Larry lives in Powder Springs with his wife of 34 years. He has 5 grown children and 7 grandchildren. After a 25+ year career in healthcare technology, Larry made a shift in 2019 to more earnestly pursue his calling as a discipleship counselor.
Larry received his training through Life Ministries Today, completing their internship program in September 2019. In addition, he has attended Soul Care Ministries International (SCMi) Academy, where he received his Certificate in Temperament Counseling. He is a Clinical Member of the National Christian Counselors Association and a member of the Sarasota Academy of Christian Counseling. Larry has been ordained by Stonebridge Church of Marietta for the Ministry of Pastoral Counseling.
I like to say that I have two stories. Growing up in a tumultuous, troubled, and violent home, I met Jesus as a confused and broken teenager. His irresistible love and amazing grace transformed my life in ways I could not have imagined. I had a new life!
And thus began my second story.
In this new place, instead of acknowledging that I was still hurting, I “shoved down” the unresolved pain and anxiety I felt every day and pursued my new life in Christ with passion. I worked to please and perform, all the while hoping those around me would not see my continued brokenness and desperate longing for love and acceptance. Addictions used to medicate my continuing inner “mess” were also carefully hidden. And the harder I pushed for significance, the more I grew to despise the man I was hiding.
This pursuit and masking continued for decades as I strove for success in my family, in my profession, and in church life. A beautiful wife, 5 amazing children, a successful career, and a lifetime of lay ministry painted a picture of success. I compulsively pursued higher and higher corporate positions, never said no to speaking or ministry opportunities, and was proud of my awards and accolades. Yet – I was an empty suit. The more years that passed, the more I became convinced that the mask would crumble, and I would be exposed as the fraud, the sham, the worthless man that I had always seen in the mirror. My wife and kids experienced my inner turmoil first-hand. “What is wrong with me?” I wondered. “How long can I keep up this façade?”
I came to Life Ministries Today seeking “life coaching” – some “tweaking” – to “fix” my anxiety, pat me on the back, and set me on a better path. What I found instead was a safe place to be honest, to confront my past, to uncover my true beliefs and shame, and to … breathe. There are no words to describe the One – God Himself – who I found there – not just waiting for me but pursuing me! I found in His embrace “release for the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, deliverance for those who are oppressed, who are downtrodden, bruised, crushed, and broken down by calamity” (Luke 4:18b).
The transformation that began in a teenage boy may have been distracted by my pursuits of the self-life, but what a joy to have finally surrendered to the relentless love of my wonderful heavenly Father!
As a discipleship counselor, it is exhilarating to see first-hand the healing, restoration, and freedom that Christ brings. “If the Son sets you free, you are free indeed!” (John 8:36)