Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A 180


Just over a year ago, I had a lot of life questions, I felt incredibly empty, unfulfilled, and somewhat abandoned. I was hurting as I'd had to let go of Kinlee in to full day school and pre-maturely be left with my arms empty wondering if this is truly my first and my last I just sent off in to the big bad world. That all comes with myriad of emotions and they run deep, it's so hard to explain to anyone. I questioned things I'd never questioned before and I honestly did not think I could go on. I tried for two months to find a job that would keep my mind off my trials and yet still give me the chance to be home whenever my baby was home...nothing worked out. I prayed for something anything and I was pushed to the very edge of every last thing at the time. I felt pretty stinking useless, and sad, my house and all it's empty rooms and quiet nothingness almost taunted my broken heart. It was pretty much exactly the moment I all but threw in the towel of life --- I interviewed for and was offered a job at the Elementary School --- it was good, so good, I got to work a few mornings a week, and one full day and only doors down from the very place my little girl was going to school, it was crazy how lucky and blessed I felt, I knew it was heaven sent in more ways than one --- plus the kids were so dang cute, they distracted me from the pain of secondary infertility --- I guess you could say they filled an aching void inside of me. I can't even describe how much I appreciated having a job there. I worked part time until in the fall when I started on full time and this is when I sort of lost the balance I once had in my life where I was able to feel needed somewhere and yet still able to function for my family and our business and my church calling and everything in between...I pretty much only worked at the school, helped Kinlee with her homework and got her to her piano lessons, made dinner (most of the time) and barely had enough energy to crawl in to bed, every single day, same thing and less and less energy as the months went by, I felt like I was drowning in life, unable to keep up with everything. There isn't much for a quality of life in that lifestyle  especially since Mont more often than not is swamped at work with employees on extended leave for health reasons etc. Between the two of us we were quite a pair, lame, tired, sore, pathetic really. It definitely took it's toll on me. I was still so incredibly grateful to have the job though and to have so many kids in my life to love and help educate. But in the back of my mind I knew I could not keep up this brutal, severely undesirable schedule. I kept at it and Mont would keep telling me to hang on, June was just around the corner, that I wasn't working next year so I could do anything until summertime....about the same time Mont was trying so hard to encourage me, Kinlee said something that really hit me one morning while I was doing her hair before school, rushed as every morning was...she was trying to be silly and as normally, or back in the day, I'd either join in on the silly or I'd at least crack a smile or laugh hard, because heck the kid IS hilarious...I apparently did none of the above and the moment she said "Mom, why don't you laugh anymore?" I knew I was in this life thing way over my head. She was right, I was too serious, too tired to be myself except at school where I gave all my smiles and energy and jovial ways to all those kids all day...poor Kinlee was getting the tired, grumpy version of her mom. Sad :( 

It was about this same time that a job I'd known for a year or so was going to come available was being advertised on LDS.org/employment. I always thought I'd apply for the job when it came up but when it came down to the wire...I was way too tired to even find the time or energy after every day's long exhausting hours at the school to even think about submitting my application and resume and I kept putting it on the back burner. Apparently, I even told Mont I wasn't going to bother applying for it even though I'd be crazy not to apply for it, it was at the perfect job description for me, in every way. I was just too exhausted and figured it would be a hard job to get as it is with any job with the Church and being that his is a small LDS community, there would be so many awesome people who would apply and be more suited for the job than myself. I literally was just too taxed out on the crazy schedule to think very clearly about how stupid I would be NOT to apply. I had too much on my plate trying to balance work full time at the school, my home and family and church callings, plus books for two businesses, deadlines up the wahzoo and we were cleaning the lab every weekend too...BUT something definitely lured me to the computer the night I finally sat down and applied...knowing full well that I had a really good chance of getting it. So one night when Mont was working late and I was dealing with some school drama with Kinlee and some other needs were pulling at me in every direction...I quickly applied for the job with an old resume and walked away. 

The title for the job: Support Specialist at the Raymond Seminary, someone who is highly motivated and enthusiastic. The best part that was calling my name was that it was part time, 8 whopping hours a week. They wanted someone who would welcome and connect with the students as they enter the building, help with enrolment and attendance records, assist with creating lesson materials, decorate classrooms, order materials, correspond with stake and ward leaders and parents of students, reach out and rescue students and potential students, etc etc. The requirements were to have advanced computer literacy, ability to train others in computer programs, strong interpersonal skills, demonstrable skills in office management, bookkeeping and events planning and powerful presentation, writing and communication skills. I applied for it and didn't put a lot of thought in to it beyond that...I knew it was a great job opportunity, probably the best that I've ever applied for and the best I could ever hope to be offered but even though I felt very confident I qualified for the job with vast office experience, college educated in office systems management, a part owner in a business I do the bookkeeping for and of course all the church experience I have taken advantage of over the years as well...I still didn't want to be too greedy as I already was blessed with a job that was already a big answer to my prayers from the year before. So I hit submit and left it at that. I didn't hear anything back for a good chunk of time and I continued on with my extremely tiring and busy busy lifestyle. Then one day I got the phone call saying I'd been selected for an interview. I had asked my sister to pray for me but I didn't really feel right about praying for it myself for some reason, like it made me an ingrate because I'd already been offered and was full swing in one of the best jobs for a mom who wants to work a little but still be home with her kid(s). So the interview was on a Friday afternoon, I sent Kinlee over to play with one of her good friends and I walked in to this interview thrilled that I didn't have choose my words carefully when it came to my religion I could talk all I wanted about my experience in the church, my teaching opportunities as a full time Early Morning Seminary Teacher, my full time Mission experience as well as my mini mission and even got asked to talk extensively about my past church callings and which ones were my favourite. It was fabulous, actually ideal as the church is more my life than anything else is and I hate having to guard my words when it comes to the church, everything I am and have has literally been because of the church. Two men were in the interview, both head CES Area Office Administrators...both such great guys, easy to talk to, we laughed and really had a good time in the interview. Interviews don't really scare me, I don't get super nervous for any but this one was especially comfortable being that it was two great men, spiritual giants really, easy to be around and it was really just a great continuous conversation more than an interview. Even though it went so well, I still didn't put all my heart and soul in to hoping high that I would get it. I truly felt that the job would go to the best candidate and ultimately being that it is a church job it would go to the person the Lord intends for it to go to and no wishing or wanting on my part was going to change that, however I have to admit that deep down I almost knew without knowing that this was going to be my job. I was confident I had a really good chance as my experience in and out of the church was so applicable. When I got a text exactly a week later (and only after taking a brutal timed computer skills test that only two of the how ever many applicants were selected to take) asking if I had any other work related references I was a little nervous for 1/2 a second because I really didn't think I had a recent enough work related reference...I haven't been in the work place until recently for almost 8 years. But then it came to me that yes I actually do...I had two glowing reference letters from two extremely busy doctors I worked for in Cardston. I made their letters in to PDF's and emailed them off right away. At the same time and almost as an after thought I decided that I'd include two CES teaching certificates as well from when I taught the Old Testament in Early Morning Seminary 11 years ago. Interestingly enough, the following week, exactly another full week later I was offered the job and when I went in to talk about the New Hire Forms and have a little meeting with the Administrator and Head Secretary at the CES office, I found out that those two teaching certificates were the things that sealed the deal with the hiring committee here and in Salt Lake as the felt that could be an asset to them when it comes to supporting some of those early morning seminary teachers in the region I'll eventually be covering.  

It's taken until just recently for it to actually sink in that I actually did get this dream job...I felt like it wasn't real---it still feels a little surreal to me. I've felt a little guilt too in getting this fabulous job as there were so many ladies who wanted it. I have literally felt ill at times talking to some of the people who applied but didn't get it. That part stinks.

This job is an opportunity that as I read my patriarchal blessing now seems to fulfill several of the Lords promises or descriptions of my life that I thought I was failing at. There are lines in there I wondered what I was going to do as to fulfill them...the moment all of this unraveled and is here for me now I know the Lord's hand was in it, this is where I am suppose to be. And though my Plan "A" would have been to be having my babies and raising them up unto Lord...I have to forever thank my Heavenly Father for  Plan "B". 

On my first day in the office alone it was so quiet and peaceful and after coming from a room of over 100 kids and grown ups all day, buzzing with noise and constant transitioning kids from one thing to the next...hectic, chaotic, exhausting...when that first day's silence was only broken by the opening hymn in one of the seminary classes I couldn't hold it in, I leaned my head back and sighed loudly and said, "This. Is. Heaven!" I still wonder if the guy in the office next to mine heard me, but honestly, it is the only way to describe what it's like to go to work now...it's heavenly, it's peaceful, its wonderful. I don't work every day, I work when I want to work, so I get to balance my week out between home, the dental lab/office and the Seminary building now. I even have energy for Kinlee when she walks in the door with her backpack loaded up with the evening or weekly homework sheets. I don't feel like I'm knocking on deaths door anymore when I wake up in the morning. 

With the new turn of events on the job front I thought for sure I might actually get to get caught up some extra things around the house, pick up on some hobbies again, do things I have meant to get done for the last year or so that I couldn't being so busy...I did open up a sweet artsy fartsy journal K&I got for christmas and coloured in it with Kinlee while we listened to "Be Calm" music by Paul Cardall and for a moment I foolishly thought I could make a habit of that and finally maybe get those spare moments here and there to actually read a novel again or finish the ones I've started. I was so excited...for a minute anyway...it took less than 3 days to fill up all those little moments I thought I was going to get to relish in at certain points during the week...the same week the job started the Bishop released from my calling as Compassionate Service leader and extended another calling, a much busier, probably one of the busiest calling for a woman in this church...he called me to be the Young Womens' President. Even though I swore I never wanted to be in a presidency again let alone EVER be the president of any thing...I said yes. And then I set out to spend the next week trying to wrap my head around my new responsibilities at the Seminary Building while praying constantly for the right counselors and secretary. As the week unfolded my testimony of revelation grew leaps and bounds...by Sunday I had a strongly validated presidency lined up and when the old YW President was released, I felt a huge weight on my shoulders and actually as it turned out that night it felt more like the weight of an elephant on my chest...I couldn't breathe, literally as I was looking through the old presidents binder, papers, names, lists, meeting agenda's, goals, lesson plans, class presidencies and activities, girls camp, winter camp, budget, less actives,  non-member girls...as everything one by one piled in to my brain it overloaded my circuits or something because I am pretty sure what happened that night was an Anxiety/Panic Attack, I was hyperventilating, I thought I was going to die, my head was throbbing, my lungs couldn't get enough air, I was shaking and sweating and gasping for air...I was totally freaking out...It was doubt and fear overtaking me. I was questioning my ability to be a President, to be what I needed to be for the girls, to keep up with everything and do it all right and perfectly and please the right people. It was bad and I know it was the opposite of the spirit but once I got over tripping out over that and got on my knees and prayed some more, getting in to my scriptures and studying them with all this in mind and as I continue to do that I have felt more rest assured, more peace that I am going to make it, I can measure up if I do this in the right way and order, give myself some time and not expect it to all come at once I am going to do just fine. Although, I don't feel that comfortable in this role as a President yet, I hope I get there. If I humbly rely on the Savior to help me I'll be blessed in this calling, I have no doubt about that. I feel very secure in the fact that I picked amazing women to work with, the Secretary is incredible I can already tell that. I will make it and as we get a good system going between the four of us and include all the others on the board we will be on our way. Most of all, I am depending on the Lord to qualify me for this position, it's His work and I am here to do his work. 

And that is how my life has taken a 180 from a month ago to today...from a room of 100 exuberant elementary aged kids to my own peaceful office & 200+ high school kids, & from serving as the director of the compassionate service board in RS to serving with these beautiful & amazing ladies ((& the 27+Youth)) in the YW presidency. 

Life is crazy, but this is one thing I have learned from the span of one year...the Lord IS aware of us, he DOES know us each individually, we should never doubt or let ourselves be misled in to thinking we are abandoned or forgotten, sometimes we have to go through really lonely and hard times because we are being prepared for something, maybe it's not your plan "A" but it could easily be HIS plan "A" for you. I know that everything is in his way and time and we need to rely on Him whether our prayers are answered or they are seemingly going unanswered. He's in charge and I am so glad I can trust my future to Him. 

3 comments:

Tyler and Kristin Smith said...

I should be sleeping...
This was so beautifully written.
Amazing experiences you are having.
If I was a YW, I'd be thrilled to have you as the pres :)

Christal said...

a 180 for sure I'm so so happy things are so much better:) Love that these little things are the big things that make us so aware that our Heavenly Father hears our pleading and knows our hearts, even if its not the greatest desire of our hearts it helps to heal our hearts:) to know there is another plan and maybe one we have to wait for after this life who knows. But I do know You will be amazing with those girls and I'm always here if you need anything help advice whatever:) Being in 7 different yw's presidencies I've seen a lot ha ha;) But I know the girls will love you and you have a great presidency to delegate to and help you thats what they are there for:) Life is never easy but 180's are for sure nice aren't they:) So glad you get to work in a new atmosphere too:) love you:)

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