Discovering Hope in the Unexpected

Signed copy of “Redirecting: Discovering Hope in the Unexpected”

To pay by check, please send to: Be Still & Know, P.O. Box 912, Battle Lake, MN 56515


God sets a path for anyone who wants to follow, but it’s rarely a singular event. Instead, God nudges almost continuously those who listen. Dr. Susan Vitalis followed His call to put her medical training to use in some of the most poverty-stricken areas of the world — to make her calling her vocation, a supremely satisfying and enlightening time in her life. But, one day, through unimaginable changes, He nudged her another direction. Traversing that wilderness of loneliness and uncertainty was neither simple nor easy, but with God’s help she found the wisdom to start again, to turn her new calling into her new vocation. Redirecting is every person’s journey through life’s stages of passion, authenticity, despair and hope. It’s an authentic look into what it means to listen to not only the good but the best God has for your life, because He will never nudge you toward a dead end, but simply a crossroad.

Purposeful Inspiration- Susan is a Johns Hopkins-trained physician who has served thousands of people in developing countries. In full recognition that not everyone will practice third world medicine, her goal is to show us that God’s calling to anyone can become a meaningful vocation.

Disruptive and Motivating- Susan shows us, the reader, that our small ideas can become big realities when we choose to listen and take action, and that sometimes God calls us away from what we think is the best path.

Gripping Narrative- Much of the book reads like a hospital drama show: urgent situations and fast-paced solutions. Susan tells us stories of her medical practice in dozens of impoverished countries.

Available Now!


Susan Vitalis

Oak Grove Seniors after receiving their books!

Oak Grove Lutheran School, April 2017

“Hearing God at the Crossroads”, an interview with Susan Vitalis, author of Redirecting

“Dr. Susan Vitalis tells a riveting story of faith and vocation that all of us can learn from. Her life mission is filled with promise and despair…faith, challenges, and victories. Susan provokes all of us to stand back and look at our own lives and be grateful our jobs can also be an amazing calling and faith-filled journey.”

Kevin Wallevand
Television news reporter, WDAY
Two-time Emmy and Edward R. Murrow Award Winner

“I have known Susan Vitalis over the span of two decades. We have been to the uttermost parts of the world together, serving children and families in villages few ever knew existed. She has and continues to let no personal adversity quench her passion and desire to share God’s love and message of hope to a physically and spiritually hurting world. She speaks with wisdom and experience, which has been borne in the crucible of suffering. Her faith and her resilience have been tested and she continues to stand on the foundation of faith in Jesus Christ. She is giving us the privilege of seeing the road God ordained for her. In Redirecting, there is much we can learn from her journey and insights.”

Kirk A. Milhoan, M.D., Ph.D., FAAP, FACC
Medical Director, For Hearts and Soul

“This book is for those who are looking for something without knowing what they are searching for, for those who know what they are seeking but do not know where to find it, and for those who simply need a spark to ignite the fire that burns deep inside. Redirecting: Discovering Hope in the Unexpected is full of passion, faith, and heart, serving as a rallying cry to inspire us to reach out our hands and our hearts to touch the lives of those across oceans and in our own backyards. With warmth, humor, and honesty, Dr. Susan Vitalis recounts how God’s calling on her life has changed over time, from medical missions in Africa, to motivating young adults to live out their passions in the world. In times when we are often overwhelmed with stories of violence and despair from around the globe, this book shines out as a light in the darkness, illustrating love, joy, and a fierce determination to live ‘a life of significance.’”

Emily Ronsberg ‘19
Biology and Pre-Med Student, Concordia College, Moorhead, Minnesota

“In the midst of an incredible career, unexpected hurdles threatened to derail both passion and personal identity, leaving Susan confused and searching for God and His ultimate plan for her life. In Redirecting, you will be inspired and encouraged by Susan’s humor, heart, and faith as she shares her unique and remarkable journey. It is a must read!”

Judy Siegle
Two-time Paralympian
Author, Living Without Limits

“Dr. Susan Vitalis is a healer, a compassionate visionary, and a woman of vibrant faith. Her book Redirecting is a compelling read, filled with stories of life’s challenges, tragedies, hopes, and dreams. Redirecting is the memorable journey of a marvelous young woman doctor as she ministers her way through the lives of some of God’s most unforgettable people. Stories of pain-filled struggles, hope, and triumph will enthrall and challenge the reader. You will walk with Susan as she journeys through a world in which she faithfully and humbly encounters the active and loving presence of our God. Dr. Vitalis becomes, as we are all called to be, the very hands and heart and face of our caring God as we see God’s vivid encounters with so many of our special brothers and sisters. Her book will encourage each reader to boldly and faithfully continue still listening and to open our very lives to the living and transforming presence of God’s love and calling.”

Rev. Ernest (Ernie) A. Mancini
Lutheran Pastor, College Pastor, College Administrator

“Susan Vitalis opens her heart to share her faith journey to inspire all of us to chase our dreams and to live an authentic life of significance. Vitalis uses her personal experiences to guide you to find your passion, embrace your gifts, get involved, and take the lead in your own life. Redirecting: Discovering Hope in the Unexpected will encourage, motivate, and challenge you to live the life you were meant to live, and in the process, leave your mark on this world.”

Kerstin Kealy
News Anchor and Producer, WDAY Television

“If you have ever wanted to be swept into the current of what your heart and soul is calling you to do, Redirecting is your call to action.”

Maryanna Young
Vision Keeper, Aloha Consulting

“Susan Vitalis’ devotion, passion, and spiritual enlightenment shine through in her life and on every page of Redirecting: Discovering Hope in the Unexpected. A wonderful read for book clubs, confirmation classes, Bible studies, and anyone who has a stirring in their heart for service to others, or just wants a great book to read. This book reads like a friendship that endures: one full of thought-provoking conversations, laughter, tears, and stories of adventures that won’t let you put the book down.”

Anne Goldsmith
Health Educator, Melrose Center, St. Louis Park, Minnesota

“Dr. Susan Vitalis courageously unveils her personal journey to existential and spiritual clarity in Redirecting. This tale by a Lutheran girl from Fargo who becomes a Johns Hopkins-trained physician and medical missionary, only to suffer a series of almost unbelievable travails, will capture the hearts of every reader. While framed in her own sphere of experience, the simple messages resonate as truths for all people, regardless of culture, religion, or origin of suffering.”

Lucinda Bateman, M.D.
Graduate of Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
Medical Director, Bateman Horne Center of Excellence, Salt Lake City, Utah

“Experiences in life do not happen by accident. Even before the universe was created, God had us in mind, and He planned us for His purposes. The powerful stories shared in this book help us to understand why we are alive and God’s amazing plan for us—both here, now, and into eternity. Susan’s insights may help you to transform your answer to life’s most important question: What on earth am I here for? A book of challenge and hope, I believe Redirecting will be treasured by generations to come.”

John Parkes, Jr.
Chief People Officer & Co-Owner, Murdoch’s Ranch & Home Supply, Bozeman, Montana
Forever Friend of Susan

“In Redirecting, Dr. Susan Vitalis invites us on a captivating journey through her extraordinary life. Vitalis shines through her words, describing life moments with humble sincerity and humor to teach us all how to live a life of significance. Reading this book feels like a conversation with a good friend or mentor, and we cannot help but be encouraged, inspired, and changed for the better even after just a few pages. Through her words and example, we understand that we are meant for more than the ordinary.  We find true joy in discovering our purpose in this life, and we learn to thrive.”

Nan Kennelly, MS CCC
Owner/Speech-Language Pathologist, Onword Therapy

“Dr. Susan Vitalis gives us a candid behind-the-scenes view of being involved in short-term medical ministry in her new book, Redirecting: Discovering Hope in the Unexpected. My missions journey coincided with Susan’s at Tenwek Hospital, and I can definitely relate to many of her African adventures. If you’ve ever grappled with physical and spiritual challenges, you will be encouraged by Susan’s journey. If you’ve struggled to discern God’s voice in the midst of a busy and loud world, if you are looking for fulfillment beyond imagination, or if you’re wondering whether God is speaking to you about using your medical skills, really any skills, in cross-cultural ministry, this book is for you.”  

Joy Phillips
Career Missionary

“How do we listen for God’s voice in our lives? What if we don’t particularly like what we hear? In Redirecting: Discovering Hope in the Unexpected, Dr. Susan Vitalis gives us a very personal and inspirational account of a journey that begins in Minnesota and ultimately leads to some of the most dangerous places in the world. This is what it means to listen for God’s voice, and then follow God’s direction—regardless of the consequences. What we see is a life of true vocation, unwavering love, and ultimate trust.”

Dr. Mark Jensen
Professor, Concordia College

“Dr. Susan Vitalis beautifully captures the triumphs, tragedy, and grit of medical missions in the developing world. Be drawn in by her master storytelling ability in Redirecting: Discovering Hope in the Unexpected. An excellent read for college students searching for mission and purpose, and churchgoers looking to transition from lethargy to action.”

Hannah Rhinehart
Team Member, Mission Medics to Nicaragua

“When Dr. Susan Vitalis was my high school math student and basketball captain, I became convinced she would do something remarkable with her life; however, remarkable doesn’t begin to describe her life of service. In her book, Redirecting, Dr. Vitalis addresses the challenges of trying to listen to God’s voice calling us to serve, when so many other voices bombard and distract us. Dr. Vitalis has spent her entire life listening to the small, quiet voice of Jesus whispering in her ear, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you do for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of Mine, you do for Me’ (Matthew 24:45). Her passion for helping those in need has been and will continue to be recognized by anyone who meets her. Her message for each of us in Redirecting is to keep our hearts, minds, and ears open so that we can discover our own true calling. This is a challenge that should ring true for all people of faith.”

Marc Langseth
High School Math Teacher, Women’s College and High School Basketball Coach (Retired)

“An exciting, authentic read with a story so compelling that you will hold your breath waiting for the next episode. You will be led to look inward at your vocation and outward at your present state. Redirecting will relate to your call, vocation, and thinking outside the box at whatever age you are. You will laugh and cry. The author’s lived experiences and spiritual journey will inspire and motivate you to seek God in all things.”

Barbara R. Holm
Spiritual Director, Retreat Leader, Writer, Counselor

“In Redirectin, Dr. Susan Vitalis offers an open and refreshing look into the self-doubt that is so prevalent within us (yet rarely revealed) as we approach our vocation. Within Dr. Vitalis’ inspirational stories lies an underlying comfort with personal limitations, knowing that in weakness we are made strong. I invite all Christians considering a first career, undergoing a life transition, suffering from anxiety, or simply seeking to discern each day’s call to join her in being similarly vulnerable. Although our egos are tantalized by the extraordinary, more often the ‘still, small voice’ is calling us to worship as we live out the ordinary. As Dr. Vitalis’ career expectations were thwarted by a serious knee injury, an ensuing complex neurological pain syndrome, and a traumatic brain injury, she responded to the call to love others in day-to-day acts of listening and caring. God speaks to us through her experience: ‘Ad lib and add love.’”

Roger Lindholm M.D., FAAFP

Redirecting is a compelling look at the work we do, and how it morphs into a vocation, a passion, a calling.”

Alyson Green
MLIS Librarian 

“If you are searching for significance and wondering, ‘Why am I here and what am I to do?’ Redirecting will resonate with you. It will bless anyone who reads it and encourage you as you seek to understand life more.”  

Robyn C. Moore RN, MSN, CPNP
Least of These Ministry, World Gospel Mission, Kenya

“If you are at a point in your life where you need God to ‘split the Red Sea’ for you; if you are discouraged and feel attacked on all sides, read Redirecting; listen to this testimony, and behold the God of the Bible, who is alive today and who loves to take care of His kids.” 

Shane Barnard
Vocals, Guitar, Songwriter
Shane and Shane

“What an experience to have been able to read the thought-provoking message of the power of God’s amazing grace in the pages of Dr. Susan Vitalis’ book, Redirecting: Discovering Hope in the Unexpected. Dr. Vitalis has experienced life in many different situations, but throughout some of the most difficult, or subtle, changes, we are able to feel her understanding of God’s call to life as God touches her through many very special people and situations. As I began reading, the feelings of strength and love compelled me to continue. I would recommend this book for anyone, whether their life is a massive struggle or a cozy, warm world. God’s love abounds in everyone’s needs. Thank you, Susan, for sharing God with us.” 

Rev. John G. Krueger
Pastor, ELCA (Retired)

“This is a rich, arresting story of faith active in love.  If one is looking for religious sentimentality, this is not the book. If one is looking for flesh and blood religious realism, this is the book. In addition, Vitalis writes with ease and clarity. Dr. Vitalis writes with the authenticity of a practitioner, the credibility of one who ‘walks the talk,’ and the passion of one who is called to ministry. Redirecting is filled with arresting stories that illustrate the nexus of faith and life.  Fundamental questions of faith are examined in the context of medical practice, and, occasionally, personal angst. Susan’s exposition on vocation is especially useful to seekers of every culture and generation. The reader will be inspired and enlightened on these and other fundamental issues.” 

Paul J. Dovre
President Emeritus, Concordia College

“‘A beautiful testimony of faith, brought me to tears, and couldn’t put it down’, best describe Redirecting by Dr. Susan Vitalis. This is for anyone who struggles with life’s questions or who ponders the meaning of life. Loved it!”          

Mary Duquet
Avid Book Reader

Redirecting is what finding and walking out God’s will looks like in a well-worn pair of hiking boots. It’s about how we all can find, then step into the adventure that awaits us if we are willing to leave our comfort zones of faith behind—so that we can see the lives of true significance and lasting legacy that our Creator has created us all for.”   

Michael W. Franklin
Christian Bookseller, Jesus Follower

“Reading Redirecting has made me a better person—reading this book will do the same for you.” 

Laura Locher
Devoted Friend

Redirecting is an adventuresome read for anyone discerning a meaningful life of service. Dr. Susan Vitalis’ Redirecting is a worthy read in dealing with challenges, courage, and commitment. Here is a study in personal possibilities if one heeds the relentless call of God to serve by being sent forth in this world of need. Redirecting is an uncommon story of victory over adversity…service over self…and joy in surrender. Redirecting is a must read for anyone searching for meaning and a life truly dependent on God’s abundant grace. Vitalis’ legacy to her readers is one of desire to walk with anyone who wanders in the wilderness of doubt and to bring faith and fulfillment to life.” 

Kathryn Benson RN
Concordia College Health Center Administrator

“EVERYONE should read this book! Dr. Susan Vitalis gives me confidence, and this book inspires me to just be me by following my heart and by taking chances.” 

Taya Rostad
Nine-year old Book Lover

“In Redirecting, Dr. Susan Vitalis communicates from her heart and leaves behind any form of deception or pretense that almost always impedes communication and hinders getting the job done. If you are worn out with the ‘church goers’ with their petty piety, and would like to get an insight into how Jesus would truly wish to see life, then Redirecting is a must read.” 

Jay Olson

“Susan’s stories unveil a fascinating life of risk and adventure, but more significant is her witness to how God called her to a career in medical mission in spite of her feelings of inadequacy. She vulnerably shares her journey through other lands, health issues, and mission, offering inspiration for anyone who doubts that God can use them.” 

Rev. Doug and Monica Cox
Executive Director of Global Health Ministries

“Too many people trudge through their lives and careers, in a rut, refusing to challenge themselves largely because they don’t believe in themselves. In her book, Redirecting: Discovering Hope in the Unexpected, Dr. Susan Vitalis helps us see that our potential and possibilities are limitless if we choose to follow our God-directed passions. The path might not be easy, but Vitalis, who has faced her own challenges, shows anyone doubting their destiny, that to underestimate yourself is to underestimate God. A good read for those looking for inspired direction.” 

Tracy Briggs
Columnist, Video Host
Honor Flight Coordinator, WDAY Honor Flight

“At a time when some Third World countries needed medical assistance, Dr. Susan Vitalis felt the need to help. In her Redirecting she relates what happens when a person says yes to the GREAT COMMISSION, not heeding the risks. Dr. Vitalis shares her life story with passion and adventure, making the connections of how God prepared, guided, and led her to Somalia, Sudan, Rwanda, and beyond. This book inspires and affirms one’s mission in a world of need.” 

Pastor Johan and Sonja Hinderlie
Former Executive Director and Program Director at Mount Carmel Ministries

Excerpt in:

Don’t Miss Your Boat

Living Your Life with Purpose in the Real World

Signed copy of “Don’t Miss Your Boat: Living Your Life with Purpose in the Real World”

To pay by check, please send to: Be Still & Know, P.O. Box 912, Battle Lake, MN 56515


Life is profoundly changed the moment people discover and begin living out their unique purpose. Don’t Miss Your Boat is all about harnessing the power of your purpose and allowing it to propel you forward in life, just as wind caught in a sail has the power to propel a boat across the open water. Are you spending your days doing what you love and value? Purpose and the best things life can be found in some unexpected places. You will see this demonstrated in the lives of these 35 true everyday heroes. They will allow you to take a closer look at your own value, significance and unique purpose. Journey with us to… surviving Sudan under gunfire, the hospital room where a brother fights for his life, a solo kayak journey through alligator-infested waters, the place where a wheelchair becomes a door to opportunity, and much more!

Bullets, Bats and a Bomb Shelter is how Susan describes her encounter in Sudan that led her to believe our challenge is to be all we can be now, while we still have this gift of life. What would you focus on if you only had three hours to live? She tells you what she discovered in her story.

Also available for purchase here…