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Saturday, February 8, 2014

Tribute #5 My Own Story...

     I’m going to talk about myself this week…breaking my established protocol and acknowledging that I am neither quiet nor overly good on any given day.  But I have a story that is aching to be told, so tell it I will.  In my current graduate studies, the time recently came to seek out an internship. 
 
     I somewhat hesitantly confess that in approaching this chapter of my training I was completely unconcerned.  God, I had reasoned, had directly my path so entirely since the very beginning of my journey to this field, He would certainly continue to do so now.  I interviewed at several locations and felt extremely secure in two of them—having experienced what one of my favorite professors had recently called ‘kumbaya moments’ with both interviewers. We talked, laughed, very nearly cried; really connected.
   
     Fast forward a few days and I got my first rejection phone call.  Ouch.  This is actually the only site that I was interested in and it would appear that my positive outlook on the interview had more to do with the therapist’s skills at helping me feel accepted, heard, and felt, than it had to do with my fitness for the position.  
      A few more days passed accompanied by rejections from each and every internship site.
This is about the time that the panic kicked in.  I was baffled.  I mean, God and I had a thing going and He had helped me so much up to this point. Crumbling a little bit, I recalled the prayer I had offered continuously over the past few months appealing to Him to guide me to the internship that would help me have the experience that would best prepare me for the work He wanted me to do while not imposing too much on my precious family time.  When these words came back to me I paused and reflected that perhaps this painful moment was just a part of the fulfillment of his answer.
 
    Within the last couple of weeks I had had two very poignant experiences whereupon I had lost something insignificant—I think a text book and some swimming gear—and after having scoured my home, I had knelt and prayed to my Heavenly Father that he would guide me to my lost item. Upon closing my prayer each time, I had immediately stood up and walked directly to each of the lost items.  
   
     In my current distress, these small manifestations of God’s goodness flitted back into my mind. I knelt again and appealed to him that I knew that He could always find that which was lost—this time that which was lost to me was a bit more of a stretch…I needed him desperately to guide me as He had done before, but this time to my internship.
 
     Upon the heels of the final rejection, the crumble, and the prayer for strength to regroup and see God’s hand in this new development, I happened to be headed out the door to the temple—a place where, as a Latter-day Saint, I go to make and renew sacred covenants with God and moreover, a place where I go frequently to stay centered, safe, and guided by the hand of God in all of my various roles and responsibilities.  While driving this well-traveled route, my ‘auto pilot’ somehow misfired and I found myself headed in the wrong direction.  Before I could recalculate my journey, the distinct (and somewhat irrational) thought came to my mind that while I was already headed in that direction, I might as well stop in and visit a gentleman therapist employed by my church to re-enquire about an internship opportunity.  
   
      I chided myself—God’s prompting voice—in response to this impression, reminding myelf—Him—that I had already spoken to this particular gentleman, and that he had already said that he could not take on an intern.  “Go by his office and speak with him” came again into my mind with clarity and force.  Wow.  Okay, I thought.  This seemed crazy but I was admittedly desperate. At any rate, the odds were very high that he would not be able to see someone who just walked in off of the street.  But, I am familiar with these feelings and I have long since learned that sometimes the more irrational the impression, to more I ought to take heed.  
   
     So I did so, and turned and car towards this therapist’s office.  I walked in and was seen by him…immediately. This was uncommonly fortunate. He welcomed me to his office and in the stillness as I explained my plight, I felt a certainty that I was directed to him and that he would help me somehow.  He again reiterated that he was not set up to work with interns but brightened up in remembering that he referred frequently to a local private practice therapist who currently had an intern and may be interested in working with me. 
   
     A week has passed since this brief unfolding of events.  An immediate phone call to the recommended therapist was followed by a phone interview and a face-to-face interview and within only a couple of days, my completely ‘lost’ internship was found and secured.

     As I reflect on the clarity He lent me in these moments, I am amazed at His special attention to me. Certainly, I’m not saying that I’m his favorite. That would be silly.  But sometimes I think it is okay for each of us to look at a little series of incidents in our lives and imagine a loving Father turning away from the struggles and strifes of the more ‘real’ or ‘serious’ problems of the world out there (which there certainly are) as He looks upon one of us in our own personal extremities to show his loving kindness and special attention. And the real beauty about this whole thing is that He doesn’t have to turn his heart from you to show special attention to me.  That is the beauty of the nature of God.  Actually, I like feeling like his favorite every once in a while.  It’s a feeling that I hope we each feel before our time is up.  J