Dr. Dorothy Smith-Hubbard, pastor of Community of Love UMC in Angleton, Texas, and Asbury Seminary alum joins me on the Thrive with Asbury Seminary Podcast today. We talk about how she came to understand her calling as a woman in ministry, her own healing process that helped her find her identity in Christ, and, of course, her book “Reducing Anxiety of Persons Practicing Pastoral Care.”
Dr. Dorothy Smith-Hubbard, Local Pastor in UMC South District Conference, Houston, Texas
Dr. Dorothy Smith-Hubbard a native of Winchester Ky., is married to Roland Hubbard, a mother of four adults, serves as a Local Pastor in UMC South District Conference, Houston, Texas. She is the author of a publication entitled, “Reducing Anxiety in Persons Practicing Pastoral Care through Interpathy Training,” which may be purchased at amazon.com. She has a earned Doctorate of Ministry Degree in Pastoral Care and Counseling from the Oral Roberts University and holds two Masters Degrees in Church Leadership and Christian Ministry from Asbury Theological Seminary. She is also the Executive Director of Branches, Inc., a non-profit organization with a mission to empower leaders. She teaches a weekly “Face Your Fear” internet class to reduce anxiety in persons desiring to and practicing pastoral care. Dr. Dorothy has a powerful story about overcoming trauma and anxiety in order to step into ministry. She is ready to share what it takes to breakthrough, lead and serve your church and community effectively.
Heidi Wilcox, host of the Thrive Podcast
Writer, podcaster, and social media manager, Heidi Wilcox shares stories of truth, justice, healing and hope. She is best known as the host of Spotlight, (especially her blooper reel) highlighting news, events, culturally relevant topics and stories of the ways alumni, current students and faculty are attempting something big for God. If you can’t find her, she’s probably cheering on her Kentucky Wildcats, enjoying a cup of coffee, reading or spending time with her husband, Wes.
Heidi: Hey everyone! Welcome to this week’s edition of the Thrive with Asbury seminary Podcast, where we bring you conversations with authors, thought leaders and people just like you. To help you connect with where your passion meets the world’s deep need. This week on the podcast, we’re talking with Dr. Dorothy Smith Hubbard, Pastor of Community of Love UMC in Angleton Texas. In this episode, we talked about her journey from her calling to be a pastor, to why she wrote Reducing Anxiety on Persons Practicing Pastoral Care and ways we can establish a healthy personal identity. So I want to let you know that we had some audio issues with this recording that were completely my fault as just learning and so our audio technician work some magic and so we’re able to share that with you but it’s not our normal production quality. But this conversation was too good not to share with you. So I hope you enjoy it. Let’s listen. So excited to get to talk to you today-
Heidi: I so enjoyed meeting you a few weeks ago, and was just delighted when it worked out. That we could talk.
Dorothy: Oh, it was– it was a blessing. You are such a gift, to the Body of Christ.
Heidi: Oh, well, thank you.I really enjoyed what you had to talk about, regarding your own journey and pastoral ministry-
Heidi: … and your book, Reducing Anxiety of Persons Practicing Pastoral Care too. I enjoyed reading that. Especially, this may not have been your main point, but one of the things that stood out to me in your book, was being a non anxious presence, and
Heidi: … valuing your own ideas, respecting those of others. And this isn’t exactly what you were talking about. But it helps me see things we’re doing like a family vacation this summer-
Heidi: … so there’s me and my husband, my parents and some cousins I’ve never met before. And I was getting all like, stressed up, I’ve to make everybody happy, which was not making me happy and-
Heidi: Your words were so helpful because I was like, “Okay, we’re going to do what’s best for us we’re not gonna intentionally make other people mad-
Dorothy: Yes, right.
Heidi: … but I’m going to stop being anxious and stop trying to please 15 people and just being like, “this is what we’re doing.” So it was really timely for me.
Dorothy: We know people have expectations for us, and we want to please and we want to make everyone happy. And that’s a good goal. But the non-anxious presence, when you have the presence of God in your life, you have got to love your neighbor as you love yourself.
Dorothy: And so, are practicing that grace, sometimes it can be difficult but you got to be in touch with how you can maintain your own inner peace, and not be anxious, and reduce the anxiety by being okay with yourself.
Heidi: Yeah. Being okay but other people aren’t okay, because I’m okay.
Dorothy: Right. Because sometimes people have unrealistic expectations of us. And sometimes we have taught them how to treat us. And sometimes we need to rethink, “Okay, how can we have a win win situation? I can give this part of me, but I can’t give them that part of me, because that belongs to my husband.” Priorities and a balance. And still having fun, even if others have to adjust. To you focus is on what’s going to bring peace for yourself and the whole group.
Heidi: For me right now, it’s learning how to be a grown up.
Heidi: You know what I mean?
Heidi: Because we haven’t been married that long. And I’ve been grown up like before we got married. But it’s been a new way now. Transitioning from being my parents’ daughter to my husband’s wife and vice versa. It’s like a-[inaudible 00:04:10]
Dorothy: It is a shift.
Dorothy: It’s a shift. I say something in reference to that in my book about, you have a rose, and when you hold that rose, you have to make sure that you guide your fingers through where it does not prick you with the thorns. In life there are- there is a wonderful fragrance that comes from a rose in our journey. But then there’s also the thorns that can prick us. And when you are making this transition from allowing your parents to understand there’s been a shift in the paradigm, that you- Yes, you always be their daughter, but you are a grown woman. So you’re able to make those choices and also not only that role, but now you’re a wife. And so therefore, it’s like you have time to please your husband, and your parents, and your family and your friends. And it can get somewhat overwhelming, if you don’t stay in touch with who you are.
Dorothy: Using anxiety, you know, anxiety is a state of uneasiness or apprehension or being worried about things. And sometimes most of the things that we worry about, doesn’t even happen.
Dorothy: And so, that addresses, how important it is in your Christian formation, of when you were growing up and developing. I think you were a very good, respectful child. Because I can tell by your demeanor, you are concerned about what your parents think and feel. So that’s a good quality. So you have to value that. But at the same time, you have to give yourself time to say, “It’s okay if they don’t understand. And I’m not be anxious about it. I’m not going stress out there. It’s okay.
Heidi: Yup. It is what it is. So-
Dorothy: Yes, right.
Heidi: So but I want to talk about you a little bit today too not just me.
Heidi: When you came a few weeks ago, you shared about your journey in pastoral ministry. And so I was hoping-
Heidi: … to start out by you sharing how you were called to ministry, and I’ll interject some questions. But that’s kind of where I’d like to go today. Your call and pastoral ministry. How you came to be where you are today. And then also, how writing your book, was kind of a healing process for you and helps you find your own identity.
Dorothy: Okay, well I-
Heidi: You don’t have to remember all of that all. I want you to give an overview.
Dorothy: Okay. To address your first question, I was a middle child of a pastor. So being a middle child, you are seen normally and not heard, because the older child gets all the attention, and the young child gets all the tension. So I was always trying to get along and make peace with everybody most of my life.
Dorothy: And so, my father, who served 47 years as a baptist minister, we had to go to church every Sunday. We had to play the part, walking the role of a preacher’s kid. So I knew, that the word of God has been in me ever since a child. But I was willing to kind of stay in the background and just help others. And then, I remember when I went to hear a Methodist woman preacher, where I was in my 20s. I sat down after that meeting, and I heard in my inner spirit, “That’s what I want you to do.” And I said, “Excuse me, want me to do what?” And it was, “I want you to teach. I want you to preach.”
Dorothy: Well, when my nephew passed from having cancer and I had to support, and I chose to support my sister in that journey, I went to the hospital. I had never ever seen a hospital woman chaplain before. So she came to our side to offer sacraments to my nephew. And at that point, I said, “This sounds like a good idea. I can go into chaplaincy.” Because that will cover every aspect of pastoral care because I’ve been doing my research,
Dorothy: And so I went into chaplaincy and became a hospital chaplain for years and years and years. And then I decided that… God began to… Well, I didn’t decide he decided that he wanted me to move into that arena and get more focused on school. And that’s when I began to go to Asbury. And during my Christian formation at Asbury, it was awesome. I love Asbury Theological Seminary because that Christian formation piece transformed my life and helped me to understand, I am definitely called to the powerful ministry in Ephesians. And so therefore, God uses us and what venue He wants us to be using. For instance, and I’ll use your example. You are a born again Christian and you love the Lord, but you also have been a student and you also are in ministry to your husband, and to your family and you’re also called specifically. And sometimes it gets all mixed up-
Heidi: It does.
Dorothy: … if am making [inaudible 00:10:03]. Okay, but in our Christian formation I found out that as a child, in my journey- And Christian formation is also in my book and you saying, “How did I get from point A to point B? How did the book come about?”
Dorothy: It came about with a inner desire to understand what’s going on with me. I think most people get into pastoral counseling, trying to focus on the answer questions for themselves. Why was going on, I want to be able to understand and to share, and that’s what happened, to me. I realized that I had been stuck. And in moving forth because some areas in my Christian formation, that caused me to have anxiety and just stress out. I was having a hard time completing school. I dropped out of school when I was a child. Well, that was because of an experience that I had from an abusive situation. And from a date rape. Then I went through a divorce. And I got stuck with that piece.
Dorothy: But the Christian formation, that I talked about in my book, recognize that we all have critical journeys. And at some point in time we hit a wall. And that wall can stop us from moving forth. So now I recognize that I am a pastor. I am a pastoral counselor. I have a doctoral degree at Oral Roberts University, two leadership degrees at Asbury, and God uses those experiences to help me, help other people and empower small groups.
Heidi: Absolutely. When you were 20, was that the first female pastor that you had seen?
Dorothy: Yes. Because I was from a Baptist background. And I never had seen a female preach, in the pulpit. Maybe in Sunday school, but never in a pulpit and be recognized and just was so bold. And I was afraid of that. I was shied away from that. I did other things, like a Sunday school are having a vacation Bible school, or helping with different projects, of other people’s call. But never thought about, exerting influence to do that myself. Because I believe the Bible that says you need to submit to authority, but I didn’t have the right interpretation of that. It was viewed through my eyes of fear and anxiety, and wanting to make sure that the man needed to come first.
Heidi: How did you because you’ve obviously, you’re a pastor now, how did you-
Heidi: … get the point where you knew it was okay to assert that authority and take that leadership?
Dorothy: Well, first of all, there’s a scripture that says that God’s not any respecter of person’s. There’s the spirit is not male or female, number one. And also the fact that, I had to come into my own paradigm of recognizing my journey, and I do believe that whatever our experiences have been in life, he can shape our paradigm of how we view ourselves and view the world. And my dad did not believe in women pastors. He did not believe in women. He taught me for 20 years. That’s why I said it took about 20 some years to get to this point.Because I was a very respectful child like you.
Heidi: Oh, yeah.
Dorothy: I wanted them to accept what I was doing and love me. But I have always been what you will call different, you know. I’ve always been different and always trying to fit into everybody else’s round, rather than realize that I’m okay, that God made me. And so many different ways and we all are different and we all need each other. And so, when I take care of my mom and dad when they were crossing over, and my mom had Alzheimer’s, and I was in school, I was ripping and running back and forth. And then when my dad crossed over, this is what he told me and I remember this to date. He said, “Okay, I want you to open up the service.” I said, “Well, dad.” “We are in a hospital.” He said. But in his mind, he was in the church.
Dorothy: And he said, “Open up the service, and do the Scripture and prayer.” And at that point, I knew that he was sanctioning me to move forth. And so all of the anxiety of not wanting to disrespect him, by being a woman pastor, wanting to honor him, God allowed me to receive that mantle at that time.
Heidi: What a gift.
Dorothy: I went into the pastoral role, as far as a pastor of a local church after that in the United Methodist Church Conference.
Heidi: What a gift.
Heidi: What a gift from your dad to recognize the gifts in you and to bless that, even though it kind of went against what he had believed, but to recognize. Because I found, with my parents, so the things that have come up. It’s like, when your child wants to do it, it makes you rethink maybe some of the things you’ve thought before and I think that’s beautiful.
Dorothy: Well, the wonderful thing about it is, my dad got a chance to meet Elsworth Kalas who was very important in my life. He and his wife. And they came to my graduation. And my dad recognized the fact that here you have a powerful man of God that loves the Lord, that he embraces my call in ministry. So there were several different people that came into his circle, that he realized that he had to rethink what his traditional mindset to certain women were.
Heidi: Yeah, yeah. And how empowering for you to-
Heidi: … to be able to move on with a blessing.
Dorothy: Yes. That’s right. And he did give me that blessing and that mantle. And I really honored that. And he went to some of my ministry trips, with me prior to him getting ill. And that was a wonderful opportunity as well. We went up to this move Missouri pastor one time and they called me to come down and do a revival. And then in the middle of the revival, the pastor asked me, could my father minister instead of me? And I said, “Sure.” So my dad ministered and taught and he was so blessed. And then he came up to me
Heidi afterwards and said, “Do I get to keep the love offering?” I said, “Of course.”
Heidi: So then, how did you come to Asbury Seminary?
Dorothy: That was another experience. My mentor, Rick Grey, came to a baptist church of some colleagues of mine, and gave a presentation about Asbury. And I was so overwhelmed, and brought to conviction, that I need to check out the school. And so I went and checked out the school and at chapel service, I was at the altar and I wept. Because I never knew there was such a facility that really, really you felt the presence of God when you walked on the grounds and it was just a phenomenal experience for me. And from that point, I enrolled and got into school, and it was a tremendous journey for me. It’s especially meeting all of the professors that love the Lord and leadership classes that I was a part of. That was the area that Rick Grey was in leadership there, as they [inaudible 00:17:53] more. And so he walked with me, as well as Dr. Bauer awesome, Professor of God, Simmons and so many others. It was such a blessing. Stephen, that’s counseling ministry, Pastor Stephen, and he was such a blessing. So a lot of them really helped me tremendously.
Heidi: Well, I’m glad to hear that. What is a moment that you especially remember from your time at Asbury?
Dorothy: I believe I remember I went to Professor Simmon’s class. And I was there because, I was used to being seen, and not heard. Not making my voice known and I was listening and I was so excited about it. And he called upon me to pray in class. And I was like, “you want me to pray in class?” I was like, “You got to be kidding. I have all these other students that you have here.” There are quiet in class and the Spirit of God just moved on the classand is totally the Spirit of God using a vessel has we empty ourselves out. And it was a phenomenal class period. And it was such a blessing.
Heidi: That’s a beautiful thing.
Dorothy: And I remember. Yeah, I remember another time he was counselor. I first met him and this is tremendous. Well I was walking to chapel, and he was walking too, and our pastor [inaudible 00:19:25] the Emmaus Walk, that scripture n Luke.. And so I was talking he was talking back and forth. And so, the Lord led me to pray for him. And it was just he has, so he said, “Go ahead.” So I prayed for him. He said, “Thank you so much.” I was just so open and transparent and just doing it my whole heart without any anxiety at all. So when we got into chapel, and he came up to the podium, and he wrapped– he told me he was the provost. I got so scared.
Dorothy: I thought now they are not going to be happy with me at school. And so after he finished I went to him and I said, “Why didn’t you tell me if he was a president, the provost, why didn’t you? I’m sayin’, I’m sorry. You know what, he said, “No, no, no. No apology.” He said, “I wanted you to give it your whole heart without any reservations of titles or anything. And I was so blessed. And he said, “Always have that freedom to do that.” And that was a teachable moment for me, not to quench the Spirit.
Heidi: Yes. What a beautiful moment.
Dorothy: Yes. And the writing of this book, is come above the years of failures that I dropped out of high school, I’m married prematurely, had a child, and it was just a- was in a marriage of a lot of abuse. And so my identity was somewhat challenged until I should say skewed or tainted in it until I was able to get some counseling and go through some healing process and find out who I really was. And I realized the Christian formation piece is so important.
Dorothy: My desire is to help people go through their journey, discern where they are, find out the areas that they may have gotten stuck in, and discover for themselves, the graces of God. And his prevenient love and unconditional love and not walking guilt, condemnation of what happened in the past. So we are new creatures in Christ. And I did this research to a church here in Texas. And it was about close to 25 leaders. And one particular lady she had not sung since she was a child because of abuse situation that happened to her childhood. And after we went through this series of eight weeks of this Christian information, focusing on your journey, writing a time frame of what you do, from this point on, and then reviewing what happened in your past, from your birth to present, and these sharing experiences, and writing and reading, Crisis Counseling and different other books that I have to help you to grow, this lady got up and sung a beautiful song in class and has continued to operate in the gift of music.
Heidi: That’s tremendous. So why did you then decide to put your research and into a new research more like you had your own experiences, but then why did you decide to do more research to write, Reducing Anxiety of Persons: Practicing Pastoral Care?
Dorothy: Well it was… I’m glad you asked that question,
Heidi, because it was five and a half years of research. And I have all the [inaudible] bibliographies is in the back that refer back to other authors that have inserts in my book that I inserted at different footnotes. So they would validate what I found out about anxiety. How it can destroy your confidence. How it can keep you and rob you of the blessings that God has for you. How it can paralyze you to a point that you don’t fulfill the calling that God has on your life. And particularly women. Am focused on more women because we wear so many hats, and we are automatically nurturers and we want to make people happy.
Dorothy: But we have to realize we got to get in touch with ourselves and understand what God is calling for us to do. First started out, I was comfortable in ministry praying for the missionaries all over the world. I would lay out and just pray for the missionaries. I’d clean up the bathroom. You got to be faithful where you are in order for God [inaudible 00:24:04]. So as I was faithful and continued where I was, until God began to give me this desire. This appetite to learn more and more and more.
Dorothy: [Crosstalk 00:24:11]
Dorothy: Excuse me.
Heidi: Oh no, we may have been going to get to this. But how did you put your study together? Then tell me about your research project.
Dorothy: Okay. My research project. First of all the concept of reducing anxiety. I ran some research on the fact of ministries and people that are dealing with anxiety and how that affects you. And I realized that over 70% of people that are called into ministry, they deal with stress. Most of the time, they feel like they’re looking, they’re in a glass house where it’s like a fish bowl. And they are having to deal with people looking at them under a microscope. I found out that now how many people never fulfill their call because they are so full of anxiety. That’s what led me to it. I did research on that first.
Dorothy: And then I had to pray my professors at Oral Roberts University. They helped me to understand the progression of what the concept is, what you want to accomplish in the community. And how’s this going to help the body of Christ. And so I realized that the statistics show, that there is a tremendous need to reduce anxiety. This is a technological age, we are information age. We’re an age where so much is going so fast around us. And we have a hard time to get in touch with ourselves.
Dorothy: The phone is a perfect example. We have the phone in the morning, noon and night. [00:25:54] landline where we would get the voicemail, and we didn’t feel like we had to be on twenty-four seven?
Dorothy: But now we answer the phone, we text, we do all of this and you’re just so hyped up all the time.
Dorothy: But you deal with the set proper boundaries for yourself to reduce your own anxiety. And this is what the studies show. And from me reading these different books and comparing notes and having discussion groups, I did a survey, like I said research for three months at a church and Pastor Dennis Easton and Desiree Easton of hope church, Carolyn and Texas, they allowed me to do the research through some of their leaders. And from their leaders that were already done by utilizing their gift, now they are more effective because they got in touch with their own personal anxiety and expanded their ministry.
Heidi: Wow. Yeah, you also talked about in your book, how it helps reduce your own anxiety and was a healing process for you. The research in the writing, you had this great quote from Henry Nouwen that said, “Only Christ can break through our human alienation and restore the broken connections with each other and God.” So how did this work kind of bring you through that process?
Dorothy: I love Henry Nouwen’s expression of, we as human beings, are imperfect people serving a perfect guy. And we all have areas that we have to work through. We’re like a wounded healer. And so he wrote the Wounded Healer. And so, we have to understand that the scripture says, “as you give you shall receive.” So as we become more open, of sharing our journey, the good and the bad experiences that we have, to let people know that, is a process.
Dorothy: And so we ought to be transparent. And that’s where we share our wounds. Those areas that have really caused us pain and hurt. I share with a lot of women that are hurt. While I was at a church and not connected with Asbury, but another church and our hope early on in ministry. And I had some older people that were judging me, because I was so sincere and really wanted to be validated. And because I was so hungry to be validated, that opened up the door for people to hurt me, because I wanted their approval. I already have been accepted with God’s approval and sanction all my life. I already have been confirmed and ordained and confirmed with leaders already. But I still didn’t know who I was, because they had all these hurts here of past things. So it’s like scars that were on there, and I heal of the scab, and then one incident will come along and pull off the scab again. And I was wounded again.
Dorothy: I had to start all over. And I got to the root, that it goes back to how we started this conversation. Pleasers. Wanting to please people at all costs, which means we want to be validated.
Dorothy: We want their acceptance. We’ll realize that we’re accepted of the Lord and that he loves us. Then even in the midst of when people find out that we may have made mistakes, we don’t get discouraged. Because, all things work together. Romans 8:28, for the good of those that love the Lord are called according to His purpose.
Dorothy: So you said “How did I get on here.” Now because he was so transparent, and he helped me to understand. Wow, if he can be transparent, then I can be transparent too. And I don’t shy back from my experiences. I can help somebody and maybe I can help a younger person that may take them a shorter time to recognize their acceptance. And that’s what I like to do. I like to empower women, particularly. Men are great too. But I have a heart. I was a single mom, raised four children basically by myself.
Dorothy: [inaudible 00:30:13] and took care of my parents, and my mom gave me resolve some things that were in our life, because I stopped ministry and took care of her. No one cares how much you know, until they know how much you care. As my concern is to help the younger women thrive and excel and know that they can do it. And they can do it at a much more accelerated rate, if they have a mentor or someone to come alongside of them to be their spiritual cheerleader.
Dorothy: And let them [inaudible 00:30:46] they can do it. And help someone that they can process their thoughts and have conversations with. That they can listen that, “hey, look, it’s not that bad.”
Heidi: Right. So what are some ways that you are helping to empower women in your circles?
Dorothy: Right. [inaudible 00:31:09]reducing anxiety I have syllabuses in the background.
Heidi: Yeah, I know that.
Dorothy: You saw those? Okay, what I do is, I take them through those steps. And I have four or five women at a time in small groups. And we talk about the importance of where they are. And also in July, these same women that’s been working with me for years, like accountability groups. And you know, Seedbed ministry is very focused on having groups, accountability groups. I won’t call this accountability group. But what this is, is a group of a journey of awareness, a journey of your own spiritual Christian formation, and so [inaudible 00:31:55] people, these ladies once a week. And We went through nine weeks of Christian formation dealing with what happened in their childhood, what happened in adolescence, What happened in their adult? What happened in their relationship? And then they begin to share, what were the highlights? And what was the low point?
Dorothy: And when you get these [inaudible 00:32:18] group together, they began to minister to one another.
Dorothy: And they began to see value of coming together once a week to process what’s going on in their life. So we’re still doing this. I’m starting another group, and that specific groups, this group is basically dealing with ministry. Women and ministry are designed for ministry. The next group I started is a first lady’s group. Where I’ve got three or four different first ladies from different denominations, and that’s going to start in June. In July, and that’s going to be a zoom meeting. So if anybody’s interested in learning about the meeting, let me know.
Dorothy: And then also, I developed a workbook, which you haven’t seen the workbook to go along with the book. Because [inaudible 00:33:06], that said, “Your book is so academically based and we need to have it broken down a little bit.” There are words in there, that from our theses and my process, that some of the- is geared to be a textbook for universities and colleges and parts of stories. And that’s why I have the silk syllabus in the back so I can train professors how to implement this in their own class.
Dorothy: This workbook comes along and just ask questions. What is fear?
Dorothy: Do you have any fear? Where would you like to see yourself? And it takes each chapter of the book and they read the chapter and then we go through and process it together.
Heidi: That’s incredible. And like, “What a group to have have that connection to be able to just have the space to talk about things you’re feeling and kind of reflect on your life with an auto ethnography kind of approach?”
Heidi: That’s amazing
Dorothy: And it’s a safe group. We share a code that what is in a group, stays in a group. And then we also have to make a commitment that we pray for each other as a Spirit leads us every week until we get back together. And so we’re forming in July, July the 20th, we are having a summit here. And basically, it’s the small group that I’m empowering to teach. And what they’re going to talk about different areas. One, is going to talk about marriage, one is going to talk about starting a business, one is going to start about singleness. I am empowering these women is not featured around me sharing a lecture. These are younger women, that I have, that I want to empower.
Heidi: Yes. And when somebody speaks that over you, to recognize the gifts in other people and to speak that over you. It’s amazing what you can do and what they go on to do then.
Dorothy: Well, the scripture tells that the older women should teach the younger women. But the challenge sometimes, gets to be when our older woman has been in a place in a position for so long. And sometimes they can feel intimidated and threatened, which is a form of fear and anxiety. There’s somebody who take their spot. But now, I am already validated, confirmed and empowered by the Holy Spirit. And understand nobody can take my place, just like nobody can take your place,
Heidi. And when you know who you are, and you know your specific calling, you can stay in your lane, and you can celebrate someone else.
Heidi: Right. And we need more people to celebrate instead of cutting each other down and building each other up in the Body of Christ.
Dorothy: Yes, that’s exactly right.
Heidi: What were some of the specific anxieties, that you had to overcome to be sure of your identity in Christ? I’m not sure that’s the right way to word it. But do you see what I-
Dorothy: Well. In the book, I go through different clinical types of anxieties that we have. Different phobias that we have. Some people are at a point where they may have some mental illness, that they may need some medication to balance them out, and which I understand it. Sometimes, there’s also a diet that may need to change and shift. Because you may be eating something that is not helping you with your anxiety. And so, my personal anxiety level, which I shared, is dealing with fear of validation, of not being accepted. A fear of rejection. That rejection because of the abuse, the rejection because of the divorce. And so I had to get into grips with that wanting to be validated.
Dorothy: Some people have different bipolar and different other type of anxieties, that change and alter personalities. And I guess we’ll let them know that my degree in pastoral care and counseling, does not cover all forms of anxiety. But I do believe that the root of how these anxieties have begun, not only neurologically, but they’re also how we have addressed crisis in our life.
Dorothy: Each person goes through crisis. But sometimes, we… they come in such a way that’s unexpected, that we don’t know how to deal with crisis. But we are all are going through something that seems to be as we go unknown to us. And so as you begin to partner with other people, and begin to share, I believe is so important to be able to process your pain. And sometimes, unprocessed pain can cause us to meditate and use other means to cover up the pain, rather than feel the pain, own the pain, acknowledge the hurt and process the hurts. That’s been my issue of stuffing my hurts and not processing it in a healthy way.
Heidi: Yes. It’s important to work through it and get it out, so that you can heal completely.
Dorothy: Yes, exactly. Exactly.
Heidi: In your book, you also talked about Branches Incorporated. Is that still something that you’re working with?
Dorothy: Yes, Branches is a nonprofit organization. I’m incorporated in Kentucky and Texas. And it started in the 90s. And it is a corporation where I do my groups out of.
Heidi: Okay. [crosstalk 00:39:07]
Dorothy: And it’s a nonprofit [inaudible 00:39:07] branches is what work with me to help the… when I do seminars in a group. For instance I did at a Baptist Church in Kentucky recently a pretty large Baptist Church, actually consolidated Baptist Church off Russell Cave road in Lexington.
Dorothy: I flew up there and trained those staff and did this seminar and actually reduce it down to the different needs that they had and talk to those staff about the importance of reducing anxiety and to continue working as a group is a dynamic pastor with Pastor Gains. He is an awesome man of God. so I… The team, which my husband and I who also praise God, I’m really happy about this. He’s attended Asbury this fall [inaudible] courses.
Dorothy: we were there for a marriage retreat, and he checked it out. And it was very… He was so excited about it. So we’re going to be coming in and out of Asbury and they’re doing a lot of different things. But I’m working with pastors if they want me to come in and work with their staff. I’m working with women in ministry, if they feel like that they want to be empowered. I’m working to make a difference with this summit. So that other people can come along and move toward. And of course, we’re going to have a zoom, a group meeting, like I said, for the first ladies. And more of zoom meetings as needed and requested.
Heidi: OKay.[inaudible 00:40:50] overarching thing for everything you’re doing, right?
Dorothy: Right. And so recently, I go to different fairs, I share about my book. So different conferences, or conventions and meet people because you have to network and let people know my book is on Amazon.com. And you can get it on [Westlo 00:41:15].com. But my focus is to get before people, speak and share and help them grow and become all they can be in the Lord.
Heidi: Yeah. But in addition to all of that, as if that’s not enough, you’re also the pastor and Community of Love Church, is that-
Dorothy: Right. That’s correct. I am a local pastor. I just recently got a new assignment that will start July 1, at another local church. And so, I’m able to pastor and teach and empower leaders. One of the main things that I want to do, is to help people matriculate through the process of being local pastors and candidates. service with CLAMs Christian lane ministry at the United Methodist Church.
Dorothy: So my hope [inaudible 00:42:08], the mission statement branches to raise up leaders to serve their church and community. So my desire, we cannot serve others until we get in touch and reduce the anxiety in ourselves and then we can be effective. We cannot be effective, if we don’t have a covering in the local church like a book of Acts, and they sent them out to the community, to make a difference.
Dorothy: And so that’s where my heart is. And I’ve gone to India and to Mexico and times past. And I’ve done women’s retreats, workshops and training leaders. So this is my focus, in reference to moving forward beyond this. I need to also, in the process of writing another book of my personal journey, and to really some of the things that we’ve talked about here, I kind of share. So there has Nouwen been indicates, we need to speak more transparent-
Dorothy: … and make a difference, given our testimony. Everybody has a story. You have a story. I have a story. You put all these stories together, and then you begin to empower each other.
Heidi: Yes. I bet that book is fascinating. Do you have a timeline for what’s going published?
Dorothy: Given my focus on next year. Because I’ve been working on moving forward [inaudible 00:43:24] and I have a diary where I keep notes and focus on different aspects of my journey. And so I need to next year, get that book out. But right now, it’s a faith walk, and you need resources to move forth. And so I’m looking for sponsors and people that are willing to partner with me in this vision.
Dorothy: I have another exciting thing that’s happening that I’m really excited about. I’m taking a guy, a sponsor to come to Kentucky and take children to the Art Museum.
Heidi: Oh, how exciting.
Dorothy: Yes, because I believe if we can reach children when they’re smaller, and give them a vision for the future and what they can accomplish. And when they go and look at this art, the concert is just so exciting. We’ll be working with Consolidated Baptist Church, to take a group of children. So if they’re interested, that’s another avenue that we’re going to do that in September.
Heidi: That’s exciting. [inaudible 00:44:33] and doing some research about you that that was one of the things that you were focusing on at Community of Love as well and trying to-
Heidi: … gather more children make them more part of the congregation.
Dorothy: Yes. And I was so excited. This makes me so excited because it was a lady where I was a chaplain at VA. I funeralized her husband at the National Cemetery. We had an [encounter 00:45:01] that was a god moment. For two years, she looked and was searching for me to find me. She finally found me at this local church Community Love Church. She joined, she got baptized, and she’s serving now as usher. And she’s Asian. And I was so happy because I wanted an ecumenical church that was diverse.
Dorothy: And it was a blessing to me. And then, we were praying and I was gathering groups and we had a talent ministry, in a community. And to make a long story short, a little white boy, because it’s a predominantly black congregation, started coming and he didn’t want to come to the church with his mother’s church. He wants to come to our church because he wants to hear me speak. So he sat up there and he was just a such a blessing to me. So I do have a heart for children to empower and encourage children. Because they have experiences in school like bullying, and different things that go on in their life. And they need Christian formation. They may not be able to call it Christian formation-
Dorothy: … but they can share their experiences. And I, also can help them get unstuck.
Heidi: Yes. Which is a beautiful thing. To and if they get unstuck early, then-
Heidi: … their life just opens up all the more.
Dorothy: Yes, and they go to school and they can fulfill the call of God on their life without all this baggage. Can you imagine crossing the street, you got 10 bags, is easy across the street when you got two, when you got all these baggage of past hurts and pains and sorrow. It’s hard to get across the street.
Heidi: Yeah. It’s a process to work through them.
Dorothy: Yes, it is.
Heidi: I sometimes wish I was just like snap your fingers. That was just kind of a moment, like, “Okay, I’m done with this.”
Dorothy: Right. Absolutely.
Heidi: But I think sometimes it takes a lifetime to kind of get on the other side of some of them or work through forgiveness things and things like that.
Dorothy: That’s a big one.
Dorothy: Yeah, we have to- it’s ongoing. And plus forgiveness is ongoing process to forgive ourselves and to forgive others. Because as we have expectations that we have, because of other obligations, it may not be the right timing to do a particular thing. And we try to be all things to all people. That’s why I keep it focused on a narrow road, reducing anxiety, and I don’t mix groups. If most of the groups are having issues like first ladies have their own issues, they deal with women in ministry. And their are women in ministry too. But I’m talking about lay people, they have their particular ministry, pastors have their own issues. I kind of matched the groups. Where it will maximize their potential and they’ll be with people that can relate to them and identify with what’s going on in their life.
Heidi: Right. They have their little community as well-
Heidi: …of people to help them grow. That’s awesome.
Heidi: Well, thank you so much, Dr.
Dorothy for stopping by. Is there anything else you want to mention that I didn’t know to ask?
Dorothy: Well, if anyone’s interested in getting in contact with me, they can reach me through my website, which is https://www.doctordorothy.org/, or they can reach me through email, firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, they can call me at 859-907-6457. And so you can always Google and put Dr. Dorothy Smith Hubbard and different events that I’ve done will pop up.
Heidi: All right, and we’ll link all of this in the show notes for everybody to find, as well for them to get in touch with you.
Dorothy: We know, it’s so important for students as coming to ask very to reduce their anxiety so that they can be able to pick the subjects and go into the classroom in confidence.
Heidi: Oh, yes.
Dorothy: This is very important that you’re empowering them and encouraging them to continue to move forth in that process, and their calling.
Heidi: Is- I think it’s impossible to make decisions when you’re so anxious. It’s hard to know your own heart and your own mind.
Dorothy: Yes. Well, you’re going to make decision from a position of peace
Dorothy: …. and not fear.
Heidi: Yes. So thank you Dr.
Dorothy for stopping by today. It was so good to chat with you and I’ve really enjoyed our conversation and thank you for empowering other women. What a gift. So I bless you to keep doing what you’re doing. And thank you.
Dorothy: Well, thank you,
Heidi. I appreciate the opportunity. This has been a wonderful time for me as well.
Heidi: Well, I’m so glad. So thank you.
Heidi: Hey you all, thank you so much for joining me for today’s conversation with Dr.
Dorothy Smith Hubbard. Grateful for her work in today’s conversation. I hope you enjoyed it as well. In our next episode, Reverend Teddy Ray, lead pastor of Offerings First United Methodist Church in Lexington, and co owner of North Lime Donuts, joins us to talk about, being called to love Jesus first and foremost, and finding our second calling within community. New podcast episodes released every other week and you won’t want to miss out. Subscribe in iTunes or wherever you listen to your podcast. You can follow us in all the places on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @AsburySeminary. Have a great day you all and go do something that helps you thrive.