Jun 5, 2022 | by The Fellowship
In December 2019, my one-year-old baby son and I moved back home after a brief stint in the military reserves. My parents welcomed us so we could begin building a future. After reaching out to dear friends from my previous job, I was blessed to get hired back as an elementary school aide and to be surrounded by people who were like family.
At the time, I felt lost. Motherhood was challenging; I needed to continue my education as well as work, and the military was no longer an option because I wanted to be there for my child as much as possible. One of the teachers at my school strongly suggested that I pursue a career in education because of my experience and enjoyment of working with children. This would give me frequent time off to spend with my little one. I enrolled and began taking courses online.
Fast forward: COVID hit and everyone working in education got hit harder. Our motto became “adapt and overcome” while my desire to become a teacher was slowly fading away. When things gradually started going back to normal at work, life at home was taking a turn. My sister’s mental health issues were creating a rocky path for every member of our family while the demands of work, college and trying to co-parent only made things harder. But my dad’s words of wisdom at the right time always calmed my mind, making me feel like I can still achieve the American Dream.
A few days before Christmas last year, I dropped my parents and sisters off at the airport so they could enjoy a white Christmas in Seattle while meeting the newest grand baby of the family. That was the last time I hugged my dad goodbye.
On Christmas Day, we facetimed before they went to dinner. During that meal, he collapsed unexpectedly and passed a couple of hours later.
When someone close leaves this earth, you are bombarded with so many emotions! I was incredibly hurt and filled with so much anger. Up to this day I wonder why this had to happen. Why so soon? My faith has been at risk thinking how unfair it seems that I told my dad to “have fun on his trip” -- and then he never came home. He will not see me graduate from college … attend my son’s Grandparents Day at school … be there for our birthdays … see any of his children get married. And Father’s Day from now on will feel empty.
If during the COVID years, I was barely surviving … I am not sure what to call the past six months! We have received an immense amount of physical, emotional, and financial help from our loved ones and friends, including his Navy submarine shipmates. While being forever grateful for such blessings, I still struggle knowing that not even the greatest miracle would bring him back.
The saying that “God gives the toughest battles to the toughest soldiers” works differently in reality. God does not give the hardest battles to his toughest soldiers; He creates the toughest soldiers through life’s hardest battles.
While working in Special Education for the last few years, I have faithfully enjoyed helping and making a difference in the hearts of these children. About a month ago, one of my students was absent for a few days because his grandmother passed. He was troubled by the loss of his grandmother, and I decided to mentor him through the process of grieving, knowing that I needed it too!
Recently a great new opportunity came open on a campus much closer to our home. I decided to apply. When I was called for an interview, my family and friends were praying with me. Normally, I am a nervous wreck in situations like these. The calmness I felt while being interviewed amazed me. A few days later, I received a call from Human Resources to say I received the position, and an email followed welcoming me to my new campus! While I cannot share the news with my dad, I share it with you all. I hope this helps others who are going through a rough time to keep going.
Our Lord’s presence was truly felt in that interview, and His grace abounded in awarding me the job. Without all the support and prayers, I would not have this blessing. How encouraging that my Heavenly Father is giving me fresh hope that I will eventually attain the American Dream which my earthly dad so believed in!
The eternal God is your dwelling place and
underneath are the everlasting arms.