Walk Right In Ministries is thrilled to welcome Deb Gustafson to our ministry team! She will be serving the WRIM community through administrative support and special projects. Her passion is to ensure people have what they need to succeed. She understands that each of us comes with a unique story and loves to watch how God uses our stories for His glory and purpose. As we introduce Deb today, we’ve asked her to tell you some of her own story and explain how she came to share in this ministry.
Deb, we’re very excited to get to know you! Please tell us about your beautiful family.
I’m very excited to be joining the team at WRIM. My husband, Brad and I have been married 20 years (on 8/18/21). We both grew up in White Bear Lake, Minnesota and were high school sweethearts. We have 3 kids – Elise (15), Hope (13), & Finn (11) and our goldendoodle, Willow. I’ve spent the last 20+ years working as an office administrator, 15 of those years from home. In addition to that role, I’ve also been blessed with the opportunity to stay home and raise our three kids, one of which I also homeschool. I also love spending time with my family and being outside in nature at our cabin.
How did you first learn about WRIM?
I first learned about WRIM three or four years ago when a mutual friend took our two daughters, Elise and Hope, to Jammin’ Pie Fest after church one Sunday. Both girls came home super excited to share about the pies they taste-tested, the backyard dancing, and the gift bag they took home with them. Yet that wasn’t all. The thing that stood out in my mind was how they both described how friendly and kind everyone was to them, with the bonus of getting to meet Peyton’s friend Carly.
Then shortly after that experience, we had the opportunity to watch Lisa in a video at church share about disability ministry. It was captivating and remarkable to see how the team at WRIM comes alongside families/caretakers of kids with disabilities in such a supportive and caring manner. After the video, our family was able to participate in worship with Carly and her family. You could see the WRIM vision in action throughout each member of the Jamieson family. It was an absolute gift to everyone in the room.
What drew you to this position and community?
Our oldest daughter Elise was diagnosed with Autism & Tourette’s during her elementary years. We found that doing school in a brick-and-mortar setting was not a good fit for her and pulled her out in 5th grade. Throughout the process of the doctor visits, therapies, school plans, meltdowns, and tears, we discovered that we couldn’t do this type of parenting alone.
God continued to show up in amazing ways to help us through each step of the process. We were able to connect with other families going through similar experiences and God blessed us with a support system that we didn’t even know we needed. This helped us all stop just surviving and start thriving.
Fast forward to today. Each summer I plan out a homeschool schedule for Elise. When I realized that she would be turning 16 this fall, it got me thinking about ways I could create a class to help her learn about different passions in addition to learning some basic job skills. When I got stuck in my planning, I decided to jump over to Facebook to do some mindless scrolling.
As I was scrolling social media, a post for a Virtual Ministry Assistant caught my eye. My first thought was, I wonder if that’s something that Elise would like to do? Then I realized that I actually knew of the business (WRIM), and a little bit about the person behind that post and her heart for others. I didn’t reach out immediately, but I did take a screen shot and saved it just in case.
As the night went on, and the planning for school continued, I kept feeling this nudging to just reach out and ask more about it for my daughter. This is not my typical response to Facebook posts. So, I knew that this was the beginning of something and that I needed to respond. What I didn’t realize in that moment, was that it was an invitation from God into something new for me.
Over the course of three weeks, that nudging turned into gathering information, reflecting, reading, praying, and lots of conversations. I couldn’t get enough. I also kept pondering all of the excuses that came to my mind of reasons why I shouldn’t do this. And yet, every devotional and prayer time was interwoven with messages of “Fix your eyes on Me, I have so much more for you.”
Those thoughts of doubt turned into thoughts of what if God is calling me into something new and uncomfortable for His purpose and plan?
It’s easy for me to get stuck in the familiar and comfortable place of my own life and inner walls, but I don’t think that’s what God wants for me. He’s calling me into a new community to help support other people in similar situations, just like He showed up for me when I needed the same support 10 years ago.
The verse that keeps resonating in me is Isaiah 30:21.
Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”
And here begins the new journey!
What are you most excited about in your role on the ministry team at WRIM?
I love learning new things and supporting people along their life journey. Each of us comes with a unique story and I love to watch how God uses every part of our story for His glory and purpose.
Will you help us welcome Deb with a celebration of greetings and encouragement? You can send her a direct message here.