Dear Friends, have you ever wondered how you discover what it is God wants you to do in life? Somehow we believe that we will “know” what path to take, or just exactly what our career should be. The story written below comes from a woman at Dayspring UMC. What her story tells us is that sometimes defining moments happen in ways that feel like an accident. Really, they happen when you are courageous enough to keep walking through the doors that open right before you.
I’ve been lucky in my life, or should I say graced? Yes, I believe I’ve been graced with being sent in the right directions at the right time. It’s through this grace that I’ve been led to help others throughout my careers.
I started my career as a music therapist. I had no idea what music therapy was when I started college. My parents believed in me enough to encourage me despite their concern that they hid from me. As a music therapist I was able to work with hundreds, if not thousands, of children and adolescents who came through the psychiatric hospital where I was employed. They were kids in trouble, issues with addiction, depression, suicide attempts. I thought I was reaching them and got validation when one of “my kids” came back to see me as an adult and said something I said changed his life. What did I say? Just something I said a lot to kids that resonated with him. You never know the power of your words.
After years of uncertainty about the health of our psych industry, our hospital finally closed. It was good timing for me. I had decided to change careers to the teaching field, was already in school, and I was six months pregnant. It was my first pregnancy but third child, having adopted my first two. Teaching would be so much better for family life. I would have weekends and holidays free, a first!!
I was intending to teach first or third grade, but I graduated when there was a glut of teachers. I was the leading candidate for a position nine times, had been shown to my new classroom and introduced to the team. Each time I received a call that the next candidate after me had teaching experience and was hired instead of me. UGH! I ended up being an itinerant music teacher for special needs children at seven different schools. After two years there was an opening in a class for kids who had complex medical and communication needs that was needing a teacher. No one applied so I took it, having received emergency certification. I was initially led by wanting to be at that school, close to my own children and home, so I could eventually teach 1st grade. Well, it’s sixteen years later and I am still with the special needs kids that I fell in love with. I was led to this class. I am able to make a difference, and I can still teach despite having a sudden loss of hearing and a cochlear implant.
Lucky? Graced by God? You decide. I choose graced.
What will you do with your defining moments?