One year ago today, I started a job. Despite someone complaining to me how stupid it was for me to get a job (even though at the time we were without our own home and I was without him helping provide for three kids), I began working at a daycare.
When I got the job, I needed a job. I would have taken almost any job that paid me enough to account for daycare and bring home some income so we could find a place of our own. It was s rough month trying to find a job before I was hired.
From the beginning I thought this job was a God thing. I had interviewed for other positions and not heard back from most, and at a visit with a friend was telling her of my search. She told me about this daycare she worked at once upon a time and loved, so right then I searched it up and sent an email. I received a reply that there were no openings, but that they would keep me in mind for the future.
Later that day, or perhaps the next morning, I forget, I had s follow up email that there was an opening, and that the director would like to meet me. Days later, I interviewed and was offered the job. There was room for all of my kids to attend, too! It happened so quickly and perfectly that I knew it was God.
As I have expressed to my dear friend turned sister (by heart), when I started, I had no intention of really getting close to my coworkers, and especially letting any of them know how messy my life was at the time. I put up a front that all was okay, which was easier because at the time my husband was (begrudgingly on his end) my ride to work every day (except the random days he wouldn't show up to get us and I couldn't get ahold of him, and there were a few. Thank you to those dear friends who helped out on those days...) so everything seemed fairly normal. Especially because he's a charmer.
Eventually, and it didn't take long, I began really loving my job, the daycare, and my coworkers. It pained me so much, like an anvil on my shoulders and chest, to keep the secret of my life falling apart, but I was terrified they would all hate me when they realized I had been hiding.
I made it through Christmas, had moved the kids to the homeless shelter and then to the transitional housing, and no one at work had a clue. But one evening, I couldn't hold the secret anymore, and I poured it all out to my aforementioned friend. I felt so embarrassed and ashamed. She called me and I cried (for the first of many times) to her. And she told me it was a God thing that I was there and had opened up to her. That God had me at the daycare and the room I was in for a reason.
It's the truth. I've seen it over and over again. I learned the dark secrets of my husbands abandonment, but I didn't have to carry that load alone. I now had a confidante that I saw almost every day. And I gained more friends and relationships with other colleagues after I opened up. I was finally able to admit to my childrens' teachers what was going on, and how very much I appreciated the love and stability they provided my children in their topsy-turvy lives. They finally had an understanding of some of my kids' behaviors and emotional days.
I eventually was able to have a vehicle of my own, which meant the kids rarely saw their dad. Eventually, he disappeared all together. But my work family supported all of us as we watched him slip away and replace us with his boyfriend and darker, new life.
And when the day came that the kids and I found our new home, I was here, and my work family rejoiced with me. Many even helped while moving, either helping pack and haul, or watching my little girl so I could take care of things (the boys were on vacation with my family at the time).
I have found out the majority of all the heavy news and information while inside these walls. I've never been alone though.
My job is so much more than a job to me. It provides financially so my children and I can have a home again, among other things, but it provides so much more.
It provides a another branch of family when mine is far away. It brought me meaningful friendships, filled with support and encouragement, laughter and tears. It gives me adult interaction that I lack when I'm home with three young children by myself. It's helped me feel like I can accomplish things again. It's been a sense of security. I have found such joy here. I've started to find myself again. I feel loved here, and I feel that my children are all loved here as well. There have been so many big and little things that are marked in my heart.
And... It's brought me to a place closer to God than I think I have ever been. I go to church here now, too, and my children Sunday School. Yes, I still struggle occasionally, feeling so very far away, but I can call on God, a friend, work, or church, and get through.
It's been a year since I stepped foot into this job, and I am 365 days and millions of steps away from the woman I was when I started.
It's a God thing.
Thank you to all of my dear coworkers, my friends, my work family, for all that you've done over the year. You may not see what I see, but the blessings are endless, and each of you is a treasure.