Faith Meets Type A

For the last 11 years, I worked for a group home company based in the Twin Cities. I started working there on a whim, I had NO idea what working with those who had disabilities would entail and I was NOT prepared for how much it was going to derail my life. In a good way of course.

At the time, I had no real direction in my life. I had gotten an assistant manager position at a local bank right out of high school, transferring to another bank for more money and solidifying that I am not cut out for the cut throat (sometimes shady) sales that certain banks require. I quit, took a PT job at Panera Brea and went to college- because what else does a 20 year old do? Searching for my next step, considering Nursing, I responded to a rip off flyer promising valuable resume experience.

It came time for Sam & I to get married, quit our jobs and move to NDSU to finish school together. I COULDN’T QUIT…. how do you quit a job you looked forward to going to even when you have to get up at 4am and commute 45minutes to work? You can’t. I shredded my notice, dropped out of school and just kept immersing myself in this new world that I loved. I wasn’t sure where I would go next or what life would look like the next season and that scared me, what I did know was, I was happy and learned more from the people I served than anyone else up to this point.

Eventually, I took the leap to become a supervisor. After some “meh” supervisors, Kate came into the house. She was kind, funny and made you feel valued/important. I knew that I wanted to be that for someone else. By the grace of God, I was accepted and was given a location to manage. I spent the next 9 years living in two different locations, raising a family and working at several other locations. I had the best staff, amazing co-workers and some great bosses. But most of all, I served some of the most amazing human beings on this earth. They taught me to love everyday, even Mondays. To take a moment to dance often and that nothing ever needs to be too serious.

The road to where I am now is far too long and complicated to put into words. However, it starts with a still small voice telling me its time to be home, moves on to me disobeying because it didn’t make sense to quit a job and loose both our housing and half of our income. I loved my job and didn’t want to leave. After a year of red flags and convicting moments, I knew it was time to jump. Um, Hi, I thrive on planning and don’t do the whole unknown thing… guess I have to plan on being in a season of unplanned.

  • We bought a house, huge testimony to God’s faithfulness #1
  •  I gave my notice, transitioning to PT staff. Until I quit on Aprils Fools Day.
  • The day I quit, Sam’s HR Manager came to him and asked if I could do daycare for her kiddo over the summer. The pay? Exactly what I was making PT! Huge testimony to God’s faithfulness #2
  • A few days after I was done doing daycare, Sam got a raise… bet you can’t get the difference… yep, almost exactly what I was making…. Huge testimony to God’s faithfulness #3

One of my best friends was telling me about host homes, those who have someone with various disabilities living with you. Similar to what I had been doing yet different. The sound of it was trilling, being able to continue my passion while being home with my kids. No staff calling in, No open shifts. Sam and I agreed we would revisit it when Jekobi turned one. The end of July, I attended orientation through my county for becoming a licensed Adult Foster Care Provider. The first week of August I applied for both my county and state license. I was told that it would take 2-4 months for AFC & 3-6 months for State. I had my state license in August and my AFC the end of September. Huge testimony to God’s faithfulness #4.

Now, once you are licensed you are able to start touring your house to others. This is the most lengthy process… especially when you have a gaggle of kids, a dog and guinea pigs. It can be MONTHS before you get a placement. This scared me. We put all our extra money into fixing up the room, licensing fees, background studies, furniture etc. and I obviously can’t bill a waiver for services provided if I wasn’t providing any. How would we survive? How would we be able to pay for wedding things coming up? How would be do Christmas? How would we pay the renewal fees for my license due in December?

In church one Sunday, our Pastor said something that convicted me. The exact words I don’t remember. However, I vividly remember the Lord elbowing me and saying “girl, I got this. Stop worrying. Haven’t I already proved this to you?!” UGH, ok you are right. Boys needed new clothes- a friend dropped of BAGS and BAGS of clothes that were just their size and “cool” (their words) {God’s faithfulness #5}. We got an unexpected check back from our escrow account when we needed money most- God’s faithfulness #6.

Not long after that “gentle” reminder, I was contacted by my licensor with a person looking for basically what we had to offer. Our situation, while not ideal for many, was exactly what she needed. She toured and decided to move in with us BEFORE I WAS EVEN FULLY LICENSED. Huge testimony of God’s faithfulness #7.

Today, in a little over an hour, I will do my first official admit to Olson Homes only 2 months after applying to get my license. I still struggle with worrying about the future, stress from the unknown and wanting to control ALL.THE.THINGS. However, I’ve found beauty in the journey of trust and have been shown that HIS plans are better than my own.

 

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