Since those “divine” moments aren’t part of my every day life, I figured I should share this one.
Something to keep in the back of your mind: I am required to have a 20-hour practicum for my Adolescent Growth & Development class. Because I have quite a bit of experience with your typical (and even untypical) youth group kids, I decided a youth group was the last setting I wanted. I emailed the local probation department and asked if there was anything I could possibly volunteer with regarding their services to the local community. A woman emailed me back and said there wasn’t, but that I should check out Paddock View. I’d never even heard of this place. Turns out it’s a residential center for teens in the court system, aka, juvenile delinquents. Their main form of therapy is equine therapy – HOW AWESOME! So, I emailed the director and received something to this extent in return: “We don’t typically like to take on interns for various reasons, but if you’re available some time on Friday, let’s sit down and talk.” So, last Friday at 1:30 I went. More on that later.
Thursday I sensed a pull to pray about my life and where it was headed. I reeeeeaaally don’t like getting these sort of inklings because it always results in me freaking out about my life. Turns out this instances was no different, go figure. So, Thursday evening I got away from everyone & everything and started writing furiously in the prayer journal. The basic idea was, “Okay, God..seriously. I’ve studied church music and worship for the past four years and I have little to no desire to ever actually have a profession that relates to either of these focuses, but I added the psych minor and I love it. I don’t have a clue where I’m supposed to go in life or what I’m supposed to do. I have no sense of calling, which I don’t necessarily think is a bad thing.” And then it hit me. I realized I hadn’t really spent much time at all asking God what I should do, where I should go, etc. Hear me on this one: I don’t think God will tell every single person something specific such as, “I want you to plant a church five years from now in an unchurched area of Wyoming.” I just don’t think that happens. I think God trusts some people enough to allow them to decide on what they want to do. I think we can have a hundred different options and still be within the will of God. I also believe some people have clearly been called to do certain things with their time in this life. With that being said, that hasn’t been me. I’ve been the person that’s just done what I’ve wanted to, because I never sensed that God had a problem with my, well, for lack of a better term, life plan.
While wrapping up my time journaling, I asked God for direction, i.e. a very clear indication of what He wanted me to do *if* He wanted me to do something specific or if He wanted me headed down a different road.
Let me say this: First of all, if you ask God a question, don’t be surprised if He decides to answer. That’s been a big issue for me. I’ve had a tendency to think, “Nah, that was just a coincidence.” One of my NY’s resolutions was to stop believing in coincidence so much and start believing, oh hey, maybe God IS trying to get a point across.
Secondly, God doesn’t allow things to go to waste. I’ve studied music but I want to do other things, but as you’ll read in a second, He hasn’t allowed my time studying music to go to waste.
Friday rolls around. I headed down to PV to talk with the director. On the way there, I realized I hadn’t prayed about the meeting. Hadn’t felt the need to, truth be told. I wasn’t expecting much to come from it. So, about a mile away from the place I started praying, “God, honestly, I really want this practicum but I feel like I’ve already lost. If you want something to come out of this, make it happen. I have no experience in this field, my knowledge is limited, but I’m willing. Do what you want.” Yeah, that was dangerous.
My appointment was at 1:00. I didn’t leave until 3:25. Yup. Over two hours, excuse me, two MIND BLOWING hours, were spent talking with her. When I walked in the doors, I told the receptionist that I had an appointment with Meliss. She asked, “Are you the intern?”
Well that was unexpected.
“Um, well, I hope so!” Wait, wasn’t I told that the likelihood of me completing my practicum requirements with them was fairly low? Anyway. I filled out a standard application and then went in to speak with Meliss. One of the first things she told me was that, basically, they didn’t like to take on interns. They’re a lot of work, time, & energy and they just don’t benefit their center much (But.. the girl just called.. hm. Well, we’ll see where this goes..). They need to focus on the kids, not on training wannabes in the field. Fair enough. She also said, “Hannah, I know how difficult it is to get experiences like this, so let’s talk.”
She noticed that under special skills I’d written “Ability to handle high-stress situations.” I told her about the classes I take during the summer and my personal convictions when it comes to self-defense. I told her I was, at all times, aware of my surroundings, and that where I was currently sitting was driving me nuts. I had my back to the door and I was facing the window. I prefered to be 45 degrees to my left so my back was to the wall, the window was on my left, a mirror was in front of me, and the door was to my right. She raised her eyebrows and said, “That’s EXTREMELY important for someone who works here. We need people who are always watching.” My, my. This was off to a good start. :) She then said, “Hannah, this music thing has me interested. Talk to me.”
Out of nowhere I start talking about my ideas for doing some sort of music therapy with them. I took a course called “World Music Ensemble” where we did a lot of African drumming in a drum circle fashion. I kept going on about ideas and she’s just sitting there staring at me. “Hannah, this is awesome. I need to hook you up with Terrie.” She left and came back with the woman who (I think) oversees education at the center. I started talking with her and she starts smiling and looking over my application, but doesn’t say anything. Meliss looks at her and says, “Ooooo she’s smiling and not talking… Hannah, that’s good. That’s very, very good..” So we talk about ideas a little more. I told them I MIGHT be able to gain access to some tibano drums for this through the professor who directed the ensemble, but it was ONLY a possibility. We started talking about options if the prof said no. I said I’d talk to her and let them know the next week I was there.
After discussing all of that, Meliss and I then talked about the possibility of another AWESOME opportunity. Because I’m not sure of what the privacy rules are about this kind of thing, I’m not going to go into detail. Basically, she told me she was going to have me work (on a weekly basis) one-on-one with a girl who’d been sexually and physically abused. She knows that I want to work with sex offenders at some point, so she thought it would be good for me to see the other side of the fence for a while. She said she wanted me to be like a mentor because I can’t technically be considered her therapist because I’m not licensed. But, should this girl have to go to court or anything like that, she wanted me to be there to testify on her behalf. Whoa buddy! I’m sitting there thinking, “I’d be an idiot to not think this is God.”
Well, it keeps getting better. We started talking about the duration of my time there. She said, “Hannah, 20 hours isn’t very much. Are you willing to be here longer than that?”
“Technically, if we have someone here for more than 2-3 hours a week, we should be paying them… When are you available?”
Yeah, this is going where you think it’s going.
Because of rehearsals, I can’t be there constantly (as I’d like to be), but we decided that Fridays I’d be there from 12:30-4 or 5ish, but .. it gets better. She asked if I was available to work third shift at all. Yup. I’ll be working third shift on Fridays at this place. Granted, there won’t be interaction with the kids because they’ll be asleep, BUT THE WOMAN OFFERED ME A JOB! And then! Oh yes, we aren’t done yet! She then asked what I thought about the future!!! I told her my schedule next school year would be MUCH more open than it is currently and that I would be TOTALLY willing to come back if everything went well and if they wanted me. So what does she ask next?
“Well what about summer?”
Good grief. Seriously? I walked in two hours ago under the assumption that I wouldn’t even have the opportunity to complete a 20 hour practicum, and now I’m employed and we’re talking about summer and next school year. This is too good to be true, so I was assuming I’d wake up pretty soon. Apparently she was thinking the same thing..
“Hannah, this is too good to be true. You couldn’t be in a better place for the experience you’re wanting, and you really seem like a great fit for what we do here. I can’t wait for you to see the equine therapy in action. I can’t wait for you to meet *** (can’t give her name). This is really too good to be true. The timing is perfect, what you want to do is an awesome fit for these kids. Terrie’s excited, I’m excited.. This is really too good to be true.”
Needless to say, I agreed wholeheartedly.
She had me set up a fingerprinting, so I did. I’ve already been fingerprinted by child services, so I’m good to start working ASAP. It’s really difficult to not take this as some sort of directing and an answer to prayer. To make things even better…
I was expecting at least a little hesitation and a potential ‘no’ in response to my request to take the drums to the center each week. How much resistance did I receive? None whatsoever.
I’m speechless. This is too cool and too good to be true. Honestly, I’m waiting for the entire thing to blow up in my face. Maybe it will! If it does, well, life goes on. Regardless of the outcome, it’s nice to be reassured that God, the Creator of the universe, the one who holds the planets in the palm of his hand, is willing to reveal himself in my life. I’ve done nothing to deserve it. In fact, most of what I do seems wrong most of the time. There are a lot of stupid people in the world, and I’m one of them. I still stand amazed at the knowledge that God, THE everlasting God, sees my life. All glory, honor, and power is His. If he can find use for a sinful vessel, then more power to him. :)
Pray on friends…but don’t be surprised when God talks back. :)