all the waves of time are crashing and our innocence is gone

February 7,  2010 marks one month since my last day as a social worker. I began my work as a social worker on May 23, 2008, fresh out of college and days before saying yes to the life-changing question of "will you marry me?"

I had attended the University of Oklahoma, starting with a major in English-Creative Writing and then switching to Journalism and Mass Communication. I was full of ideals and plans for my life. The plans included moving to New York City, writing a best-selling novel and also a television show (the next Dawson's Creek or One Tree Hill) simultaneously of course, never getting married, and shopping as much as I could. Of course, those plans often changed. I considered Boston or Philadelphia over New York City, even jokingly made plans with a friend to move to Boston and liv together. I exchanged writing both a best-selling novel and television show for teaching and writing a best-seller.

And yet, God had much different plans for my life than the plans I considered to be of the utmost importance. He called me to a life that I was not prepared for and am still, two years later, struggling to grasp and understand and live to the fullest. I say two years because it was just over two years ago that I met my husband of now 16 months, and meeting him (and subsequently falling in love with him) set into motion a sequence of events that altered all my plans and forced me to yield to God.

I'm still working on the yielding, and I imagine I will never be the best at yielding. I've never really been a fan of not having things my way and not planning out every step and then executing those steps. But with God, I've found (and continue to find) that if you plan He will often go away from your plans completely just to prove to you that He knows best. Which He does. He has always known best in my life, even if I did not.

And it was because of Him that I began my work as a social worker fresh out of college. It was because of Him that I spent 16 months serving others, working late nights, struggling to turn my mind off, building relationships with children and adults, crying uncontrollably at times, and often begging for a way out of that particular line of work.

It was a stressful position, to say the least, and it zapped me of any extra energy I might have had for writing. At least, I let it zap me of ay extra energy, and not just for writing but for everything else. 

I considered the position to be my calling. And it was, for that season of my life. But I let the calling take over my life. I let the calling dictate my emotions, my joy, and my energy. I became consumed with the calling and let the Caller fall to the wayside. When it got to be too much, I prayed for a way out, for a new calling, and while it did not happen as quickly as I wanted, God provided a new position for me.

The position is still in the social services field, but I am not responsible for making the decision of when a child will return home (or if they will return home) or removing a child from the place they consider home to place them in a stranger's home. I no longer take on so many other responsibilities, emotions, or worries. Now, I can place those on God, where they have always belonged.

By doing this, I now allow myself time to spend time with God. I allow myself time to laugh with friends. I allow myself time to enjoy my husband. I give up my worries and anxieties and sadness. I fill myself up with love and hope.

I should have done this while working as a social worker, but I became obsessed with the actions instead of the reason for the actions. It has been a difficult transition, one that February 11, 2010 will mark one month of, but it has been one in which I have seen the glory and promise of the Lord.

As I continue to embark on this journey of life and navigate my way through this season of my life, I hope to write and document the lessons learn. I hope to share the love of God in my life through this section of cyberspace.

(title from "hope" by alli rogers)

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