Photos courtesy of Ryan Prouty

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Hi Ho, Hi Ho...

Here it is, the post I have been avoiding for some reason. I am sorry to leave so many of you in the dark about my work, but there just always seems to be something more interesting to blog about! Also, I usually plug in my camera to see what we have been up to lately and work my posts from that starting point. Thankfully, there are no pictures of me in action at work to share with you! But, it makes this post a bit boring, I think!

Anyway, I started working full time about one month ago. How I came to this job is just a great example of God's leading. I had been feeling like returning to work part time when all the kids were heading off to school this fall. I felt like I wasn't using the talents God gave me, sitting at home in front of my computer or running around town all day. It wasn't a strong urge, but a persistent nagging. I also felt like I was forgetting more than I ever learned when people would ask me medical questions (which always happens when they discover what I do!) and I had to think hard to retrieve information stored in my brain unused for over a year! So, I didn't really do much with this feeling. I tried to just take it slow and make sure I was in a position to allow God to work or not work. I had a NP recruiter call me. I spiffed up my resume and sent it to him. He knew of no openings near me. Okay God, I will wait.

JoDee (my sister) was spending lots of time on the computer looking for jobs including looking at openings in Sarasota county (where we live). She noticed an NP opening with the Department of Health. She called me to tell me about it and to tell me the posting closed the next day, so if I wanted to apply I better get on it. That was on a Tuesday. I did have time that afternoon to sit down with her and find the posting and apply. Now, this is a job floating between the different DOH sites, working in Peds, Family Planning, and Adult Health. I have absolutely NO experience in most of these areas. My very specialized Cardiology experience seemed pretty ridiculous on the application! I received a phone call on that Friday asking to set up an interview and I went the next Monday for that interview. The interview went very well. I felt like I was received warmly and my experience was not ridiculed! I was told it would be at least 2 weeks before any decisions would be made. That was perfect, it was just the end of July and I really didn't want to start working until the kids were starting school.

So, you can imagine my surprise when they called me just 4 days later to offer me a job. It was made clear to me that they were not even done interviewing for the position for which I applied, and I was not being hired for that position, but for a different one. I was needed right away, when could I start?? That was a Friday. The same Friday Paul resigned at Agape. I got the phone call just a couple hours after he resigned and was unaware that he had said anything at work. It took a few days to push the paperwork through, so I went in on the next Tuesday (just one week after applying for a job) for fingerprinting and drug testing. My first day at work was the next Tuesday, which was also Paul's last day at Agape. Apparently there is lots of red tape when you work for the state...I got a quick refresher course on my hiring process at the U! I had forgotten.

When they offered me this other position, they made it clear that if I took it, it would help me land the full time (with benefits) position that I had applied for. I was asked to work "as needed" at each of the facilities in Sarasota, Venice, and North Port. I would float to where ever the need was. I was hourly, so I could set my hours and was still able to take off for the wedding we went to in California, so that was a big blessing. I was offered the full time position with benefits and that position officially started on September 4th. I am primarily working in Adult Health with some family planning (seeing patients who need birth control or have STDs) and occasional pediatrics. This has been a HUGE step out of my comfort zone! I have struggled to learn a new system. I have come home several times with a hand frozen in writer's cramp because all their charting is paper charting! Only lab results are available on line...and I have no idea how to retrieve them! I am working hard to remember where the bathroom is at each of the facilities and to learn the names of all the nurses and health support staff at three facilities! In addition, things are done a little differently and the medications available at the three pharmacies are slightly different too. So, just when I think I have learned what drug is available, in what strength, no, that is at another facility than I find myself standing currently!

In spite of the struggles, I have seen God clearly steer me into this position when I wasn't even sure if I wanted a job! It all happened so fast, as only He can orchestrate! I have also had wonderful opportunities to talk about my Saviour with my patients. I always wait for them to open the door, but when it gets cracked, I BUST through it!! I had a sweet young girl come in tormented with guilt and had the chance to discuss God's great grace and mercy we sinners are afforded through Jesus, the perfect sacrifice. She left my office renewed. I have had 2 depressed patients who I have been able to put back in touch with their churches and their pastors for counseling and care. Both were amazed that I didn't just write them a prescription and shoo them out of the office. They thanked me profusely and totally made my day. What a privilege I have been given. I do not take it lightly!

Just having a job around here is a privilege not to be taken lightly. We (Sarasota county) have some of the highest unemployment in the country. I am very careful not to complain about my job! I also do not want to complain against God's amazing provision for our family at just the right time. I know He has an amazing plan for our family. I am striving to live by faith that He will bring it about in His perfect timing. In the meantime, Paul is continuing his training in counseling and looking at all his options, asking God to open and close doors in His wisdom. The answer keeps coming back, "Wait." So, wait we continue to do. In the meantime, Paul has taken over my former duties (I tell him every day he is a great wife!) with the kids, laundry, cleaning, cooking, planning, etc. What a blessing for me. I could not do it all! I get to come home to a warm meal, and then enjoy my kids until bedtime.

In order to get "us" time, we have started running together after the kids go to bed. I absolutely LOVE this time of day! I wish we had started this lots sooner! We walk a bit at first to warm up and can chat, then we can pick up conversation as we cool down too. We run through our development where we live and there are several ponds we run by. A couple nights ago, we heard a loud splash (definitely the sound of a big gator) in the pond we were walking by. Just then, I looked down and saw a frog on the sidewalk which hopped onto my leg as it went by. Of course it startled me and I tried to kick it off while shouting "Its on my leg!!!" I also inadvertently grabbed Paul's arm. His immediate reaction was to gasp and then run. He only got a couple steps when we burst out laughing at both of our reactions!! I told him how reassuring it was to know he would run away if a gator was attacking my leg so that at least one of us would be around to watch the kids grow up! We laughed the rest of the way home and ran down the middle of the street when we got to the ponds that were too near the sidewalk! What precious times together that we have been missing out on for years! Pray that our old bodies will stand up to the strain!

That is the scoop around here. I have several other blogs to post, but simply don't have the time yet. I will try to catch you up on what we are doing when we are not working or running very soon! Know that we love each of you and are praying for you!


Cindy and company said...

What a great post! What a sweet life. How freeing it is when we give up and give everything over to the Lord. He is truly amazing. His timing is perfect. All we have to do is trust. It is such an encouragement to us to watch your family live out the plans that the Lord has for you. Yea God!

Richard and Becky said...

Travis I am so glad to hear this job is going well and humbled by a story of God's perfect timing, your obedience, and His grace! I pray for strength as you and Paul have switched roles and pray for many more night time runs to have time together.

Stephanie said...

Well that door flew right open for you! I'm sure it is very exciting to get back to work and have the challenge of a different avenue. It's very interesting to be on the outside watching your life unfold. God is definitely using both of you for his purpose.

Anonymous said...

This is wonderful to read and brings a smile to our lips and joy to our hearts. Praise be to God for His awesome plans and provisions just when we need them. We have no doubts at all that you will settle into your new calling as a ARNP, and the excellent one you are. We are thankful, and expected God to bring patients into your life that you could witness to. With spiritual healing, life is much sweeter. We love you all so much and thank God for every blessing and the plan that He has for you. Watch the gators and say "hello" to the frogs.

We love you all,
G.&G. P.

Lisa said...

Thanks for sharing your encouraging stories about how you busted through the open doors that God provided! SWEET!