Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Thank God He changed my plan!!

It’s my last week of my internship with Support, Incorporated.  It’s a bittersweet feeling because I don’t know what my future holds.  I applied for a job as a school counselor, two actually, and had a second interview.  I’m still {patiently} waiting to hear back about that.  I should hear something this week!  And I also have been talking with my internship site about working for them… I honestly have absolutely no idea what I want more, or what I’ll be even offered – so I’m trying not to worry about it.  I can honestly say I am 100% wanting to leave this BIG decision in my life up to the one and only person I know that is equipped to make such important life decisions… God!  

Do you ever sit back and look at what *you* had planned and then marvel at how God took your plan in the palm of His hand and crumbled it up & threw it in the trash, simply because He had something better in mind??  Right now, I am doing exactly that!

*My* plan was to have a summer internship where I was guaranteed direct contact hours with clients.  Actually, my plan was to have a PAID internship this summer, but, needless to say, that didn’t quite work out. I searched and searched and searched for an internship.  I accepted the fact that I wasn’t going to have a paid internship, but I got an opportunity to work part-time on campus for six weeks after school let out. That’d at least give me some money, and some is better than none, right? Well, I couldn’t even find an UNpaid internship in Hickory, or in Lincolnton for that matter.
My professor thought he had a lead, so I pursued that, desperate for an internship!  It actually worked out & I would be able to intern there, for an agency in Gastonia doing DWI groups.  But being in Gastonia would mean that I couldn’t work part-time on campus {because it’s an hour from Hickory, gas ain’t free, and I wasn’t making any other money}, which stunk!  Another bad thing was, was that I could get direct hours there, but not many indirect, as they are only open for time for groups!
As luck would have it, the day that the lead from my professor worked out, I got a call back from “an agency in Lincolnton” that I had inquired about.  Their main office was in Gastonia, so I talked to the supervisor there, and he informed me that I COULD intern there, but it would have to be in Gastonia, as they are not often in their Lincolnton office.  It was actually a minute down the same road as my other internship!  The only bad thing about it was that he didn’t think I could get all my direct hours there, as they contracted out for therapy.   I thought, “No problem because I can get all my direct hours right down the road!”  Seemed perfect, right?  Well that’s what I thought too!
As hard as it was to secure these internships, I didn’t want to deny either one of them.  And it looked like I wasn’t going to have to deny anyone anyways because of the direct/indirect hour conflicts.  So *I* worked out a plan.  I was going to split my time between both places, especially since they were so close in distance.   I was going to get my direct hours in one place, and my indirect hours in another. 
Well, long story short: that didn’t work out.  I needed to get ALL of my hours this summer at the second agency, Support Incorporated.  It was going to be tough, but it was possible.  I wouldn’t be able to do therapy like everyone else in my class, but I would be able to get creative and find alternative ways of getting direct contact hours.  My supervisor was THE MOST supportive in this endeavor, and for that I am so thankful!

So, there I was…
·         Instead of having a paid internship- I ended up in an unpaid internship.
·         Instead of being able to work part-time- I wasn’t able to make a dime all summer.
·         Instead of being in Lincolnton or Hickory- I ended up in Gastonia.
·         Instead of splitting my time between two agencies to ensure I got my hours- I had to intern at one and get creative to find ways to get all my direct hours in.

And boy, am I glad it did! Don’t get me wrong…
I would have loved to work with Jamie this summer & make some money.
I would have loved to intern closer to home since I wasn’t making any money, especially since gas is so expensive!
I would have loved to not have to worry about direct hours and just show up & clients be court-ordered to appear, instead of watching Medicaid client after Medicaid client choose to just NOT come to their appointments.

But at the end of the day, I would have traded this internship experience for another! Therapy or no therapy, I got some of the best experience!  I got to work with great people who were supportive, helpful, willing to teach, and just enjoyable to be around!!  My supervisor was great, trusting me to do the work and willing to teach me so many things!   

Can you tell why this experience ending is so bittersweet for me??  I am just so thankful to God for taking *my* plan and ripping it to shreds!!  He showed me, for the millionth time, that He knows what’s best for me and I just need to sit on the sidelines and watch Him do work in my life!!

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I firmly believe you have to make efforts in your life to be blessed.  You can’t JUST sit on the sidelines and wait for God to move mountains for your lazy butt!  But I believe God blessed me because 1) He knew my needs, 2) I tried to be faithful in the situation, believing that something perfect would eventually work out, 3) I did my part- I made a million phone calls. 

So, in my present situation, I am praying for God’s will in my life.  I am not trying to sway myself either way.   For the school positions: I have done the work, applied for jobs, gone to two interviews, and made follow-up emails and phone calls.  For a future agency position: I have let Support know that I am also interested in working with them in the future and will be discussing with them soon employment opportunities for August. 

The rest is a waiting game—seeing what happens, figuring out my options, making a decision. 
Pray with me that God’s will prevails in my life and that the perfect job for me is made available, meeting my needs and providing me with a chance to help others, whether that be in a school setting or in an agency setting.   And pray that I stay patient, because if you know me, you know it’s hard for me!  August is just a week away and undergrad school loans are due a month from graduation!

But it’s okay, God’s plan will prevail…
and I heard it’s a perfect & pleasing plan, so I guess I can wait for it. :)

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