All of my adult life I have struggled to find my purpose. You know, you’ve read about it here and that’s only one of the many posts that have addressed this issue. It’s something I wrestle with- always feeling like I’m not doing enough- and even more so now that I am a Christian. I yearn to do my best for God as he has blessed me in so many ways. I think this quote sums it up best :
Truth is, I’m not sure I’ll ever feel I’ve done enough. I could safe every orphaned AIDS baby in Africa and still feel like I should have done something to save the whales. I hear from my husband & friends reminders of all the important things I am doing, after all, I am a mother and raising my children is not a small task. However, I secretly feel like this is a cop-out. I should be leading missions trips, family in tow, or walking our streets with my kids saving the homeless and leading recycling programs; so on and so on. I feel like I’m all talk or all heart and no action. I worry that I use my family as a scapegoat for not doing all I could- after all, wouldn’t my children learn best from my example?
I read the book, Anything: The Prayer that Unlocked My God and My Soul by Jennie Allen, a few months ago. Essentially it talks about how she realized that she & her husband (like all Christians) need to surrender their life in Christ; that they needed to rely on God solely to dictate the path of their life and they needed to be prepared to go places and do things that they wouldn’t necessarily choose for themselves. So they made a vow that they were willing to do “Anything” that He called them to do. It was a good book and reminded me how often I have spent searching for what I thought my calling might be rather than simply listening and being led. I began to pray honestly and earnestly for God to move in me and show me what my purpose here is; to use me to do His will and not my own.
Now, as much as I would like to wake up to angels telling me flat out what that is or even a post it note on my forehead with written directions from God, he apparently doesn’t work that way. Instead it became my job to listen and since I’m not always so good at doing that – at least not without picking everything apart (“Is this it, God?”… “Or was that it?”)- God has decided to speak up and make things very clear to me.
I started working at the girls’ school this past September. In November the position of Health Service Assistant opened up and I applied. It had not previously been held by a nurse because there really hadn’t been a need. I had thought I had left my nursing days behind. In the last 5+ years it sounds like the ambulance was contacted only once, maybe. Since November I have now used the previously unused eye wash station twice for chemical exposures, sent 3 employees to the hospital, and called the ambulance at least FIVE times (I’m starting to lose count, frankly). I’ve had kids with significant seizure episodes, kids struggling to breath and quickly worsening, and all sorts of other things. I have performed mouth-to-mouth for someone who stopped breathing. EMS has never once questioned a call because every incident has been serious. I have built relationships with kids that have allowed them to open up to a grownup about what has been going on at home or school- things that make me cry when no one else is around and hug my children tighter. Things that keep me up at night. Things that make me pick up the phone and advocate for them, allowing the County to help keep them safe. Friday I left school late after a particularly rough week and was the first person to stop and help at a recent car crash, leaving my kids in the car on the side of the road and rushing up to see my co-worker in the car and witness the driver of the other car leave the scene. Thankfully, praise Abba, she was for the most part okay, banged and bruised, but okay.
Do I think all of this is a coincidence? No. God put me there to calm her and hold her hand. God put me there to serve these kids and adults. He has blessed me with a cool head and a warm heart during crisis and a strong ability to bounce back from these adrenaline rushes. God has put me where I am needed and just to make sure I didn’t miss that point he has been working hard to drill it home. Not only have I had the ability be in the right place, but He has lead me through all of it- His hand evident in the perfect way odd circumstances have played out allowing things to run smoother than they ever should have and giving me then the incite to create a safer school moving forward. One incident led to a meeting with administration to discuss some holes that we saw during a recent crisis. This meeting took place only 2 days before our next crisis and allowed things to run smoothly. Because of the changes we made (like calling a soft lockdown when 911 calls are placed) EMS was able to get in and out of our building swiftly to get immediate care to the individual in question, kids were spared having to witness this scary scene, and the patient was able to leave the building with dignity and privacy.
It doesn’t just stop there, though. God has allowed my children to remain safe while being there beside me, while allowing them to witness my work. We came home Friday and crashed on my bed, completely fried, where I gave them time to ask all their questions. I explained to them my role at work and what it means to be a mandated reporter, what their role is if someone they know ever tells them they are being hurt, are scared, or touched inappropriately, and who to go to. I had the chance to explain to them how as school staff we really do care about our students and that though it may be hard, we don’t keep secrets like that because our love is too great and their safety more important than anger or secrets. I explained to them that as one of God’s children I never “clock out” and that if there is someone in need I will always stop and help- even if all I can really do is hold a hand and give some comfort. That sometimes God puts us places for a reason and we may not always understand it, but it is our job to listen and to serve. Originally I had joked with coworkers about feeling cursed, but no more. I realize that I am amazingly blessed to have a Father that has given me such an important role, who guides me so clearly once I learned to rely on him and open up my heart to “anything”. I am lucky to have a Father who keeps me strong and gives me exactly what I need to His work. The glory is not mine. It has nothing to do with me and my abilities. It is all from him.
Not sure what your purpose is? I dare you to open your heart and simply ask.