Some of my journeys through this life have had a clear direction, an ending point and then the way to reach that was filled with stumbling blocks. The journey seemed doable because I had a clear focus and ending point despite all the challenges to get there. However, the Lord knows my needs…especially my need to grow and learn, and well; I guess it was time to be stretched.
My journey began with a few steps in late March 2014 planted there by a dear friend. This friend had said some of these things to me over a year before, but my heart and direction wasn’t ready to really listen to it. My husband had even said it 2 years before, but again, my heart and focus wasn’t ready to really listen. Upon reflection, I think that I wasn’t even aware that these needs were really what needed to happen. Ah, the flawed and tragic position of the comfort zone. There isn’t any growth here, and that was where I was firmly planted when it came to my job, my routines, my family, and my testimony.
I could feel my testimony and my desire to be more start to wane, but I just thought, study harder, read more, pray more…those things helped but when the prayers were finished, and the studying was put away, I had a confused and empty feeling. That is not from the Spirit. That was not what I was expecting. My job opportunities had been shut tight, and the glass ceiling had been well established, but because of my drive I thought I could give it one more year, one more huge go for the team. I took on 10 pilot programs with the hope of establishing one last chance to make a financially change and support for my family. Alas, this was not to be. Sigh…..I had sacrificed months of sleep, weeks of play time and support time for my family (and to them I owe them my most sincere apology). Over amounts of worry not over my family, but over a job I was hoping would deliver. I am driven and stubborn, and those combinations working in the wrong direction gets you nowhere but further from your family, your goals, and your testimony.
April General conference I was alone watching, thinking, pondering, and I had an inspiring thought. I needed to educate and support my family through ASL and social skills. My thoughts immediately jumped to different ideas: run an ASL preschool, run a day care, give ASL support to the community, and social skill supports to anyone who needs them. The Lord knows how I learn so he allowed me to play with these thoughts. I took action on the ideas and watched where they would take me. I planned, pushed, I wrote, and wrote, and advertized; pushed and pushed…hum, nothing. Add more faith, more prayer, go back and recheck that answer, yes, the answer is the same to educate and support my family through ASL and social needs. Hum, then why isn’t this happening?
I then have an opportunity that came from the strangest place. My whole family was quarantined with pertussis on Sunday night. That means a week off work, meds, caring for 6 active coughing kids, 2 kids who are just bored, and one phone call on Monday morning. The phone call was an opportunity to fulfill the social skills need. WOW!! That was fantastic, an incredible amount of work, but a blessing (more about this blessing to be revealed in August).
Hum, what about the ASL? Work on some more ideas, more pushing for ASL and so forth…nothing. Dead ends, road blocks, hum, ok, I need a new plan. That afternoon a friend offers an opportunity that I was NOT expecting. It isn’t ideal, but it has possibilities.
More time, more work, more exploration. Then July 8th a conversation, one in passing—like just suggesting an idea, shifted everything. The clarity and amount of emotion that was generated through that simple conversation led me to a path that was not one I was looking for at all.
The end result was this.
I will be going to the DATC in the fall with Kellis to attend ASL classes. He needs them for High school credit, and I need them for my family. I’ll audit the classes but gain more ASL supports to help improve my signing.
I will attend U of U in January and start my course work on gaining a deaf and hard of hearing endorsement. It will take about 18 months to get this endorsement, but the opportunity that it brings is huge for my family. (How to pay for these classes will be provided through more prayer and guidance…it just brings tears to my eyes to see how the Lord answers prayers).
Clarity of knowing how to gain more communication skills for Marianne and April Rose is powerfully emotionally for me. I compare it to the clarity that I had to become a founding parent of Spectrum Academy to help better educate my family. I need to jump in head first into opportunities in order to really get it (Master’s in Special Education, founding parent, board member, teacher, transition specialist, LEA, teacher mentor, and teacher again). The efforts, life changes, and direction that not only my first three but also for Margaret and Virginia have gained through all my work at Spectrum have blessed the family. Now, it is time to move onto the next phase: jumping in head first to help Marianne and April Rose. I have an idea of how that might look, but the Lord will lead me. Right now, I know that going back to school will be a part of it.
I am still unclear about the employment portion of this plan, but I have worked and worked this summer to do my best with it. It is in the Hands of the Lord. I have to leave it there. Walking by faith is powerful, challenging, but life changing…and not in the way that I would have EVER thought.