Sunday, November 11, 2012


... is the preparation phase for cell division. During this phase, our cells grow in size and make copies of our DNA. OK... that flew over your head? How about this... you can't make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich until you get the ingredients out of the pantry... you have to prepare first! Our entire life is a preparation phase. Preparing us for only one thing... one Person... but we'll get back to that...

All of my life I grew up NOT OK with blood or bodily fluids. Even at 28 I look the other direction when a nurse sticks me with a needle (and that's been a lot lately). I did my best not to be injured. Rarely rode on anything with less than four wheels for fear of scraping my knees, but the last two years of my life have started looking much different. As most of you know I lost an amazing student almost 2 years ago and it absolutely rocked my world. I've lost a lot of people in my life, but there was something different, something about him being so young, that changed my perspective on many things. God took me through a series of challenges and lessons on grief during that time.

One way I used to always handle grief was to pack up and run. So when I got a phone call about a really awesome job opening at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta it only seemed appropriate to look further into it. I didn't want to have to walk passed his locker one more time. The job was, for me, a dream job... working with pateints and their families, communicating between doctors, parents, and schools about the educational need of the patients so they didn't fall behind in school... basically the child life specialist of the education world. Who even knew that type of job existed?! So... I applied... and got denied. :) It just simply wasn't in God's timing... but I KNEW it was what I was supposed to be doing. I could feel Him calling me for it and soon after I would quickly see Him preparing me for it.

A few months later I began talking to a close friend of mine, Jessica, about an organization called Lighthouse Family Retreat. LFR is an organization that takes families living through childhood cancer to the beach. Honestly, I thought I would be a hot mess if I ever had to work with those families. I mean... I'm an emotional person! Just ask my mom, siblings, or basically any person who has sat next to me at church, or next to me during a cell phone commercial... you know... the one where the guy sends the girl the pics of places he is visiting and then shows up next to her?! Melts my heart every time! Anyway, I never imagined I'd have the strength to support a family and love on them in a way that would be helpful. These conversations with Jessica occured while she was talking about her experience with LFR and also when she was planning to have them present at Cornerstone, a gathering of people in Atlanta to learn about service opportunities in our city. This also happened to be during the time I was 100% certain I was going to Kenya over the summer. As is the story of my life... God's plans are usually MUCH different than mine and Kenya didn't happen, but Lighthouse Family Retreat did!

Transit, the middle school ministry inside of North Point Ministries, added a rising 8th grade mission trip to LFR last summer. I felt called to reach out and see if there was a way I could help... so they made me a co-leader. I went from being certain I would never be good at it, to feeling called and leaning in, to being a frightened co-leader not knowing what at all to expect... but knowing I cried during EVERY SINGLE video we watched as a team. Small secret: I wasn't completely comfortable until someone from Lighthouse said to us: "God doesn't call the qualified. He qualifies the called." Thank goodness for that... because this little lady was having some serious doubts and fears. God quickly showed me the power of an open heart, love for His people, and the goodness through even some of life's most difficult trials.

I got home from Lighthouse knowing it would never leave me. I got plugged in as a hospital ambassador for the organization at Egleston and Scottish Rite in Atlanta and loved every minute I got to spend with the incredible patients and their families. We laughed, rolled beach balls, sang with clowns, made necklaces, and colored paper fish... my own personal Disney World in Atlanta. (FYI: DW is my most favorite place... and the happiest place... on earth)

Now... I don't know if you're following this... but I went from not getting a job at Children's, to volunteering for an organization that serves their patients, to serving INSIDE of Children's for an organization that serves their families. God is pretty crafty!

Also... if you have read anything else I've posted, or know me closely... you know I've been dealing with a lot of medical issues myself. It's actually a blessing to have the experiences I have and to be able to relate to the kids and their families on a familiar level. It's not fun, scary at times, and exhausting... but I honestly wouldn't change it.

Once I got back into Children's... it was so incredibly 100% clear... I was supposed to be there. I didn't know when and I didn't know how, but God was preparing me. Of that I was certain. In July, another position, the same job description as last time, opened up (I checked daily... I'm not going to lie). I applied... and waited... and waited... and waited. Unbeknownst to me... Children's HR froze the hiring of the position, so I didn't hear anything until October 9th. The phone call was something like this, "Can you come in tomorrow at 9 for an interview?" Of course I said yes... went... and the people sitting at the table were: two people who had interviewed me last year, along with the person who got the "yes" when I got the "no." Again... I'm not going to lie... it was awkward... up until they mentioned they were going to skip a few parts they already knew about me from last year, to which I replied, "No! Don't do that! It didn't work out too great for me last time. Let's start over!" I got a nice loud laugh from the table :)

I start my Educational Advocacy position at Children's on December 17, 2012 :)

God is faithful... especially when we are faithful. He uses every aspect of our life to prepare us for what He has planned... not what we have planned. Our role... just follow Him. The easiest thing I've ever done is follow His lead... after I released control ;) You see, our preparation is for His purpose, not our own. Every single day we are being prepared, by our amazing Heavenly Father, to serve Him on this Earth. If we aren't allowing Him to do just that... we are only holding ourselves back from sharing His glory. I didn't want to stay in my job after Sanders passed, but in the time the Lord had me there I've learned to grieve, face difficult circumstances, reach out and hold someone's hand, ask for help, and to love on people who need it more than I do. I learned how to live my days for Him... not for myself.

Interphase... it's the preparation phase for cell division. Not even our cells work without preparation first! Why should we expect anything different from our God? After all... He made our cells to work that way!