It seems like I was just headed to Missouri to get my kids for a summer visit after four long months without them (not counting the 4-5 hours I got to spend with them every third weekend). This past weekend, I took Savannah and her friend home. Sam had gone home the previous week to attend camp. At this point in time, I have absolutely nothing in writing that gives me a clue as to when or how often I will see my children. Am I worried about it? Actually, no. I am frustrated but not worried.
As I’ve said many times, “God did not bring me to Alabama to my dream job to just abandon me.”
I recalled the other day a memory. It was as sharp and clear as if it had been happening right then. My daughter and I were sitting in the back section of the Baptist church we attended. The minister was preaching on the subject of God’s call on your life. He mentioned that as parents, we fear for our children’s safety. We want the best for them. Sometimes, God’s call and our ideas for safety do not align. He used the example of “if God calls your child to serve as a missionary in Papua, New Guinea.” I clearly recall turning to my daughter and saying, “If God calls you to Papua, New Guinea to serve as a missionary (or anywhere for that matter), I will help you pack! I learned long ago not to interfere in God’s plans.”
It is rather disheartening then, when I feel called by God to go and do something that is my passion after years of studying and waiting and praying and crying and waiting and wondering . . . when my family balks and whines and complains. I’ve always tried to be supportive of my kids in their choices whether it was school, relationships, vehicles, pregnancies, jobs or anything else. Now it’s my turn to go where I feel I’m being led . . and I get pushback? Seriously?
My faith is one of the biggest components of my life. Without it I would have given up hope many times over and over many years. All I knew was that God had given me this passion for emergency services and emergency preparedness:
- He provided opportunities for me to use my healthcare background in joining my community’s small volunteer fire department,
- A paramedic I mentored at the hospital where I worked told me about a 2-week fire academy I was able to attend and receive my initial HazMat certifications,
- An ER patient informed me of a part-time firefighter position which had opened up at the fire department where he was a board member,
- A very intuitive emergency department manager sent me to Anniston, AL for emergency management training,
- That initial training plus my job as a part-time firefighter/medic led me to pursue a degree in Fire Science followed by a degree in Emergency Services Management
- Those degrees led me to pursue additional training at both Anniston and New Mexico facilities.
- It was while I was attending training at Anniston that I was offered an opportunity to join the team as an instructor/trainer which leads me to where I am today.
Is this where I envisioned myself back in 1992 when I thought I was going to have to quit nursing school to muddle through a divorce following the loss of a child? Not in a million years!!! BUT . . .
At that point in my life, I promised God that if HE could find a way to help me finish school, I would serve Him wherever and in whatever capacity He led me. God did his part, now I will spend the rest of my life doing my part in that promise.
1992 to 2019 – 27 years. My how the time has flown and with it the adventures, the heartaches, the laughter, the tears and always a sense of amazement on my part to see how God’s plan unfolds.
I’m just gonna keep holding on and enjoying the ride!!