But grace was given to each of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.
The past few months have been quite a whirlwind. To begin with, my youngest child entered kindergarten this year. Big milestone her as a big kid going to school all day with her older brothers. Also a big milestone for me as a mom. All of my babies at school all day without me. I am proud and sad all in one.
That said, because my husband and I choose to do private Catholic school, tuition payments can be a challenge. I have been blessed to be a stay at home mother for 12 years, who worked a few hours a week at my church. I know these years have been a gift. Three tuitions, however, was going to be hard. I began my summer in somewhat of a frenzy sending out resume’s to find a job in which I could help with those tuitions, but also something I felt called to do. I love my kids school and it was God who led us there so I would like them to be able to stay there. Besides my college degree, I am a licensed insurance agent, and I am a Diocesan Certified Catechist. I would send my resume to churches and to insurance agencies. One has really nothing to do with the other, but those were the two paths I could pursue when it came to finding a career. To be sure, being an insurance agent would be the lucrative path. Being married to “Mr. Finance Pants” I think that was a path he would have liked and I liked it too, as I have come across many wonderful people who work in this field. But my passion in life is Jesus Christ. I speak to Him every day in the hopes that one day my will can be totally conformed to His.
As I have explained in past posts, I tend to be an anxious person. When I get anxious I find it hard to settle down and find the quiet to really listen to God. Three tuitions had me anxious, so I wasn’t very quiet this summer. I did a lot of talking to God and trying really hard to listen, not sure I could hear. I could probably be seen driving down the interstate chattering away. I wasn’t on the phone and I wasn’t singing. I was talking to God. I was telling him, “I am just really trying to trust you. I am asking a lot. I need to cover these tuitions, but I still want to be home for them when they get off of school. It needs to be flexible, it needs to be enough- I mean I am not asking for richness, but enough! I am just going to leave it to you Lord. You have to find me a job. You have to find me what you want for me. I am going to trust you.”
I’m not sure I did. I was trying to trust. But I wanted answers right NOW. Before I left to visit my parents I lined up an insurance job. I was going to be able to set my own appointments, make good money, and pay for those tuitions. It was settled. Or so I thought.
I left to go visit my family. I started off visiting my sisters and brother first. They are awesome. My family, they are my rock. I was really enjoying the time off before my kids would all be in school and I would be off selling policies. While I was at my sister’s house, I got an email from a church. They had seen my resume and wanted me to come in on Saturday for an interview. Saturday, I thought, I am 800 miles away visiting my family, I can’t go on Saturday. I emailed back to advise that I was interested but out of town. I received a call from one of the women at the church, and she advised me to write up a vision statement and email it to her. If they liked my vision statement, they would call me back for an interview. Okay, I thought, I can do that.
At 11:00 p.m. I wrote up my vision statement and subsequently emailed it the next morning. I was exhausted from travelling in my mini-van with my kids, I hoped it was good enough. I left my sister’s to begin the 4 hour trek toward my parent’s home a few days later. I talked in the car to God. If it is meant to be Lord, open all the doors…
I arrived at my parent’s home, elated to see them. They live 14 hours away from my home if you were to drive straight through. I feel like I never get to see them, but when we do, it is always a joy. We sit on their back porch, have a glass of wine, watch the children play, and just love each other.
I received another email that they liked my vision statement and wanted to do a SKYPE interview because they needed the position filled by mid August. Oh boy, I thought. Do I even have any interview clothes? I found some, I did the interview. And when I got home I got offered the job. Adult RCIA and Faith Formation Coordinator, a job evangelizing, NO, it is a mission and calling Evangelizing! Thank you Lord, yes I will be your servant! All prayers answered, it was flexible and will allow me to be with my kids. I will also get to talk about the Love of my life, Jesus Christ. (And you too, Jason Skinner).
So I have begun my new calling. I had to switch parishes. Amazingly, this is the parish where I had my moment with the stained glass window in the old chapel. This is the parish where I had my confession of all confessions. This is the parish where my husband did his devotion and confession. All paths seem to have led us here. This is my family’s new home.
My first week there I was a little overwhelmed. I used the analogy I have heard before when you are learning something new, it’s like drinking water from a fire hose. I feel at the start of any new job it can be like that. But I have souls I will be responsible for catechizing. Am I up to your task Lord? On the way in I said a prayer, “Lord, give me the grace to do your will in this position. Give me the grace to get through this period of learning the role. Lord, just give me the Grace.”
I arrived at work. Outside my office door I saw a little crucifix on the floor. The kind of crucifix you may see on a rosary bracelet, almost like a little charm. Oh, I thought, somebody lost the crucifix to their rosary bracelet. I began to walk down the hall. I stopped in each office asking if anybody had lost this crucifix. No, no, no, people said. Eventually I ran into my boss. She said, “oh we knew we dropped that on the floor, but we couldn’t find it. I decided that whoever found it needed Grace for the day. Susan Skinner, there is your Grace. I took that crucifix to Rome with me and had it Blessed by Pope Francis. It’s for you now, your Grace.” I was dumbfounded! – Seriously Lord! You tangibly handed me Grace. You are an awesome God! And that my friends, was a definitive God moment. There have already been more… I will write about them later. It is through God alone that I breathe and am able to be where I am. Blessings to all of you who read this.