13 February 2013

Not in my grand plan

English: Group photo in front of Clark Univers...
English: Group photo in front of Clark University Sigmund Freud, G. Stanley Hall, Carl Jung; Back row: Abraham A. Brill, Ernest Jones, Sándor Ferenczi. Photo taken for Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts publication. Česky: Foto z Clarkovy univerzity roku 1909. Dole (zleva) Sigmund Freud, G. Stanley Hall, Carl Jung, nahoře (zleva) Abraham A. Brill, Ernest Jones, Sándor Ferenczi (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I'll admit, I never set out to own my own bath and body business.  After receiving Cs in both high school and college chemistry, I never dreamed my entire life would revolve around chemical reactions and processes.

When I was in junior high school, I wanted to be either a lawyer (I'm very logical and love to argue, er, debate) or an architect (math isn't my best subject), and certain aptitude tests determined I'd do well with either profession.  Then in high school, I encountered the likes of Carl Jung, Abraham Maslow and B.F. Skinner, and a future Psychology major was born.

Long story short, I went on and got my B.S. in Psychology, followed by an M.A. in Counseling, and while I was trying to back-door my way into my counseling training, God called me to be a chaplain.  I went from someone who'd studiously avoided crisis counseling and crisis work to doing it all the time and loving every second of it!  I worked with families of all ages, nationalities, backgrounds and faiths.  I calmed the anxious, said prayers for successful surgeries and comforted the grieving.  Every "identified patient," which could include actual patients, family members or hospital staff members, was precious to me as a created child of God.  I trekked fifteen minutes across the hospital at 5:00 in the morning for a death call.  I answered many summons to the Emergency Department at 3:40 in the morning when a gunshot victim came in.  There were papers upon papers to write, encounters on which to reflect and at one point, the supervisor from... well, you know where.

This week, I was grateful for every single moment of that experience, because those experiences helped me navigate a major crisis in our family.  My cat died Monday.  She was almost 17 years old and she'd been in my heart since she was three days old.  She lived a long, well-loved, very pampered life.  It's been hard.  My little girls are having their own hard times dealing with it.  In the midst of this, God has been there.  One question we had to answer in our weekly reflections was, "Who was God for you this week?"  This week, my friend Bobby was God to me as he listened to me talk and cry and blubber for hours a day.  Through him, the Spirit was able to work in me, lending me her strength and enabling me to be present to my husband and girls.  Our neighbor Shayna was God for my older daughter.  Shayna had worked last Summer at our vet's office and had helped care for Octavia there; she'd also cat-sat for us over Christmas.  Shayna provided Mary with a space for her own grief without her having to share the "grief space" with anyone else.

Business came to a screeching halt while we said our good-byes, mourned and began the healing process.  But life does go on for the living, both four-legged and two-legged, and we're back to business as usual.

As you go through the next week, I encourage you to keep your eyes open to who may be God (as you understand God to be) for you.

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