Saturday, March 11, 2006

they still surprise me/He still surprises me

It was a crazy week. My post from Wednesday was basically the template for the entire week. All students, all the time. That, and people running late to meetings, leaving me waiting 45+ minutes. More than once. Not fun.

By Friday, I hadn't nearly enough crises, so of course one needed to happen at 4:30pm, just as we were all preparing to go home. And of course, it involved my client. That's just how it goes. I didn't even get a chance to finish my paperwork from the week before I left for the weekend. I hate leaving unfinished business for Monday.

A few weeks ago a friend of a friend emailed and asked if we could meet to talk about my line of work. She's thinking of pursuing counseling/case work/social work and wanted to talk to someone in the field. You would think, given my week (and the fact that the smoke detector in our hallway decided to start chirping in the middle of the night--why is it always in the middle of the night?), I might have been feeling a little burned out, frustrated, and emotionally spent today.

But the longer I talked about my work, the more fired up I got. I found myself laughing one minute, moved to tears the next as I shared about the work I'm doing with these crazy/fun/ amazing/beautiful/sad/angry/creative teenagers. That, and I have learned so much interacting with my co-workers, and seeing those relationships struggle and grow and flourish.

At one point I was asked about the role of my faith in the work that I do. And honestly, I was able to say that this is my ministry. Hanging out with hormonally challenged, sexually active, drug-abusing, knife-wielding, ghetto-living, hip-hopping adolescents is the ministry to which I've been called. My faith is such a part of my work, because I could not do this work without total and complete reliance on my creator. I, myself, becky...totally incapable of handling these issues on my own. I'd crumble. Melt. Cry like a baby. Freak out.

Every day I thank God for my job. Every day I pray for some kid, for some issue that comes up in a session that I just don't know how to handle. I ask for guidance, for clarity, for divine intervention. And I see God at work. I see the connections that happen with kids. I experience the joy of allowing a student to see a way out, a second option, a different path.

Yep, given my week, given the struggles of being who I am in the midst of a very diverse work environment, given the misunderstandings of supervisors and the frustrations of a new position, I can still say I'm supposed to be there. I enjoy being there. The kids still surprise me, with all their drama and humor and strength and insight. And I'm grateful that God still surprises me, and shows up in a major way when I need him to, with joy and compassion and humility and goodness.

No comments: