Here I am Lord, help me to find purpose in this life!
Have you ever prayed and prayed and are so willing for it but don’t know what it is? Yes, that’s me.
After being employed with a great company from the start of my marriage until having to quit due to my lupus (2003), I have always tried to keep busy in some way. So after receiving the desire to learn more about my Catholic faith, helped me become aware of the needs of the Church. So I sought out volunteer work.
I remember I started with prison pen pals. A ministry where you were given names, age, of women to whom you could write to for spiritual guidance. I took this very seriously and really wanted to make the young women know I was praying for them. I also had volunteered for a ministry where I would send aid and letters to a young girl in Pakistan. I would receive pictures of her as years would go by and letters letting me know how she was doing.
At our Church, they had an ad in the bulletin about a need for crisis pregnancy center volunteers to help young women receive pregnancy tests and guidance to choose life for their unborn child. I signed up! I knew right away this is what I wanted to do. I loved it and truly felt the Holy Spirit. I volunteered at Crisis Pregnancy for a few years.
I then volunteered at a food pantry called Paz de Cristo. I loved the service they provided and volunteered part-time but then later took on a paid part-time position. I was there two years assisting in all areas food stock, data entry, odds and ends. At this time, I felt my health was getting a bit better where I could gauge how I would feel, so felt the courage to apply at the Diocese of Phoenix. I applied in the Human Resources department and God once again allowed me the desires of my heart. I was working full-time and felt like I was back on track in the workforce. I was doing well but knew I wanted to be closer to the faith and it’s education. That’s when I was offered a position in Family Catechesis. This position paid less but the rewards were there! I loved the group of people I worked with and learned so much about the faith. I was happy going to work and never complained what it asked of me.At this time it was 2008. Once again, all of it changed. I caught C-Diff. A bacterial infection that cleans out your intestines of good bacteria and because of my lupus did so in quick fashion. My system antibodies do not know how to fight and so they attack the good causing my system to shut down. I was hospitalized for five days. Hospital doctor told my husband I could have died. I was given a strong antibiotic that to this day I pray I never have to take again because I am educated now on what I can do if needed. Even though I had a supportive boss, the setup for me to work from home or have any flexibility to hold onto my position was becoming a problem. I then quit and turned my attention to bettering my health. For two years after the infection, I was still dealing with physical and emotional effects. I was told by a friend who is a psychologist that I had PTSD – post traumatic stress disorder. I had many restless and anxious nights. The fear of what it did to me caused my faith to grow in a new way – once again.
Back to vocation, since I no longer worked a desk job or received a check from an employer I have found ways to participate in this world with skills I have learned. So after a career in human resources and different work within the Diocese (administrative clerk work), I used some of the talent I gained and opened up a print design business from my home.
I received small jobs from time to time assisting in invitations, programs, business cards, flyers, posters, procedural manuals, etc. Most of the work I did came from organizations within the Diocese – ministries, conferences, pro-life groups, youth education. It allowed me to do the work from any place at any time. Even with that flexibility, Our Lord always knew when I could take on work. Great thing is that when life challenges came, I wouldn’t have any work and then when life had time to focus on something, I would get work. It “worked” like that for three years. It was great!!
But after a go at running this small business for these few years and I no longer had the passion for it, I knew it had reached its end.
Not that I no longer help out others like the Diocese, friends and/or family with print needs. From time to time they come in and I’m just grateful to help. However, because I didn’t find myself being aggressive enough and/or life events would take precedence, I decided it’s run was over. I was happy in what I did produce but knew it was time for change.
I went through prayer asking the Lord to put in me something new. So on one night I was watching TV and found a program speaking about atrocities done to the elderly in adult assisted living homes, a desire started to brew in my heart.
I knew I did not have the education or experience to become a caretaker but wasn’t sure that was where I wanted to be. Then one day I saw a need for prayer aides for hospice facilities. I knew this was it. I took the training and began this volunteer need. Right away I was taken by the reality of speaking to someone who was near death. Literally meeting them and then knowing next time I would come back to the hospice they would no longer be alive. I’ll never forget the faces I looked at or the small conversations I had. I always prayed before I entered the building and prayed when I found them sleeping. And I would always leave with more strength in my faith then when I arrived.
At this time, this is now on hold. After my Mom moving in and the many doctor appointments we had to go to, I could no longer be responsible for my shift. So I had to put it on hold. I don’t know if I’ll be back at it again but I know for sure it had purpose!
I’m now praying for the vocation I am now in with my Mom. People have told me that’s why I was sent for training for the hospice, because of my Mom. I believe that and I’m still praying for His will to be done knowing … there is something else coming.
Why I share all of this is because none of these positions I held or volunteer work I did would have ever been on my radar if it wasn’t for my deeper conversion. Once I asked Jesus into my life, he took me to places where I could help and receive spiritual growth! Benefiting both the places where I helped and in turn helped me. We all have gifts and if you open your heart to the Holy Spirit, He will lead you. How I learned that lesson from the gospel and from Saint teachings!
Lord Jesus, may Your will be done!+++