May 3, 2010

Ready, Set, Go!

It is Monday, May 3rd, and I am getting my plans in order. I am expecting a call on a job any day now, and have already received a confirmation letter back from Mercy College. Everything is working as I thought and hoped, and now I am just waiting for the job to come through for me.

Everything hinges on the job, because without it, I am not going to be able to be self-sufficient, and start taking care of myself and my son. I need a job that will pay well, but one also that will provide a solid and secure future for me. My son has one more year left of high school, and then wants to go to college. That prospect is something I simply have to be prepared for (and am currently not). He will more than likely get some help, but even still, costs are rising, so I have to have a good plan in place.

Secondly, a job will permit me to move. Whether I move locally or to another state, a job is key. I cannot even think of moving out of my present home without some measure of income. A landlord will want references and deposits, a loan company will need verifiable income. So, the job has to come to pass before I can proceed any further on these plans.

I am excited to see them come to pass. I have been waiting a very long, long time for this -- even well before the events of the past year. I have been working part-time for the last 20 years, mostly to facilitate raising my son at home. This was a choice I made as well as my husband -- to be a SAHM and to raise our son without day care. It was the best choice for our son, who had social problems (Asperger-like with some OCD tendencies). He thrived at home, and with my careful attention to everything (from diet to social situations), he was able to overcome everything by age 12. He was public-schooled for a time, but towards 3rd grade, the social issues compounded with his overt giftedness were getting out of hand. Home schooling, therefore, has been a saving grace, so to speak. He has done so well learning at home, and is now ready to handle the demands of any academic institution or any career of his choosing.

Truth be told, had I worked early on, our life may have turned out quite differently. I have no doubt that my son would have suffered for the worst, but we would have not been financially poor. We would have had a much better standard of living had I chosen to work full-time after he was born. This was not the Lord's will -- I knew that back when he was born. I received a call to stay at home and take care of my son, twice -- with one time actually receiving explicit confirmation from a complete stranger (so explicit it was almost divine.) I took the advice, followed the Lord in obedience, and was incredibly blessed because of it.

I have held this tightly to me, not really sharing it with anyone (due to strange looks and odd reactions). This person, IMHO, was an angel sent from God. If you have never experienced such people before all I can say is they tend to be a little off, a little not quite right. If you have seen "It's a Wonderful Life" then you will know what I mean. Even though this is a movie, it is pretty accurate. The angel I met was very much like Clarence in the Jimmy Stewart movie. Dressed a bit out of step, speaking in an uncommon way, and generally acting a little different. Yet, even with all the oddities, this person was the measure of calmness. I have never seen such a serene person before. And, when I say serene, I mean it. It was like looking into heaven.

The day I met this person (my angel as I like to say) was a day when my life had literally gone to "hell in a hand basket." I was enrolled in Graduate school at San Jose State University, and I was trying to raise my then 1 year old son. I had just broken my foot (cat-wall collision at home), and was trying to figure out how to make my dream of a Masters degree in English come to pass. I had been accepted to school, and went believing that my Mom would be able to watch my son on the days I had classes. At the last minute, she said she was unable to do this, and I had no other resource for child care. She had knee problems, such that caused her to retire early, and she felt she wasn't able to follow after a 1 year old. I was stuck in a bad situation with no way out. My teachers encouraged me to seek child care, but I had no money to pay for a sitter. My husband was not supportive of my returning to school, and felt that if I did anything, I should go back to work. It was difficult to say that I wanted to stay at home, but I also felt this calling to return to school.

I was emotionally a wet-rag, full of anxst over whether to stick to my guns or quit school. I finally made up my mind, did one of those "you made your bed, Carol, so now lay in it" things to get met to accept reality. After all, here I was with a baby, a baby that had come to me some 9 years after marriage (and wanting children). I felt that he was a gift from God, given to me specifically to raise him (that was impression number 1 -- when he was just a baby -- feeling the Holy Spirit of God move on me and confide in me that I was to care for this child). As I struggled to do the right thing, which was back then, quit school and embrace motherhood, I was a mess inside. How could I wrangle and wrestle with two conflicting emotions -- one to be a Mom and the other to be a graduate student. I felt just as confident about my going to graduate school as I did being a Mom. It simply didn't make any sense to me.

That was, until that day, when I met my angel person. I had gone to school to drop out of my classes. I went in the admissions office, stood in line for what seemed ages, and then told the registrar I needed to drop because I didn't have child care for my son. I left feeling a huge sense of relief, and then while I was putting my son into his car seat, this person appeared to me. She (I know -- angels are supposed to be all male) just stood behind me, appearing out of no where. I was startled but when I looked at her face all I saw was this peace. She asked me what I was doing, which I told her. Then she asked me what I had just done, and I told her that I had dropped my classes to stay at home. She looked into my face and simply told me that it was the Lord's will for me to stay at home right now. It was like she was telling me that the other dream, the other path would come to pass some day, just not right now. She was very kind to me and then walked away. I watched her for a moment, thinking she was this very strange person. The next time I looked back, she was gone.

This was not the first time I had met someone like this. I met another woman who showed up at a critical moment, and then just vanished. It was in church, a specific day I will not forget. Some people don't believe in such things. I never really did until I experienced it myself (twice). Now, I think that God sends us whatever we need at the exact moment we need it. Sometimes all we need is His Word, a reminder of Scripture. Sometimes we need the comforting words of a friend or family member. Sometimes we need to get knocked on the head, and then sometimes we need divine intervention to help us see the Lord's will for our life.

This was my divine intervention, and I have to say that at the time, I just thought it was plain weird. In hindsight, I know what it was, and I know that it was God's way of showing me that what I was doing was right. I have held onto that impression for these past 16 years, believing that my son needed me, and that God appointed me to the task of raising him. I don't know if it because He has special plans for my son, or if simply, it was because my son had some special needs that would diminish ONLY with the right kind of attention and patience (this is true of course). I just know that at that time, this was my calling and it was enough to make me walk away from graduate school and lay that desire at the Lord's feet for all these years.

Now, I am in a different place and I believe that the Lord's timing for me to return to school is right. I am in the process of getting accepted, and my son is almost done with school. He still needs me, but not in the same way. He is very capable on his own, and he can stand to be left by himself. He needs me, but he doesn't need me, kwim? He is 16 going on 30, still a little boy but well on his way to becoming a wonderful young man. I am blessed, God has so richly blessed my life, and I know that whatever plans the Lord has for him, they are very good. Very good, indeed.

The plans He has for me are good as well. I am waiting for them to come to pass, trusting in Him, knowing Him as I do, and desiring for His good will to be done in my life. He is my Source of all being, and He is the One who loves me so dearly. I love Him and know that His will is perfect, His timing perfect, and His plans are perfect.

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