Monday, September 9, 2013

My unemployment story

I am dedicating this post to my Nana.

Sept 14, 2013 will make the 1 year anniversary of when I got fired from Alaska Veterinary Clinic. I was not expecting it. It came out of nowhere. Over the next couple months, God dealt in my heart over a lot of issues. God brought to light into the deep parts of my heart. I battled with depression. I want to say I totally overcame it but I had a very hard fought spiritual war with depression. Every day I was bombarded with thoughts of loneliness, unworthiness, and lies of the devil about why would anyone hire you? You are worthless, no one cares about you, you have no experience, you can’t do anything right. I even at one point was having suicidal thoughts that scared me. Depression is not something that is easy to battle. Every time I had a thought it would lead me further down that track, further away from God speaking. Depression wants to separate but God wants unity and family. It seemed that no one could help me even though I wanted help. I wanted to run and hide from it all I really felt like I was in a pit I could not get out.

I dealt with the shame associated with being fired. I was mad and hurt by AK Vet. I made a promise with God that I was not going to bad-mouth them to anyone. I wanted to let God work in my feelings to the general public. I could not talk about them or even drive around that part of town without something boiling up inside of me. It took several months for me in prayer to work out all my emotions. I finally felt God calling me to make peace and forgive them. To ask for forgiveness for any sins I did so that I could be released and move on. I did not want to at first. I wanted to stay mad at them and degrade their business. I wanted to speak death over their business. God showed me that I was actually hurting myself by holding that anger towards them; I was acting out of hurt. I had to let the anger go so God could heal the wounds. I finally wrote out the prayer in Number 6:24-26. I spoke that over the business and prayed against gossip and discord. I prayed for prosperity, unity, and love for them.

I am not going to say I never doubted nor wanted to give up. Because I did. I didn’t understand why God would let this happen to me in this time of my life. Why would He lead me up to AK just to have my world fall apart? I didn’t know what to do or even how to start picking up the pieces of my shattered life. My dad gave me some wise words that I refuse to let go of. He told me, “What you do in response to crisis is more important than resolution of the crisis.” I wanted my crisis to be resolute so I could move on and go back to “normal.” I did not want to deal with it. But looking back, I won’t claim I fully understand but I can see that God wanted to deal with the depression, doubts, and the control I had in my life. It was not easy to trust and it was a struggle, a hard struggle. But, I made a decision to trust. By hat proclamation, I was able to begin to stir up my spiritual gifting and tune my ears to hear him. But also by my proclamation the devil beat me with everything he had. God started to bring me visions and words He reminded of the armor of God. He spoke to me about the helmet of salvation-how we need to take captive our thoughts and line them up to His word (we have the mind of Christ). The breast plate of righteous-how he has called us to righteous. The shoes of peace-how we care to stand in peace even in the most horrible times he has given us peace. That we stand on his promises and provision in peace even in those times. He reminded me that he had promised in His word the He would take care of his kids. The shield of faith-Used to protect our head and heart from the lies/ the thoughts the enemy ties to send our way. The sword of the Spirit-the offense weapon.

During these months God gave me several visions. It took a lot of prayer and time for me to put them all together. A few days after I got fired God gave me a dream. In that dream, He told me He was sending me blessings but I had more hardships to endeavor before then. The next one He reminded me of a prophecy spoken over me when I was in youth group back in GA. This word was about a map. Paths were marked out on the map. The meaning of this was that God has everything planned out in my life. Another vision I received was of an old lantern. A type old lantern that only gives off very small amount of light so that it only shows one’s next step. I could not understand what God was trying to tell me with these visions. It seems so clear now, but it was hard to hear clearly and decipher what was God, the devil, or me (my flesh).

Also during these months my grandmother was very ill. I could not be there with my family. She did pass away on March 4.  My parents also put my childhood home for sale. The house I spent 22years of my life in up for sale. I had to deal with the emotions of these situations along with all the other things I was dealing with. I was kinda of a wreck during this time.

In the first month, God reminded me of Joseph and David- how they had to wait on the Lord. I struggled how I actively wait on the Lord so that I am ready when He says “go.” I also thought about Isaac and his perceptive of being on the altar. How he had to trust and have faith. He had to give up control and just trust. God dealt with the issue of control with me. He wanted me to relinquish control of my life and hand it over to him. That was hard. Really hard. So, for 9 long months I waited. I read (am still reading) through Psalms and listened to David’s highs and lows. I found comfort in the fact that David the man described as a man after God’s heart sometimes had a hard time hearing God.  During the month of March, I took a step back and re-focused my attention on God. During this month, I heard several words from the Lord. These words were to prepare me. I was not sure what I was exactly preparing for, but I was to get ready.

On April 23, I had an interview at Highland Animal Clinic. I had applied at this clinic once about 2 years ago when I was trying to leave my job at Pet Emergency Treatment. I remembered a little bit about the clinic. I think that impressed the doctor who was doing the interview. When I left that building and got in my car, the devil just full force attacked me. It is hard to describe the attack because it happened in my head.  It was not pretty to put it mildly. I wanted that job so badly. I felt like if I didn’t get the job that this closed door was going to be the last straw. I could not take one more rejection. I did not hear back for a week. I was called back and asked to come in for a working interview on May 6. I was very nervous. I prayed earnestly for peace. I don’t remember much of the working interview. So, I went home. I did not hear back yes or no for a whole month. Yes, four more long weeks. I think those were the worse four weeks of all. The more I waited the more I felt an expectation of something was going to happen but I did not know what.  I was called June 5. I was offered the position. I kept my cool on the phone, as we worked out a few details. I hung out and stared at my phone. I could not believe what had happened. I WAS FINALLY EMPLOYED! I sat down and cried because I could not attain myself. I was overwhelmed (kinda in shock). God had provided.-His promise had been fulfilled in His timing. I got my first paycheck the day after my b-day. I absolutely love my job. It is the perfect fit for me. I love the people I work with, my schedule, the environment, etc.  After working there a few weeks, I got a few stories of the hiring process from their end. The head tech wanted to hire me the day of the first interview. The main doctor said wait-But I know it was actually God saying wait. It was not the precise time yet. When it was payday, I had a copy of my paycheck made. I framed it. It hangs on my wall as a testament. When God promises, no matter how long it is ALWAYS fulfilled.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

So, How are You Doing?

In the last month, I have heard that question alot. My answer is hanging on. I am still unemployed. Every job I have applied for, I have been turned down for a variety of reasons. I am getting unemployment benefits so I am able to pay my expenses. But God has been talking to me, I have dealt with some issues that have been dormat for a while. Allowing HIM to "clean" out some spaces in my heart and spirit. He gave me a dream before thanksgiving. I will share it with yall now
   I believed it was to going to see my parentsfor thanksgiving, I had several tickets in my hand, I had to catch several planes. I had two or three layovers in different cities. I dont know what every ticket said but I looked at the last ticket. I was leaving a city named Vildaz to go to a city named Blessing. In the dream, I was so focused on trying to arrange with my parents to get from the city of Blessing to Valdosta(my hometown). I woke up when I was still in the first stop. When I woke up, I laughed because I thought, God is sending me to a Blessing, but I am not there yet.

So that was encouraging, I am trying stand on that. Because God called me up here, He will provide me with what I need. He has the perfect place for me. It is sometimes hard to trust that when every door is slammed shut in my face.

I wanted to share with yall another vision I think God shown to me last night at my weekly group meeting. I saw myself happy and jumping. I was shaking hands with a person who had just hired me for a job I really wanted. And everything worked out perfectly! I was so excited I wanted to joyously hug all my friends who have stood with me during this whole time. The words that popped in my head was I only wanted to celebrate with those friends that stood with me. That they get to share in the joy.

I got a good lead on a job today. And, I have a few other leads. But, I am believing that God will provide not "a" job but "the" job.

I wanted to take this time to say THANK YOU for everyone for their support. I have been so humbled and speakless in gratitude for all the love and support.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Acting in Faith

I dont really know how to begin this post. Not alot has changed, but alot has gone on. I have been on several interviews, none which have panned out. I am under consideration for several positions. The few weeks I have really been in conflict/turmoil. I used up most of my savings to pay my rent for nov. With my money running out, I have been under alot of stress because I still have no job and no income to speak of. I was in talks with my parents to move to AL and try to find a job there since I could no longer pay my bills. I didnt want to admit it to them or me but I was in conflict with that idea. I love my parents, family, and friends. The idea of being able to spend the holidays with them was exciting. But I could not explain it, but something didnt sit right. I did kinda feel like I was being forced down that way. But, it wasn't just that feeling. I was scaried to finalize plans. I was hestiate to book tickets. I still had no clear word from God has to whether He wanted me to go back there or stay up here. I created a utlimatum for myself that if I was not hired for the last job I interviewed for then I was going to move to AL. After coming home from that interview, even though the interview went great, I had uneasy feeling about the position. I feel like God was telling me to no even consider it and if i was offered the job to not take it. Of course, that caused me to stress because I felt like that was my last hope and now I have to move away. I spent all day last saturday looking at prices for traveling to AL and looking for job positions there and here in AK. Something in my heart just was unsettled even about making the plans. In my spirit alot of things were running through. God had reminded me a couple days prior of a couple scriptures,
that He has plans to prosper me, to give me a future, and to give me peace. Peace is something that I have not had in several weeks. I have not been able to sleep I have stayed up to 2-3am most nights. God was not telling me what to do. A few days before, God had shown me a picture of a lantern. An old lantern that people used to while walking. This type of lantern would only show the next step in the darkness for the person holding it, with that I was reminded of that His word is lamp unto our feet. With this vision, I was able to understand the previous vision God had shown me about the old map. The map represented that He did have a plan/direction for me and He will light my plan, even if He only lights the very next step. Even today, as I was preparing to write this, I thought all the old Zelda games(I know I am showing my nerdy side, but hold on). In those games, the player has to get both the map and the compass to understand the level. The compass helps you to figure out where to go. God has the map of my life and with the Holy Spirit acting as a compass can help of figure out where to go in my life. Since the subject of my moving came up, I have been fighting with something I thought God told me back in March. I felt like He was calling me to lay down roots and be settled here in AK. I still am not really sure exactly what He meant by be settled, but I know my life in the last couple of years has not been very settled. I knew that if I was to move to AL although there would be great pros for moving, I felt like a con would be another great sense of "unsettlement." Now, going back to saturday, alot of thoughts ran through my head. I had to confront thoughts that I really didnt want to move and that I was scaried to move. I could not sleep at all Saturday. I woke up about every 2 hours or so. Sunday, I didnt talk to anyone because I needed to get some peace about the situation. I prayed and prayed. God kept reminding me of the sense of setting down roots and be settled here in AK. So, I finally thought "well, if I stay then God you have to come through and provide for me." When I said those words, the scene in Indiana Jones: The Last Crusade come in my head. The last person who I had spoken to about that particular scene was Mr.Randy Stephen. So, the video of him talking played back on my head and while as the moment where Harrison Ford steps into the abscess with full faith. To act on faith, I decided to stay in AK. I finally have peace. I am not saying that everything magically happened and I have a clear understanding of everything. I just know everything is going to be okay. I know it is hard now and it will probably get harder before it gets better. But I know everything will be okay. I still have no job. But, my unemployment should be kicking in next week, and I still have those positions that I am still under considerstion. I contacted the temp agency and told them that I am willing to start working with them. I am looking into getting a seasonal job for the holidays so that I will have some kind of income. I have peace in my spirit and no longer a sense of failure, fear, or uncertainty weighing down me down. I dont know what I am going to do or how/ when I will be back on my feet again, but I know now that I can at least stand. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

I am OK......(sorry this is pretty long)

Ok, so I know some of ya'll know what I am going to talk about, but just indulge me so I can share my complete story. I have kept some information from most of you guys for the last four weeks. I was let go from my job as a technician at Alaska Veterinary Clinic on Sept. 14 the day I went back to work after my toe procedure. I have been unemployed since that day. I came home that day and laid in my bed and cried. I cried so much I dehydrated myself. I was humiliated and embrassed. I felt like less than a person. This was the first time that this had ever happened to me since I started working when I was about 17. I told everyone I wanted to told when it happened, I just could tell anyone else. I didnt want people to look at me in the way I felt about myself. I couldnt figure out why God would allow this to happen in my life. I started questioning God and questioning all my life choices up to this point in my life. In the next few days that followed, I signed up at the Unemployment Office and I started looking for job. I was going through terrible spiritual battle and I am still battling with some of these issues. I felt like David, I was yelling and crying out to God for answers and guidance. My prayer lately has been, "God you parted the sea, moved mountations, and made a way where there was no way. You have got to make a way for me." I found it hard to trust in the Lord when I couldn't understand why? I also felt like Joseph, who he would had several years of suffering in slavery and prison. And yet, he trusted God. I was being bombarded by all kinds of lies from the Devil in the form of thoughts. I felt all alone, stupid, and humiliated. Everyone that I told, told me if there was anything let could do to help me. I was upset because I could not tell them anything and that made me more upset. I felt like I was living in a deep pit. I could hear all their support, but I still felt alone. I have admitted that I have dealt with depression before. I could feel it lingering in me. I was living hour by hour. I am still dealing with being angry and hurt by my coworkers/office. I could not look at my scrubs or drive around that part of town without crying. I was told I was let go because I was not fitting into the office and that I needed to look for a slower pace clinic. I do know that there was more to it that what was actually said. I know that there was some personality clashes between me and my coworkers. The boss said that she really liked me, but I still had to go. So I wanted to be angry, but I knew that should not feel angry. I am also trying not to speak negatively, bash them publicly in anyway, or gossip about any of the people at the clinic. Thats hard. In the first few days afterwordsof that day, I felt like God was telling me to "WAIT" but that was all I was getting. In the next week, I was struggling to figure out what God was telling me and what he wanted me to do. I like plan and organized. This was not the plan I had for my life.  He brought to my memory the classes that I loved in college and tech school. I loved anatomy and microbiology classes. God brought in my mind doing laboratory work. Even thinking on that stirred up a passion for working that had been lacking in the last few months. In the last couple days God has been working on my heart on a couple issues, the first is that I had always felt like I was living a temporary life, I was always thinking that I was just in temporary position. I was always working for the future to achieve some "goal" that I thought I needed to reach to check them off my list. I was in school and working to graduate to find a job. I moved into our apartment thinking that I would find a new place once the lease was up. Once, I checked off the items in my list then, I would have my life together and everything would be great. Second which kinda connected is to be grateful and content in where I am in life. To thank God for having a place to live, a bed to sleep on, food in the frig, etc. To not dwell on looking on the future as a goal to achieve but to dwell and be present in the  "there and now." I have had quite a spiritual battle these last few weeks. God did remind me of a vision I had years ago and a prophecy that was spoken over me. The vision was one I had when I was a younger, I dont remember how old, but I was sleeping on the floor of my parents room. I was so scared and terrified(I battle with a fear of darkness/unknown for years-but thats a completely separate topic) one night. Even at the foot of my parents own bed, I was trembling in fear of the darkness surrounding our house. I started praying silently. In my minds eye, I saw two arms wrapping around me and rocking me, and God singing and saying "my Child" over me. After that vision, I was able to sleep. God has been reminding me of that vision, of me wrapped in His arms. The prophecy spoken over me was when I was in youth group, it was a vision of a old map, like a pirate map very well worn. It could roll up like a scroll so it can be carried. On the map there was on "X" like "X" marks the spot and very clear path with directions and guidelines on it to reach the "X." I have been asking God what this means for me now, but I have not heard actual answer. But, I feel like God has given me an idea of a new kinda direction for my life. I plan on going back to school to get a certification for laboratory technician. I have talked to some people at the school here and I know what I need to do to pursue getting enroll there. In the middle of dealing with all of these, I was informed of some family issues going on back home.
Currently on the monetary stand point, I have about one more month that I can pay all my bills and rent. I spoke with a representative at the unemployment office on the phone this (wednesday) afternoon, and she was not really helpful. She did say that there is a 6 week period that is a disqualification period while paperwork is put together(even though I got letter in the mail to tell me how much I am qualified for) and then another week after that. I pressed her to tell me when this 6 week period would be lifted so that I could receive my unemployment benefits. She told be it would be either this saturday or next saturday. She told me to continue to file my biweekly claims that way, hopefully I can be paid retrospectively for all the weeks I was not paid. So, it will be the middle of next month before hopefully, I get any help from the government.
I am OK right now. I am trying to have faith and trust God. Every hour is a struggle to not worry or stress, but to be calm and trust God.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Post surgery

Not everyone knows what I have gone through this week. So let me tell you all about it. Last Thursday, I had my ingrown toenails cut away. But, I am a little ahead of myself. On tuesday, a bad storm blew in and brought with it hurricane force winds and lots of rain. The winds got up to about 100mph in some places, but averaged about 50-60mph. Because of all the wind, there was lots of down (large)trees, power lines, etc. Graham and I were lucky that we had power and water when I woke up on wednesday. We did lose our phone, Internet, and cable for a dayand half. I was not really upset since we were both alright and we had power. We were divinely protected because lots of apartment complexes and businesses lost power and had trees blown over, some even had structural damage. Even though there are still large trees still down scattered throughout the town, I believe most people have returned to life as normal. My procedure was on Thursday afternoon.  I had a friend pick me up at my apartment and take me over to the office. He sat out in the waiting room while I went into room. The whole thing took about 30mins. I went in and signed papers and then the doctor started to numb up my toes. He mixed up lidocaine and mercancaine(?). He put in a whole 3ml syringe in each toe. I dont know how much of each was in the syringe, i didnt ask. I was taken aback about how much he used. He also used a 1 1/2in i believe it was 22ga(because it was blue). My toes were numb until about 4am the next morning. He did a little ring block right over the joint. I have bruises and the joint is really sore now, a week later! He used a small tourniquet and then cut my nails where they should have been. I talked with the assisant the whole time, mostly about her dog. After he cut away where my nail should not have been, he jabbed a chemical gel down in the cuticle on all four sides to prevent the nail from ever growing that way again. He wrapped them up in bandages and told me that I had to change the bandages once a day for 2 weeks. He also gave me some antibiotic gel to put in the wounds which he left open. So, when I left the office I had four large open wounds in my toes bandaged up. My friend brought me back home and hung around for a couple hours. I was taking antibiotics, but I finished them monday night.  I spend the rest of the week trying to spend as much time not walking and sitting with my feet up. I have to go back to work tomorrow. I go back next month to check up with the doctor. I am not allowed to take baths(showers ok), go swimming, or do any extreme hiking,walking until they competely heal for about 4-6 weeks.
As a side note, I got furniture last night. I got it from a friend who is moving. Now, my apartment will feel more homey now.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Alaska State Fair

On sunday, a friend and I went off to Palmer, a hour drive north of Anchorage, to go to the State Fair. It was not a very pretty day. It was cloudy, rainy, and a little cold( about 50ish) aka GA "winter" weather:) We left about 10am and got there about 11am. We walked around and looked at all the exhibits and the booths. We went and saw all the animals and the agriculture displays. They were pretty cool. We looked at all the art and bakery enteries. I was really impressed with some the artwork. I ran into some of my coworkers while we were looking at the artwork. They told me that another coworker of ours was going to be out with her dog in a Fly Ball demostration a little later in the day. So, we went over there when she was suppose to me on. I ran into several more co-workers so we were in the little cheerleading section. I really wanted to check out the Our Life:Live healthy exhibit. In it is displayed real humans, who have donated their bodies to sciene and have been preserved with plastication techniques. I loved it, but i am science geek. They would not let take pics in that exhibit so I dont have any to share, but I have alot of all the other fun stuff. But I am having a slight technical diffculty with all the pictures so check out facebook as I get them uploaded. I had a great time at the fair.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A challenge to get real

I am being a little more productive today and getting to posts done today. This one is going to be more on the serious side.
Well, here goes
  I have told some of ya'll but I am having a small procedure done on my toes in about 2 weeks. All three of my brothers have had the same procedure done. I am taking a week off of work to try and stay off my feet. I am kinda nervous about the procedure even though I have seen similiar things done on animals, and I have talked to the doctor, I know exactly what is going to hapen. It is really the first kind of procedure I have had besides dental stuff. But, with teeth stuff you cant see what is happening, during this I can. It is not really the procedure I am worried about it is the week at home.  I am worried about being caught in a web of depression. I have dealt with depression before, it is something I seem struggle with in different times of my time. I have learned to realize the "signs" of it coming on and change my thinking(like the scripture says to transform my mind/ thoughts) and start praying. I really feel like this thing is something the devil has been beating against me for years, because God has told me and given me a powerful gifting for him, God has called me to be a powerful woman of God. I sometimes feel like Moses, I dont feel like God can use me. But, I know down inmy spirit that He is telling me that He can use me and that He has proved Himself in my life over and over. My last bout with depression was in the six months that I was working at PET( the emergency clinic here in AK). I was working nights. I just felt all the joy was sucked out of my life. I had no friends, no car, and no sleep. I could not make it to church or any group meetings because of my work schedule.  I have already talked about that time, so just to sum up. It didn't work out at that clinic and God provided me a new position. It has worked out great there. But, during my time a PET I would work three nights in a row and then have four days off. During those days off, I would sit at home and do nothing. Graham would make some stupid comments about how I would sit in the at same spot all day and do nothing while he was at work. But, I was so stuck in my cycle of depression I didnt want anyone to see me like that, plus I was putting on some pounds and I was ashamed and embrassed.
Anyway, Graham is leaving town for a few days right after my procedure so I will be alone for few days without a car. I am just praying that God will be with me. That He will protect me from this attack from the Devil. I havent told many people that I am having this procedure because I dont want to be a burden on others. I will be able to take care of myself, but I also know I cant shut people out when all they want to do is to bless you. But, I also know that you can't rely completely on others to fill your needs. God can fill everything, but sometimes He uses others to help fill those needs.  So I am asking that ya'll one pray for my procedure that everything goes well and two pray that He will be with me and reveal some the answers to the questions that I have. He will reveal how I can use the gifting and callings He has given me in my life in my current situations, and that He would stir up a hunger for Him during that week.  Because I want to bloom here where He has planted me.  Thanks!