few weeks, I concluded that it wasn't for me. Now I was lost. What was it that I was supposed to do with my life? What impact would I be able to have?

Mom's Wisdom: See the Patterns

When I was finished my mom said, "Mallory, you're so good at listening to others. Mallory SampleYou're so good at sharing advice. And you know what it feels like to go through hard times. I see your friends and cousins all coming to you when they need someone to lean on. Have you ever thought about being a counselor?"

I had not, but in that very moment it was clear to me that this was the path I needed to pursue.

A few months later, my mom died, but not before she suggested Greenville College as a place for me to attend (she had grown up going to Durley Camp during her summers). She was even able to visit the campus with me.

Helping Others Through the Valley

Less than a year after her death I began my journey at GC with a clear goal in mind: learn how to help others through the valleys of their lives. This was my calling. Today, when I enter my office, I carry out just a little bit of the legacy my mom left.

What I've Learned: When God Calls, God Equips

Calling is not always easy! In my case, I hear a lot of sad and scary stories. I see broken people. But I've also learned that God has equipped me with a certain set of skills and abilities to handle it.

God has equipped me to look at the persons sitting across from me and recognize their trust, their willingness to share their stories, and their pain as a gift. I don't take that lightly. He has wired me to want to turn that pain into triumph. It’s both exciting and beautiful.

A pastor once said that with God's calling comes God's supply and I have seen that to be true over and over again.

GC Vision: We inspire our students to embrace God's call. Go here to share your story about calling.

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This story was published on August 26, 2016

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