Cheri Williams didn’t always envision herself living in Michigan.
“I grew up in Florida, so I’m a Florida girl through and through,” she told members of the Kuyper community assembled in the Vos Chapel on November 17 for Ora Et Labora, a weekly time where speakers come to campus to talk about their work and how their faith impacts that work.
She added that her more than 25-year career in child welfare was the driving force behind the move. She spent five of those years working for Bethany Christian Services in Florida before she had the opportunity to take a position in Michigan as the organization’s Vice President of Regional Operations.
“It was shocking but, when God calls, you go,” she said with a smile.
All together, Williams spent a total of 12 years with Bethany, eventually becoming senior vice president of domestic programs, before God again called her in a new direction.
“Bethany really wanted those of us in executive branch director roles to have what they called ‘entrepreneurial spirits,’” she recalled. “I wasn’t sure if that was me at first but, over my time there, I found that I love to start new things and growing new programs.”
That discovery recently led Williams to found Co-3 (which stands for co-discover, co-design and Co-create), a consulting firm that exists to help people, organizations and systems achieve the transformational outcomes they desire.
Though it might not seem so at first, she insists that this new career path is a natural outgrowth of her time in child welfare.
“It’s really doing the same thing I’ve done for my whole career. I’m just offering that help to different kinds of people,” she said.
Williams said that even when we are certain about what God is calling us to, following His lead can still be a nerve-wracking process.
“I was really sure that the Lord was leading me in this direction, but it’s been like jumping off a cliff,” she said with a laugh.
However, she added, we should not let our fears hold us back from following God’s design for our lives.
“Even though it’s been scary, I’ve never had more peace in my life,” she said.