I was born in New York but as fate would have it my father accepted a job in Texas when I was only 2 years old, so Texas became my stomping grounds. This choice came lightly for him because he already had the opportunity to experience San Antonio, Texas while being stationed at Lackland Airforce Base. Our stay in San Antonio would only be a few short years when the next opportunity relocated all of us to Austin, Texas. By this point, all of us included my older sister, younger sister, and the family dog at the time, Pudgy the fluffy poodle.
My significant adolescent years were spent in Austin learning to play the piano until playing sports like volleyball, fast pitch softball, and running track took precedents. Classic piano and violin music would later become music to study by once I graduated from high school and headed on to college.
My first degree completed is a bachelor’s in arts of Business Management. As soon as I completed my first degree, I returned the next fall to pursue my second degree under a bachelor’s in the science of Accounting. My passion or obsession for details and organization came in an unsuspecting way. I decided to obtain my CPA license after completing my second degree. Although five years had passed which meant studying for the CPA exam was going to take A LOT more focus and physical demands than I ever anticipated with a small family by this point. A year and a half into studying for the exams I had only passed one section with a pending deadline of losing the credit for it because I still had to pass the other three sections within the 2-year limit. This is when my first professional breakdown would take me to my knees to pray. In the past when I had poor managers, I would leave in search of the next
company in hopes their internal cultural was better or their managers were more like leaders instead of micro-managing nightmares. I was too focused on the outcome of what the license would do for my career professionally and financially that I stopped focusing on what I really wanted.
My head quite literally hit the books one Sunday evening when I broke down in tears. I was ready to throw in the towel until I began to pray. I knew I had it in me to do this and I could see it through to a finish line, but I just could not see the way through it. As I cried, I said aloud “Lord, I have done all I can, I’m exhausted. I know there is a way, but I am struggling to see the way. I can do this, but I NEED your help.” I am happy to say that once I acknowledged him I passed the next three sections back to back. No more struggling and much more acknowledging. Life was good again and my career pushed past the plateau.
This was great until two months before my 40th birthday. I had experienced so many nightmare micro-managers in various industries that I finally stopped to ask God an important question. THE important question. What is my purpose in Life? In other words, why am I here? And life, as I knew, began to change in amazingly beautiful and somewhat scary ways. His answers would be revealed through short messages. It was time to let go. Letting go meant finding a totally different career, a more spiritual career.
As God-fearing as I was at this point, it did not stop me from respectfully arguing with God. I could not imagine taking 10 years to complete 2 degrees and then years later to take another 2 years to obtain my CPA license for Him to ask me, no, tell me it was time to let go. I had a choice to make. I had faith in His guidance, yet I had my second professional breakdown. All that I held onto was going to be taken away from me. At least, so I had envisioned at the time.
Gratefully, this is not what He intended. It never was. Letting go of a career which no longer served me, challenged my health in a negative way, meant letting go of fear and distrust in others in preparation of a much bigger role. It meant, following Him where He leads and trusting in His plan. So, I gave my notice and did not look back.
During my last few weeks as an industry accountant, I was given time to really figure out what a spiritual career would look like. To me it was mostly what I did not want to do so I had to remind myself repeatedly, His plan, not mine. Since I loved to journal in my adolescent years as a coping mechanism I decided to do it again, only this time it would be professionally.
What I did not know back then was the timing for me to “let go” was divine timing to prepare me for a bigger, yet rougher road ahead. Within months of stepping away from the corporate world, I lost my first best friend and mentor in life, Dad, to pneumonia. Then Mom, who had already been living with Manic -Depressive Bipolar Disorder had her own mental break while living with Mixed Dementia. These changes in life were painfully more than I was prepared to handle and certainly not what I was able to balance with the current work/life balance.
It took a little bit of time before I understood these changes came about for more than my benefit. What I know now is letting go gave me the opportunity to accept a more spiritual career through a ministry of caregiver support. His meaning to a spiritual career is straight from Matthew 28:19 “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Although I hesitated at first, I knew when I could not see the way to trust in His way. So, I embark on this new spiritual career to help caregivers because “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13.
The degrees and CPA license were merely training to prepare me for what is ahead. I never let go of them because I use them throughout my own caregiving journey in a way I can teach others to do the same. It has helped me bring the light to moments in the dark.