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  • Sarah Smith Warren

My Soul's Journey to My Heart

By Bethany Wall, Executive Director of Friends of the Children Fargo Moorhead

I am so happy to welcome this beautiful soul to The Soul Place. I've not known her long, but her energy, openness and compassion is so generous it makes me feel I've always been her friend. When we first had a coffee date, she revealed her thoughts on changing careers. She had a deep calling and worked so hard to listen. Living and workin "Soul First" is what this incredible human does every day and oh how it makes a difference in so many people's lives. Thank you Bethany for telling your story, being so open and honest and for following your heart to a new happiness. Welcome Bethany Wall!

- Sarah Smith Warren is the owner of Soul Space Work, a coaching, consulting and facilitation space dedicated to helping humans make space for their souls in their work and life. Connect with Sarah @soulspacework or

My Soul's Journey to My Heart

By Bethany Wall, Executive Director of Friends of the Children Fargo Moorhead

“Your daughter is no longer welcome to attend school here," are the words I heard on day two of my oldest daughter’s Pre-Kindergarten experience. This was quite the blow after a grueling summer, feeling like a single mother of two and a bonus husband child who broke his leg in a golf cart accident and was laid up for the entire season. My world was spinning out of control. What was I going to do with my girl? This felt like a level of rejection that cut so deep it made my entire body collapse into my car after hearing the news. My husband and I knew she had some challenges but, expulsion, on the second day? What could any child do that was so terrible to deserve this?

I spent the entire night crying with a bottle of wine. I called every single therapist I knew, every single resource who might know what my options would be. I was successful in making two appointments to try and get to the bottom of the behaviors I knew were probably more than we understood at that time. A few weeks later we received a diagnosis that shook me to my core. “Your daughter has Oppositional Defiant Disorder.” What is this? How do we help her? What are we going to do about care this year? How will my husband and I be able to work? These were all questions running through my head in that moment.

Thankfully, we had a parent who could step in, in the interim to help until we found a more permanent solution. Nothing was simple when it came to finding a workable solution. While this is all going on, I’m drowning. I’m doing everything I can to care for my sweet daughter and taking on her emotional challenges in a metaphorical backpack that was slowly sinking me. I was trying to be a whole person in every area of my life. I wanted to be the best mom, the best wife, the best employee, and the best friend. I took all these roles very seriously. Naturally, the toxic pieces of my life came out in full form. It became overly apparent what was NOT fulfilling my soul. It was my job. My career of 15 years in banking was crumbling under me. I began my battle that I would soon lose, in the best way.

I started to deal with my issues of not being everything everyone needed in unhealthy ways. I was coming home at 2 a.m., often because I was on a journey to ignore and drown all my internal battles. This went on for months. It was a form of procrastination because my soul knew what I needed, and I wasn’t willing to listen. I was fighting and sinking until one day, there was hope.

My dream career was available. Was this my chance to do something for me? Several more internal battles took place as I was pondering a switch. I had this arbitrary idea that change was only okay in your 20’s. I couldn’t switch careers when I was approaching 35. I had my path. If I deviate, I will surely let everyone in my life down, including myself. In addition to that, I couldn’t be a CEO. Why should I apply for something that was so out of my skill set? I wasn’t worthy to run an organization. Especially, my favorite organization.

Well, with a lot of help from my friends, my therapist, and my family, they convinced me to take the plunge. “You were made for this.” Those are the words that rang in my thoughts any time I felt myself sinking again. This is when my entire perspective shifted. I deemed the year 2023 my year of transformation, my butterfly year. I was going to get this career to do what my soul craved. I was going to set my daughter on a path to be successful. I was going to give myself grace when I couldn’t be everything for everyone. And, I have.

It isn’t perfect every day or even half of the days. However, I wake up every morning and get to live inside my passion. I cannot express the great sense of pride I have every day in my new career. I’m on fire and on a mission. My daughter is thriving. We are working through big feelings and have found some of the best support systems this community has to offer. I can physically feel myself coming out of a darkness I lived for many years doing something that was not meant for me.

In all my trials, the timing had to happen exactly as it did. My entire world had to feel like it was crumbling for me to wake up.

I needed to recognize; change is okay. That statement seems entirely cliché. But when you are faced with it, it is easy to run in the other direction to keep the status quo. It doesn’t matter what season of life you are in. Do the thing. Look inward even when it’s scary.

The big reveal. I now get to work for THE best nonprofit as their Executive Director called Friends of the Children Fargo-Moorhead. We enroll local children who are experiencing the greatest obstacles and pair them with a Mentor, called a Friend. This mentor is a full-time employee of our organization who dedicates 4 hours of time each week to the children on their roster to professionally mentor them. They work with each child for 52 weeks out of the year for 12 ½ years NO MATTER WHAT. Each child receives one-on-one time with their mentor to work on intentional goals. This is customized to each youth in our program.

92% of our children are enrolling in post-secondary education, serving our country, or entering the work force.

98% are waiting until after their teen years to become a parent.

93% of our youth remain free from involvement with the juvenile justice system.

83% of youth receive their high school diploma or GED.

These numbers are HUGE. The youth we serve are facing some of the greatest challenges that limit them from achieving these accomplishments.

This is a program that is easy to be passionate about. It’s relationships that change lives, not programs and that is exactly what we are on a mission to do. Please contact me for ways to help the local kiddos in our program. I’d love to share one of the brightest spots of my lifetime.

I felt incredibly connected to the mission at Friends of the Children because they are enacting REAL change in our community. Through my journey with my own daughter, I would often feel so much privilege and guilt because I had the connections and resources to get her the support she needed. We walk alongside not only the youth in our program but also the caregivers to help them access resources to help break down the barriers to help them on the path of survive to thrive. I want every person to have the same opportunity I have had to give their child the most success possibilities. Every person deserves this. My daughter along with every child in our program. Friends of the Children FM is making real generational change every single day.

Bethany Wall is the Executive Director of Friends of the Children Fargo Moorhead.

Get Connected with Friends of the Children and Learn How You Can Help Chang Lives!

Visit AND Attend one of their incredible upcoming events!

Brunch with Friends – September 23rd Oxbow CC Event Details (

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