8.07.2016

Give Me Faith

"I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had no where else to go. My own wisdom and that of all about me seemed insufficient for that day." ~ Abraham Lincoln

When things in my life fell apart several years ago, I remember desperately clinging to Romans 8:28: "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose." 

That verse slammed into my brain just as things started to unravel and it stayed there from that point on. Any time I started to panic (and oh, there were many of those moments), it would flash across my brain like a neon sign in Times Square. Any time I felt like I was drowning under the weight of uncertainty, of doubt, of sadness, of frustration, of fear...it was there. 


And even though I know, on an intellectual level, that God is working things for my good, I am constantly amazed - particularly lately, but also in retrospect - how God gives me exactly what I need, exactly when I need it.


Always. 


I don't know why I ever doubt Him on this, but I do. Obviously I do because, if I didn't, I wouldn't be amazed each time He comes through for me. And yet He does. Every. Single. Time. These past few weeks and months have been one giant, constant reminder that He always does. And I'm reveling in how grateful I am. I am doing my best to commit this feeling to memory so that, if I ever doubt again (and I'm sure I will - I'm human), I can recall this feeling right now and reconnect with that faith.


My pastor just wrapped up a 3-week series on the storms in our lives - how we know they're going to come, how to survive them, and finally how to heal from them. He used 2Cor4:6-10 as the key scripture:


For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts
 to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. 
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.


He talked about how the storms in life move on, but often leave us devastated and in the dark; how restarting our hearts is essential; that on our healing journey getting up and and heading toward wholeness is the goal; that we all need to step out of darkness and into the light of God's grace.

He also pointed out that healing = wholeness but none of that equals a cure, per se. God doesn't always cure us, but He definitely makes us whole. Being cured usually means that things have basically been restored to their former state of 'normal'. You and I both know that, when bad (or good) things happen, you never go back to the way it used to be. It's not possible. And, really, it's not desirable. You've changed. You've learned (hopefully).

There is no going back.

I have no desire to go back. Oh, sure, there are parts of my life that I miss - people that I miss. There was an innocence that I miss. But now that I am on the other side of it and I'm working toward whatever it is that God is going to have me do next, things are so much richer. I've shed so much of the chaff of my life. So much has been winnowed away and I'm finding that I'm left with the things that truly matter to me: my family, my close circle of friends, my faith, and this burning desire to live out God's top two commandments:

1. Love the Lord, your God with all your heart with all your soul and with all your mind
2. Love your neighbor as yourself

There is a richness to my life now that was never there before. Not that my life was bland - not by any stretch. But my perspective is different.

I am different. My life is different. And I am grateful for that.






- hfs


8.03.2016

Unemployed...




Week 1 of unemployment is almost in the books. It's been wonderful reconnecting with my children. We've gone on hikes, hit the pool, grabbed ice cream together. We have movie dates and museum/attraction visits planned for the coming weeks before schools starts and the fall chaos begins and I'm really looking forward to it. I've missed them. I truly enjoy my children and like spending time with them. I love watching them grow into these amazing people.


In the midst of all of that is the ever-present 'TO DO' list. It looms and I have to keep reminding myself that I have more than the next 3 weeks (before my classes start) to get things done. Plus, it's just too damned hot outside to do much. 96°F with 77% humidity and a heat index of 115°F+? No thank you. So I either go to jiu-jitsu or go hiking in the AM while The Girl is at swim and then work indoors during the day. My two volunteer endeavors - Team Rubicon and a bike-sharing program here in town - keep me busy enough.


And speaking of Team Rubicon, I am beyond excited for next week. We have our Regional Leadership Conference and I get to spend 4 days with some people I adore! Along with laying out plans for the upcoming year in terms of training, membership, engagement, recruitment, Tough Mudder involvement/partnership, I get to go canoeing/rafting and just hang out with them. No chainsaws involved, as far as I know. I. Cannot. Wait.


Then it's back and a week later, school starts for all of us. This will be the first time in our family's history that all 4 of us are students at the same time. I'm curious to see how that will all work out. I don't have all of the logistics figured out and I'm running on faith that it will. Somehow. In the meantime, I am going back through my old EMT texts and refreshing my memory on anatomy, physiology, the legalities of the EMS world, etc. My brain isn't 21 anymore and needs a bit longer to warm up and retain useful information so I figured I'd get a head start. What I'm finding is that I have retained a lot more than I expected. Some areas are rusty - blood flow through the heart, the four quadrants of the abdomen, and a few other things - but most of my A&P knowledge is still there. Hopefully that bodes well.


My pastor, the former civilian flight medic, had some good insight about working as a substitute EMT on overnights and fill-ins once I get my NREMT. That opened up a whole world in my brain - I hadn't really envisioned where I was going to GO with this certification once I have it. I just figured I would use it with Team Rubicon, maybe with the Boy Scouts, and that was about it. I hadn't really given thought to actually WORKING as an EMT. And then two things happened: my pastor mentioned the sub work (necessary at this point in my life, versus full-time work) and I found a local option for paramedic school. It's a hybrid program between a local junior college and one that's about 2 hours away. at first glance, it looks like it could work. The application period is closed right now but I'll be able to apply at the end of the summer next year for the JAN2018 class. That will give me time to get my NREMT certification and rack up some hours working as an EMT.


It's kind of scary weird to finally figure out what you want to BE when you grow up...But before I get all panic-attacky, I'll just go back to being excited to hang with my TR peeps in a week!




- hfs