Saturday, December 4, 2010

Hope Has A Plan and a Future

Jeremiah 29:11  "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "Plans to prosper you and NOT to harm you. Plans to give you a HOPE and a FUTURE. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you," declares the LORD.

I heard it said once that this verse was really God talking to the Israelite People, so it doesn't really apply to us today... Well, I'm just glad I don't believe everything I hear...  Because I believe this verse with my whole heart. I'd like to share with you one of the many stories of why I do believe it.

I had worked as a "Career Waitress" for about 15 years.  Impressed with my credentials now, aren't ya?  It was time for a change.  I applied to various jobs and decided to take a job as a Bank Teller.  I was there for about two weeks when I got a job offer at another place I had interviewed. It was a job to work with adults with disabilities by helping them acquire and keep jobs in the community. I was so unsure of what to do! I prayed for wisdom, but it really was one of those times that you just had to make a decision and hope God was going to be there with you in it! Which of course He always is!! 

I decided to take the job working with disabled adults. Here is why I took that job... I had a fear of people with disabilities.  They made me uncomfortable and nervous and unsure how to act around them. I knew this would be a good challenge for me to overcome.  You see, when I was young my Dad worked at a local nursing home.  This was the day when people with disabilities were still kept in institutions.  You can imagine the "social skills" one might gain being kept in an institution all their life. That is no longer the "thing" that is done with people born of differing abilities. Which I'm very glad of.   

Well, my Dad would take me with him when he would pick up his check.  I was totally freaked out by the patients there.  I remember once having my arm grabbed by a man in a wheel chair and trying to call out with no voice as my Dad kept on walking down the hall.  Freaky stuff for a little kid!

I took the job as an Employment Specialist at Community Industries and for the next three years had an amazing adventure!  Getting to know the people I had the honor to work with was like being let in to a "secret club"!  I found what an adventure it could be, for instance, to be around a client who would get all wound up in public and make a big scene. I would just kind of laugh it off and let him know he was being a goof! I would see that twinkle of a little naughtiness in his eye as he would then settle down... or another young man who would take awhile to answer you whenever you spoke with him and only talk in a whisper when he did. When you took the time to talk with him, he was just a delight and we discussed movies and many fun things. I gained some amazing friends!! I developed a good sense of humor and an ease at "uncomfortable" situations. I got to see the sheer joy that a bit of innocence and inhibition in a human being can add to this grim world. 

Little did I know that two years after quitting that job to have my first baby, Holly.  I would be blessed with a little boy, Noah, who was born with a pretty significant developmental disability.  I can't even imagine how the shock of that news would have affected me, had I not had the wonderful experience of working with and getting to really know adults who lived with disabilities.  My Noah is a joy and a delight. I will not say my adventure with him has been the easiest thing I've ever had to deal with...
but it is the best thing. 

"For I know the plans I have for you!!" declares the Lord.


We have this Hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.
Hebrews 6:19