"The key to change....is to let go of fear." - Rosanne Cash
I think I need to tape that quote to my refrigerator or something, because it's so good. And so relevant for me. I am on the cusp of a new chapter in my life...maybe even a whole new book! Today was my last day of work for the agency where I have been employed for the last 18 years.
Did I really just type that? I think I did. It is something I never thought I would do, leave my job that is. I started working there when I was only 23...my very first social work job! I loved it from day one, and the friendships I have made (both with co-workers and with the people I have supported) have changed my life in more ways than I could have ever imagined. For the past three years, I have been working in the children's therapy program as a therapist for children with autism spectrum disorders. It was quite a change from the 15 years of working with adults, but a change that I welcomed and it wasn't long until I fell in love with these kids. Every one of them. They are amazing. But with the new program came new expectations....namely, working later in the afternoons and sometimes into the evenings. I wasn't getting home until 5:30 or 6:00, or sometimes later, which made it very difficult to get supper going and get the kids to all of their many activities on time. I was frazzled, always in a rush, and always feeling like I was missing out, and that I wasn't there when my kids or my husband needed me. I wasn't there anymore to help with homework, and I missed more of my son's basketball games this year than I care to mention. It made my heart hurt. The toll that this schedule was taking on our family became very evident recently, and I felt God pushing me towards a change.
Change, that I of course resisted. At first. I'm not one who likes change very much, and God knows this about me all too well. He knows that if I am all curled up in my comfy little spot, there's very little short of a massive explosion (or the promise of chocolate) that will get me to move. But God, being God and all, knows just how to prepare me, motivate me, and remove the fear that so often resides in and paralyzes me in order to get me where He wants me to go. And perhaps most amazingly, He has the timing of things down perfectly! About three weeks ago, I decided to update my resume and send it to two autism centers in Rochester, which is about a 45 minute drive from our home. In my cover letter, I told them that I was looking for daytime hours, about 30-35 hours a week. I know it's not always smart to put restrictions on your availability before you even get in the door for an interview, but I figured that is what I was willing to leave the job that I loved for, and nothing less. So I took a chance and with a prayer, I clicked send. Within two hours I was offered an interview from one of them....and to make a long rambling story a tad bit shorter, I'll just sum things up to say that I start my new job on Monday!
These past two weeks have been filled with many walks down memory lane, words of appreciation, laughter, tears, and most of all....grace. God's grace has been abundant and His hand has guided every step of this journey, as He prepares me for the new co-workers, new experiences, new families, and most importantly...the new children whose lives I will have the incredible blessing and opportunity to touch and make a difference.
And even more profound than that, are the benefits and blessings that I am already anticipating will happen within our family. I will be home to see them off to school (almost) every morning. I will BE there when they get home from school....EVERY day! I will be the one (ME!) to say "how was your day?", to help with homework, to drive them to their activities, and to sit in the stands cheering them on. My heart is filled with so much joy and gratitude and praise that I think I will burst!!
"Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart...Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him." Psalm 37:4-7