The past 2 years have been a whirl-wind for my family. We’ve been challenged in almost every major aspect of life. And now that we feel that we are on the other side of things, it’s interesting to step back and marvel at how God’s hand was in it all.
The start of our major life changes was when my husband and I both got new jobs within 6 months of one another. This was what I have come to recognize as God’s first part of our life changing plan. I had been an Emergency Dispatcher for 8.5 years before landing a new job at one of the Police Departments that I had dispatched for as an Evidence Technician and Quartermaster Assistant. My husband was working for Home Depot before becoming a manager for a concrete operation. My husband changed jobs first, and had he not gotten his position, we would not have been financially able for me to change my career. God had that planned out, no doubt in our minds.
I started my new career in January, and in October, when my daughter was just a few months past her two year birthday, she got sick. What started as a sinus cold quickly turned into pneumonia, bronchitis, ear infections, bulging ear drums, bronchiolitis, deep set double lung pneumonia… She had all those that winter. When she was prescribed the 4th set of antibiotics, I refused and asked for a second opinion. I wanted to get to the root of why she wasn’t able to get better, even with the stronger antibiotics they were giving her. We were referred to an Allergy/Asthma/Immunologist and he did allergy testing and blood draws. He also prescribed her another 4 week long round of antibiotics. When I expressed my concerns on the antibiotics and what affect they might have on her immune system becoming immune to them, the specialist expressed his own concerns about the possibility of them breaking down her immune system, morphing her good bacteria, and therefore causing her to become immune compromised. And that is exactly what happened. In April her skin started to break out in unexplainable rashes, her hands swelling to twice their size and red with rash. When I picked her up from daycare that day and took her to the doctor yet again, they put the pieces of the picture together for me. Her immunological tests had come back, and her immunoglobins were out of range. Her good bacteria was morphing. Her skin was reacting to the medication, and her kidneys could start to be compromised next. What we feared had happened, she was immune compromised. She would not get better if she remained in the daycare setting, and the doctor offered me an FMLA note for work, ensuring 3 months of leave with my job still secure, however, he explained that she needed the minimum of 6 months-2 years of isolation before going back into public. Isolation. No daycare, no playdates, no church, no grocery shopping, no being in public unless it meant going to the doctors office, in which case we would be immediately put into a room and removed from the general waiting area.
I know what you are thinking, where was God in all of this? Here’s the amazing part, He made it known to me, more clearly than ever in my life, that He was with me, that He was with us.
When we were told I needed to either quit my job or get a full-time nanny, who didn’t have children, who it would be best if they lived with us, to care for my daughter, I was scared. After being told that she needed 6 months of isolation, I knew I had to quit my job. I hadn’t been there more than 12 months, I didn’t have a ton of leave built up, and although several co-workers had expressed that they would donate leave to me, I didn’t see a way to pay that back. How could I ever pay back 6 months-2 years of donated leave? Would the city counsel even authorize that? I didn’t see any other way but to quit and stay home. But, being where I was in my faith at the time, I felt like I needed a clear sign from Him that this was my path He had laid out for me. That it was my time to leave the workforce and stay home with my kids.
And so amongst all the evidence from some of the most terrible crimes committed, amongst all the filth and the drugs and the horribly sad evidence, I prayed to God. I told Him my struggle, my concerns, my worries. I begged Him for a sign, something, to show me that this was indeed the plan He had for me.
I prayed to Him around 2:00pm that Monday afternoon, and when I went to pick my daughter up from daycare at the end of that workday, since we had yet to figure out what we were able to do, they handed me a note saying that our rates were increasing, almost doubling.
I believe God was telling me, ‘This is your sign, this is what I have planned for you.’
The next day I tearfully met with the Chief of Police and submitted my resignation, explaining my situation, and thanking him for the job I was given. I was met with concern and understanding, and after exploring any possible options with my Deputy Chief and meeting with HR, and after talking to my husband and praying to God that night, I still felt in my heart that it was God’s plan for me. I was told not to submit a 2 weeks notice, that it would be put in my file that it was medically necessary for me to quit as soon as possible, and to not come back the next day if I didn’t have other care for my daughter. Due to having responsibilities to finish up at work, I finished out the week, and after an emotional goodbye party that Friday, I had worked my last day at the PD.
God answered me and my prayerful request, even though there was no reason for Him to really do so. We are taught to have faith, to be obedient, to follow His plan for us. We are not taught to question or request signs.
I believe that the experience of God speaking to me through circumstances was another step in the path He has for me. I believe that it needed to happen for me to grow in my faith as I have. I am still in awe of His presence, as strongly as I felt it that day, and I often try to reflect on that experience and to relive that feeling, because as humans we tend to forget.
I find that since that experience, and while still reflecting on all the changes that have occurred these past 2 years for my family, it’s helped to open my eyes to the workings of God and the fulfillment of His plan for each of us.
During these past two years, we also lost a dear grandfather, added a new baby to our family, moved to a new home, started our kids at a new school, and have encountered some medical struggles with our oldest son. God has been with us every step of the way, guiding us and sometimes carrying us as we’ve felt weighed down by the load of stress and worries from living this life and following His path.
And although the job changes and our daughters medical struggle were during the beginning of our extreme life changes, had they not happened when they did, our lives could not have changed how they have, and we would not be living the life we currently are.
It took one month of me being home and living in isolation with our daughter for her to be able to be off antibiotics. It took another 6 months of living in isolation, 6 more months of being cautious of what germs she may be exposed to, and a total of 2 years before she will be considered medically cleared of being immune compromised. She is now a healthy and thriving soon to be 5 year old. God has answered our prayers time and time again, and she is living proof of His love and goodness.