If I didn’t believe in God, I think I would find the things I’ve been through in my 36 years of life absurd, sad and pointless. If you’ve been a long time reader you’ve seen countless posts where I’ve felt lost and directionless. I’d wonder, what is my purpose in this life? Yes, I want to raise strong, intelligent caring boys and be a supportive wife. Yes, those are still by far my top goals, but there was always a drive for something a little more…something that gave my life a little more meaning.
I have failed to realize how strong I am. They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and it couldn’t be more true. In my life, I have been through foster care, I have been an orphan. I was a teen runaway that never looked back. I’ve been abused physically and sexually by people who were supposed to take care of me. I know what it feels like to feel lost, forgotten and unimportant to people.
But I also know the amazing love a child brings to a family and that a child gives that love back to people, hoping and trusting that it won’t be shattered. I know what it feels like to be unofficially adopted by a couple that went to my church when I was that teen runaway. I know what it feels like to have love given to me when I didn’t feel like I deserved it. And I know how the special words and concern of a teacher made me feel during my teen years when I was suicidal.
Over the last three months I’ve been in shocking, paralyzing situations I never thought I’d have to handle as a para in a school classroom. I’ve had to handle the rage of a student who wants to hurt himself or others on a daily basis. He has to be closely monitored. Recently a student that used to sit right next to this student that I work with died in a terrible car accident. That’s a lot for a new para to handle. My first two weeks in my role at this school was pretty terrifying. I didn’t understand why they would give “me” an inexperienced person, this job? Why wasn’t a more experienced para moved into this role? I had a lot of questions about that, but time and asking my fellow co-workers these tough questions, helped me realize the extremely tough situations rural schools are put in, and the lack of resources available to them. I’ve learned how hard it is to hire teachers who actually want to move here. With that, I found my personal “why” and feel strongly that God wanted me to be here. He wanted me to work with that child, to help children when they’ve experienced a loss like a fellow classmate.
While I can’t openly talk about the specifics here in this setting, I will share that these situations with a child I work with who has major behavioral issues, along with all the children I work with every week, has lead to a deep discovery within myself on how I can make a difference in this world. I will need to go back to school. I will need my master’s. Why do I want to go through all this work to do this? I think it was put in my heart to do this.
I know what some of these kids have been through. I have personal experience. I can use my past pain, for a greater good. I can finally move on from some terrible things in my life by using the experiences as a means to advocate for children.
But first on our agenda as a family is moving! Before I dive into exploring a new career, my husband has been given a wonderful opportunity to explore his highest potential. An old co-worker of his got in contact with him recently. We went out to Loveland and he interviewed for this position and we will be moving out to the front range in less than a month. We’ve found a wonderful home and things seem to be falling into place. Instead of feeling lost and displaced, the way I have been feeling for 5 months, I now feel like our permanent home is just over the horizon and my life has purpose again beyond the impact I make with my own children and husband.
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