We are very happy to introduce you to the newest member of our team, Jennifer Jeffrey. Jennifer is working in the front office position at Journey to Hope and so she may be the first person you may talk with on the phone or see when you arrive. Welcome, Jennifer. We are so glad you are with us, and looking forward to the journey with you. Here is a little about Jennifer:

Jennifer is originally from Fairfax Station Virginia. Jennifer and her husband Kenny decided to move their family to this area 13 years ago, and they believe it was one of the best decisions they have ever made. Jennifer loves the Lord,  is compassionate about serving others, living life to the fullest and spoiling her grandchildren. 

Jennifer has 21 years of work experience in the public and  feels that season has come to an end and she embraces the next chapter of her life she is excited and looks forward to serving here at Journey To Hope. 


JULY 15, 2017 UPDATE We had a great time spreading some hope all through town yesterday. Thanks to our incredibly talented clients who created some amazing Rocks of Hope. A couple of my favorites were "Hope..inner beauty revealed through brokenness" and "Life is a climb, but the view is great for there is hope". Some clues in the pictures about where we hid some of these...and some great help hiding from Kenzie and Romeo. Hope you find some of our hope today. #TheBurgRocks #Hopeiseverywhere

JULY 13, 2017We are very busy getting ready to hide Hope all over Fredericksburg! Our clients have been hard at work painting rocks in our office this week. One for clients to take with them to hide, and one left for us to hide. Hope is the best thing we can give and share, so we hope to see these all around town💛



July 5, 2017

Susie Walden

I want to take a moment today to rewind to verse 14 in Chapter 2, specifically the first 8 words…. “For Christ himself is our way of peace.”

Ephesians 2:14Living Bible (TLB)
14 For Christ himself is our way of peace. He has made peace between us Jews and you Gentiles by making us all one family,[a] breaking down the wall of contempt that used to separate us.

Andy and I decided to watch a movie really loud last night, to try to help our Goldens make it through the fireworks popping everywhere. There is something about the sounds and smells of fireworks that raises their anxiety to such high levels. We went to fireworks in Spotsy on Saturday night so we could be home with them last night. Because, you see, our presence brings them peace. It is interesting how just our hand on their back can calm them or settle them, and allow them to rest and even sleep. I think it’s because they trust us to take care of them more than the sounds and smells scaring them outside. And that is a great lead-in to today’s look at how Christ is our peace.

For me, some mornings everything seems to go wrong, or at least less than ideal. In my morning experience, it is usually spills, losing things like keys, or my phone(do you know how many times I use that amazing “find my iPhone” app each and every week?!?!?) or my purse and then getting in the car and realizing I need gas immediately, and of course, I am running late for work. And then I realize I left my laptop in the house so I have to go back home to get it. Do you ever have days like that? Little things seem like big things and the stress adds up to a less than great start to the day. Mondays seem to be the day when things like this go awry in my world. How about you?

Yet all these little things that do not go exactly right add up to a much needed reminder for my heart. My identity isn’t placed in what I lose, what I wear, how I feel, or whether I make a mistake (or 2 or 3!). When I place my identity in these things, my day becomes about me, and not about Christ. I put myself down and end up being unproductive and stalled for that moment, and sometimes even longer.

But when I put my identity in Christ, and remind myself that He is my peace, He picks me back up and gets me back on course for the day. For in Christ we have a purpose, “…so that we, who were first to set our hope on Christ, might be to the praise of his glory” (Eph. 1:12). This purpose is not our own, it does not change as the days go by, and it is not about Susie. In Christ, we live for His praise and not our own – and with that, we find peace, for “He is our peace” (Eph. 2:14). Reading through Ephesians, I get a clear reminder that I am firmly set in God, and that I was one of his brilliant ideas. Even on a Monday. “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them,” Ephesians 2:10.

In God, we have power because He has grace. We have wisdom because He has mercy. We have life because He has love.

My challenge to you is to read through Ephesians, realign yourself with God’s love and purpose fulfilled through you, and to embrace today as His day.

Just as Paul began his letter to The Ephesians with “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ,” I say go out and greet your world with grace and peace. Because He is our peace. So, be Christ in this world.

Prayer. Dear Lord, help me on the days when everything goes wrong and Peace is nowhere to be found, remind me gently that you are my peace, and that everything in my Day filters through your hands. Let me trust you more with my “stuff.” Remind me as well that You are greater than anything I face in any day. Amen.


Good morning! My small group is doing a summer study of the Book of Ephesians and we are taking turns writing daily devotions to study and encourage each other. I am so very blessed that I got to write one on Hope today🌼🌸.

What is this HOPE we have been called to share?
Susie Walden

Ephesians 1:17-19Living Bible (TLB)
16-17 I have never stopped thanking God for you. I pray for you constantly, asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you wisdom to see clearly and really understand who Christ is and all that he has done for you. 18 I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can see something of the hope He has called you to share. I want you to realize that God has been made rich because we who are Christ’s have been given to him! 19 I pray that you will begin to understand how incredibly great his power is to help those who believe him. It is that same mighty power….


Good morning. Of course, I am going to take every opportunity to speak about hope. My favorite word in the universe.

In this passage in Ephesians, Paul is praying. Love the way he prays! He is praying in verse 18 for God to open the eyes of our hearts so that we are able to see the hope He has called us to share.

So, the first requirement is to
Open the eyes of your heart.
So that it is filled? No! So that is it FLOODED with light, so then you can see clearly this HOPE. This hope that will not disappoint.(Romans 5:5) This hope that is an anchor for your soul (Hebrews 6:19). This hope, Christ, our only hope of glory !(Colossians 1:27)

Wow. There is enough in this one verse to keep me encouraged all week.

How then do I open the eyes of my heart?

The word ‘heart‘ in Scripture signifies the very core and centre of life, where the intelligence has its post of observation, where the stores of experience are laid up.

I like this explanation of where many of us find ourselves…”Too many Christian hearts have no eyes (places where they gain real knowledge and understanding), and too many Christian eyes have no heart…."God wants both to be combined in us.

And the secret? It is ours for the asking. To believe that He keeps his promises and wants us to know Him and share this amazing hope.

So my challenge for you today is:
Do you know this Hope? Do you share it?
Do you speak the language of hope to your family and friends and coworkers?

If the native tongue of your heart is more often whining and complaining, change the language of your heart right now. To Hope. As a Christian, Hope is the native tongue of one who is believing, waiting, trusting, Sharing. Learn to speak the language of hope fluently, with confidence. Because for many, hope is like a foreign language to you and it is hard for you to become fluent in the language of Hope. And we are called to be people of Hope.

And yet Hope is not just for me because of my counseling practice, Journey to Hope. It is for all of us who have opened the eyes of our heart. It is for you. And we are to live hope, breathe hope and share hope with a world that feels hopeless.

Much love and HOPE prayed for you, Susie💙

Choose to Live

I am sharing something today that is painful to read, to think about, to remember. A client, Marilyn, has given me permission to share her story in the hopes that it might help someone else who is struggling to choose life. This post is for you and for those you love and who love you. Today, February 17th, 2017 marks the day just one year ago, when her husband chose to end his life by suicide. He left behind his wife and three boys who thought the world of their Dad. He was also a beloved middle school teacher. Here is Marilyn's story. May I just say thank you for allowing me to share it? Walking with you in this journey of grappling with the pain and healing is an honor and a privilege. You are a beautiful, strong woman of faith that I have grown to care for very much. I pray for continued healing for you and your boys.

In Christ, Susie


"Tomorrow would be Ray's 51st birthday and in two weeks it will be one year since he died which is really hard to believe! There are still so many unanswered questions. There are still so many emotions. I know that everyone who knew Ray was as shocked as we were. It's still so hard to grasp that he did what he did. My hope is to be allow this tragedy to educate us all and to teach us to never minimize depression and anxiety. Ray was apparently in such an emotionally dark place that he truly believed he was doing us a favor by leaving us. He was unable to recognize this internal lie or to see the depths of the pain he would cause. I believe his intentions were never to hurt us...any of us! But he did hurt us...all of us. Yet there is much to be grateful for. We will always be thankful for Ray's life; his commitment to his family; his faith; the love, fun and laughter that he brought to our lives; and the years we had him. He will never be forgotten. His memories will always live on in so many positive ways. We are grateful for that and for him! But we will always wish his story had not ended like this. He had so much to live for! He made a decision that he made alone. We cannot take responsibility for his action. However, my hope is we will all be more aware and better equipped to recognize and help those in pain.

To anyone who might be considering suicide, please don't do it! Please get help. Tell someone! Call a family member, a friend, a pastor, a counselor, a hotline, someone, anyone! The national suicide prevention hotline is 1-800-273-TALK (8255). There is no shame in admitting you are struggling with depression or with thoughts of suicide. There is no shame in asking for help!! Depression is real and awful but your life is worth fighting for!! There are many people who care!! Don't leave your family wondering why they weren't enough to keep you from choosing to leave them. It's devastating!

To those of us who don't struggle with depression, it is very difficult for us to imagine suicide as a thought let alone an option. Please know it is real and please reach out to anyone you see who might be struggling. Don't be afraid. Be bold! Ask THE question; put it on the table; offer to take them for an assessment or to the hospital. Ask what you can do to help.

Ray hid his intentions well. He did not want us to know his plans. He and I had many deep conversations about his struggles but he never let on he was suicidal. I know I could not have been any more supportive or encouraging than I was. Yet knowing now what I know, I would have been bolder in our discussions. I believed he was sharing everything. He wasn't.

My family will be processing this trauma and tragedy the rest of our lives. I chose to see Susie at Journey to Hope, a licensed Christian professional counselor to help me process through the pain, to get to a place of forgiveness, and to get to a healthy place again. It is through difficult work and God's grace that I am healing and will continue to heal. I have learned a lot including that it is impossible to get healthy if you attempt to avoid the pain.

I know this tragedy has touched many of you deeply as well and I hope and pray you are healing. Healing does not mean forgotten. It means coming to acceptance of what is and being in an emotionally healthy place.

I am thankful for all of the support that my family and I have had over this year. It has been tremendous! Thank you! We will forever be grateful to all of you. I hope sharing my journey is helpful to you. Sending love, hugs, prayers, and appreciation to each of you!"