So, I got a new job two months ago. I’m a caretaker for a feisty 80-year-old with Anomic aphasia which impairs her short-term memory caused by a stroke. For a care-taking job, it’s a piece of cake. I’m basically there to help her remember things, so there are no physical needs to take care of. Which is great, since this is my maiden voyage into this kind of work and I’m hoping to get full certification at some point.
The job is easy enough, with mild housework (at my request! Mostly it keeps me occupied and not dying of boredom!), helping her with word games meant to strengthen her memory and word recall, shopping trips, appointments and taking her to the gym for work-outs. (She, by the way, kicks my ass on most exercise equipment!)
I definitely didn’t plan on being a care-taker. My plan was to write books and sell them on Amazon and Barnes & Noble while staying home with the kids! But after trying for a year and barely breaking $50 dollars, it was time to get a real job. And by real, I mean one that pays much, much more than a $50 annual salary.
Coming to the conclusion of deciding to look for care-taking jobs was pretty simple. I knew there were a ton of job openings for care-taking as it’s not necessarily a coveted field of work and I heard hours could be flexible and fit my schedule. The problem was my heart wasn’t in it at all. So, I prayed that God would direct me to the right job and change my heart if it needed changing. (Hopefully, not care-taking, I whispered under my breath.)
It turns out my heart did need a
little lot of changing, and as I pursued the work, God was already moving in my heart. I wouldn’t say that suddenly I thought old people were awesome – it was more like God was awesome and full of love and compassion and he wanted to love and care for them through me. My job was to allow him to do that and strangely, once I got on board with the plan I was able to catch a glimpse of the way he saw them. And guess what? He really, really loves old people. Even those who’ve rejected him their whole lives and curse him for their old age and ailments. His compassion is outrageous, really. People I would have walked away from a long time ago, this God of ours is still pursuing – even right up to the grave. And I get a front row seat. 🙂
One of the coolest parts of this journey for me has been the specific answers to prayer that God has answered along the way.
For example, I prayed that the job would be close – within 10-15 minutes away, with a specific monthly earnings, and it wouldn’t be a person with overwhelming physical needs (at least not yet. Eventually, yes, but I wanted to ease into that part of it and not get scared off on my first job.) I asked that the hours would be flexible and fit my schedule, and I would get along with the client.
Well, the job is 7 minutes away, I make $300.00 more than I asked for, no physical needs, I get along great with my client, the schedule is more than flexible (I regularly pick my kids up at the bus-stop with my client and bring them back to her house until my husband can get them on the way home from his work.)
My client’s daughter, who hired me, is an acquaintance from church and also a writer. We’d even had articles printed in the same church publication and later both had articles rejected, too. (haha) Maybe this wouldn’t be a big deal to many of you out there – but it was for me. The fact that it was this person of all people who hired me, meant a great deal. Without getting into too much detail because it would take too long and its a little hard to explain, it was as if God was giving this answer to prayer his personal touch and saying, “I know you intimately, and even though you are doing this job, your writing isn’t over. I haven’t forgotten who you are.”
It was also confirming for my client’s daughter who’s own prayers were answered. Trust me, it was pretty cool – I wish I could explain it more fully!
Oh, and I almost forgot to explain how I heard about the job. I was hesitating looking for care-taking jobs when I felt God giving me a little nudge saying, “Get moving! No one can steer a parked car. Just get moving so I can direct you.”
So, finally, I got on the computer and searched for care-taking jobs. I called one agency and they told me I needed ten references, and to explain my experience in the field. After hearing that, my heart sank. I hadn’t worked for six years! My job history had a giant hole and not to mention all the people I worked for I hadn’t been in touch with for over half a decade. As I shook my head, wondering how I was going to find ten references, I heard a message pop up on Facebook. It was a friend from church who knew I was looking for this kind of work and heard that someone was looking for a care-taker to help their mom. I swear, it was less than 20 minutes after talking to the agency I got this message.
With all these answers to specific prayers and confirmation this was where I felt God wanted me – you’d think my job must be the most important and exciting job ever!
Well, it’s not, really. After all this build-up the job is rather unexciting.
However, although most of my days are what some would describe as monotonous, mundane, slow and unrewarding, at the end of the day, if I take the time to sit down and sift through my day-to-day experiences, all sorts of treasures come to the surface. Lessons of faith, endurance, mercy, patience, forgiveness, love, humility and thankfulness begin to sparkle like diamonds in the rough. The only thing that has changed is my perspective. If I truly believe this is where God wants me then the fun comes in discovering why. It doesn’t matter what you do, whether you are a janitor, an engineer, a CEO, or a home-maker, there are always treasures waiting to be discovered. I just wish I had opened my eyes a lot sooner.
Call out for the ability to be wise.
Cry out for understanding.
Look for it as you would look for silver.
Search for it as you would search for hidden treasure.
Then you will understand how to have respect for the Lord.
You will find out how to know God.
The Lord gives wisdom.
Knowledge and understanding come from his mouth.