When I look back on the past 6 years, I am in awe of how God has worked in my life in so many seemingly little and insignificant ways, that I only have noticed them in hindsight. God was working in my life, preparing me for what was to come. I was recently part of a video at a women’s event at church that told the stories of 5 different women. I was asked to speak about my journey and come up with one word to describe it. Being the type A personality I am, I was prepared with multiple words and ideas on what to speak of. But the word I kept coming back to was trust. I have a hard time not being in control (you can ask my husband about that). I feel like this part of my life has taught me how to give up control (since I have none in this situation anyway) and trust God to meet my needs. And He has proven again and again to do just that.
While I was pregnant, I was working part-time at Walgreens and part-time at a hospital pharmacy. I was working a lot of doubles and having to drive pretty far some days. I knew this would not work once I had my son, and started looking at full-time options in one place. I was offered a full-time position at the hospital and accepted it, since it was the only full-time offer I had received. I turned in my 2 weeks notice to Walgreens and was asked if I’d be interested in a manager position if one came available. I told them I would like to hear about it, but couldn’t guarantee I’d take it unless I thought it was a good fit. A week later, I received a call from my manager at Walgreens and he offered me the store I would end up managing for the next 5 and a half years. It was higher pay, better benefits and more manageable hours. Little did I know, that the store I was at would be an even bigger blessing once we found out about Carter’s diagnosis. My store opened at 9am, which meant I would be able to take Carter to school or therapy every morning. My staff was amazing and made that part of my so easy, so I could focus on what was going on at home. I had a great staff pharmacist who worked with me when I needed to leave early or come in late or switch shifts to accommodate doctor’s appointments and/or needing to pick up my son.
When Carter was 2, we had to re-enroll in a health plan for my job. I asked my husband which plan to go with, and he said, “the cheapest one.” Typical, right? Well, it ended up saving us thousands (thanks, babe). We had been with BCBS of IL for the past 2 years and they did not pay for ABA (they follow the state you live in, not the state the insurance is out of), so we were paying for about 5 hours a week out of pocket. The “cheaper plan” was through UnitedHealthcare of IL, and they did pay for ABA since IL has a state mandate. It would have cost us over $1000/week for the 18 hours he has been receiving for the past 3 years and there is no way we could have afforded that many hours on our own. We had Carter in all the available services in Oklahoma, but knew we were going to have to move to get him into a school that better fit his needs.
Then God, directed us to a breakout session at the Oklahoma Autism conference in 2015, which was lead by a speech pathologist from a school in Columbus, OH. As soon as we heard her talk, saw her work, and learned a little bit about the school, we both knew we had to make a trip to tour the school. I must admit, I kind of didn’t want it work out. I loved my life in Oklahoma and was not ready to leave. But I prayed for God’s guidance in making this decision. We scheduled a tour and knew this is where God wanted us to be. Even as I wavered, God continually showed me this was the right move for my family. My husband found a job easily with hours that worked perfectly with our son’s schedule. I was able to transfer seamlessly through Walgreens (another reason why sticking with this company turned out to be a blessing). God lead us to an apartment we didn’t even have on our list to view and ended up with a great location close to highways and 2 months free rent, which was a blessing since we were trying to sell our house but needed an address in Ohio to get started on applying for services. We ended up closing on our house just 2 days after my husband had already planned on packing up and moving to Ohio earlier than my son and I, so he could start work.
I used to worry about all of the things I couldn’t control. Well, I have learned that my plan isn’t always the right plan – but God’s plan is. He sees things I don’t and thinks about things I haven’t even begun to fathom. Just having God’s presence in my life has taught me to trust him. I have comfort and peace in knowing that this is part of God’s plan for our lives and faith that he will see us through. And I want you to know that my son has had no problems with the transition to a new city, a new home, a new church and a new school. He absolutely loves school and waves ‘bye’ as soon as I get him out the car. He is always so smily and happy when I pick him up. That is how I know this is right.
There’s a song that listen to when I am struggling with a decision or needing to give my worries over to God. I heard it at church for the first time and was in tears, and now it’s on my apple music and I cry in the car instead. The song is called “Thy Will” by Hillary Scott.