The Job and Mom’s surgery number two
This blog post recounts the week following my Mom’s heart transplant! Enjoy the story of God faithfully placing me in my first job. But, continue reading to find out about my Mom’s second open-heart surgery
I was in a really fortunate position when in the job search around the time of my college graduation. When I was in high school, I participated in a program that allowed me to intern in an elementary classroom three days a week and receive “teacher training” type things the other two days. It worked out for me for several reasons
- I had a wonderful teacher that I interned with. We are still friends!
- We got a stinkin’ PE waiver! I don’t know how it justified. But, I was really glad not to have to take PE at public high school. My white self would not have lasted.
- It was two class periods. I got TWO 100s added to my GPA for that year
- I got a contract to work for the district upon my graduation from college and teacher certification- bam!
At the time, while I was thankful for this contract, it didn’t mean much to me. It was a wonderful year where I learned a ton and the Lord totally affirmed in my heart that teaching was, “my calling.” I thought I would be too cool and not return home after college and work somewhere else. But the contract was a nice cushion.
After spending four years in Austin and being in a handful of different schools and districts, I realized how appealing my home district was. It is a really great district to work for as a professional and has a wide range of schools. A lot of diversity and a reputation of excellence. Bingo. Now, the only thing that I wasn’t crazy about was the coming home and living with my parents thing. But, it’s Dallas so I can live anywhere… I digress
Over winter break I filled out my application, gathered my references and eventually, in April, signed my open contract. Exciting!! I dropped off my resume at schools, talked to all of the contacts I had, and prayed that God would put me exactly where he wanted me when he wanted to.
A few days before my graduation I finally decided to email HR and ask about the time frame of interviews for open contract recipients. I was surprised when I received a frantic phone call shortly thereafter.
“Ms. Springer, we’re so sorry to tell you this. But, we have in our file that you have accepted a job elsewhere.”
“What? How could that be? I haven’t been offered any other jobs. When is this marked?”
They proceeded to tell me that they flagged my application in March that put me out of the system. Even though I signed a contract in April. It didn’t add up. There were a lot of
“We’re so sorry” “We’ll hope for the best”, etc. They had been interviewing and placing open contract students for two weeks and I had been out of the system.
Lots of apologies later, I called my mom, got my good cry out, and journaled and prayed about it. I knew God was doing something. But it was realllly hard to figure out what! I was so nervous. Even though I know that God’s plan is always better and always bigger, I was frustrated that the timing and details hadn’t already fallen into place.
Then, I graduated. My mom got a heart transplant. Eventually we’re at Tuesday of the week following her transplant. She is back in a regular room and doing very well. I was really enjoying my time with her! We were watching things on TV and chatting and were just more relaxed around each other than we had been in a while. I honesty cherished that time in the hospital with her.
That Tuesday I got a call from a principal and she wanted to set up an interview for a third grade position that Friday. Awesome! I stayed Tuesday night in the hospital and on Wednesday morning received a call from another school for a first grade position. I scheduled that interview for Thursday. My mom’s friend Rose stayed with my mom on Wednesday and Thursday night so that I could be at home preparing for my interviews.
On Wednesday night, I got to go celebrate two of my friends’ recent engagement. It was wonderful to enjoy my friends and celebrate their relationship! I went home, got some rest and went to my interview on Thursday. It went SO well. Without giving too many details, I knew that, if offered that job, I would really enjoy working there.
I went to the hospital and saw my mom that night. She was doing awesome. They had just put her on a blood thinner for the swelling she was experiencing in her arms. The doctors say she is going home the next morning! I leave that night and run a couple of errands to help prepare the house for her return. In my mind, I figured that I would go to my 10AM interview the next day, come back up to the hospital, fetch my mom and it would be smooth sailing.
I texted Rose on Friday morning before my interview to ask how things were going. She responded, “it’s ok. We’re praying.” This wasn’t too abnormal but was a little more negative than previous updates. I didn’t think much of it.
I went into my interview, had a great time, and left with a job offer. Of course, just like any young girl and her first job, I can’t wait to talk to my mom about my new life choices! I call Rose to see how everything’s going.
“Hey, what’s the status?”
“Well, the status is that your mom has a blood clot.”
“Huh? What does that mean?” I ask, staying relatively calm
“It means they had to take her back into surgery, she’s in there now.”
“Like, they opened her back up?”
“Yeah, another open heart surgery.”
Ok, well. That’s a bummer. I remember being scared but almost relieved that I didn’t know any more details than that. There was nothing I could do. There was nothing I could have done. I had a peace that obviously was from Christ. I did not hold it in my own strength or understanding to know what was going on at that moment.
I get to the hospital and my family is back in the ICU waiting room. My dad, brother, grandparents, aunt, and Rose are all there. Everyone seems to be in pretty good spirits.
Eventually, a nurse comes out. She says that my mom is out of surgery. She was cheery.
Then, eventually, a doctor comes out. He is a big, German guy. I’ve seen him before. He doesn’t smile but walks up to start explaining to us what has happened.
Have any of you ever been in this situation? I mean, I was pretty sure it was going to be OK news because that nurse lady had just told us that she was out. But.the way he looked at us.the pace of his talking. Oh my goodness! It was so ER/Grey’s Anatomy. I started fearing the worst. I couldn’t imagine sitting there in the waiting room and hearing any bad news. I did not know how to handle it.
My mom had experienced cardiac tamponade. You can look it up. It’s not exactly a blood clot. But, as a result of it, two quarts of blood had actually been clotted around my mom’s heart. She had been really, really sick the night before. And, at 10AM, when I was walking into my interview, she was the weakest and worst she’s ever felt in her life. The rapid response team of nurses was rushing her down to an OR to fix what was, basically, making her heart stop. I was not told any of this until after my interview. And I was very content with that.
I’ll be honest. I definitely struggle with fear and control idols. But, I am also so aware that I am not in control. Me being there or knowing what was going on wouldn’t have done anything to help my mom or help me. God was going to work it out His way (the best way) and he had me exactly where he needed me that moment.
Finally, we saw my mom. She was worse than the last time. She was in so much pain. I mean, she had just experienced her second open-heart surgery of a week, after being up all night sick the night before. She was weak and she was tired. As she was coming off of the drugs I came in and saw her. I could see her start to cry and then I would say her name or tell her I loved her. She tried so hard not to cry while I was there. I could just tell that she didn’t want to scare me or appear weak. It was the most she could do for me as she lay there helpless. It was hard but it was also a relief.
Rose prayed with me in the hallway about my job situation. I still hadn’t heard from the first school but felt that I was in a position where they needed me to make a decision that day. I talked to some people, prayed, and eventually, got in the car to go home. I was going to get my things to return and stay in the hospital that night.
I was back in the same boat I’d been in a week before. Leaving the ICU, knowing I’d be returning soon to be up all night in that sad & heavy place. And selfishly, wanting to know what to do with my life and feeling like it was really bad timing that I had to decide right then! Driving…crying… the phone rings.
“Hey Laynie, this is _____ _______ (principal from the first school). I wanted to let you know that we’ve interviewed our other applicants and we want to offer you the position. But, I’ve talked to _____ (principal at second school) and I know that she has offered you a position as well. We want you to pick what is the best fit for you…
We want you to spend this weekend loving on your mom and being with your family.
You can let us know on Tuesday.
But we want you to know that we both love you!”
Ok, now I know she didn’t mean this like, we love you we love you. But, at that moment. I felt SO loved! These random ladies are not only offering me jobs but are demanding that I spend the weekend with my mom.
One week ago I was convinced I was doomed. I was all caught up in the stupid details of where people would park at my graduation. I was living in denial of the realness that was my mother’s heart failure and need for a transplant.
And in one week, God turned it all around. He changed my perspective. He gave my mom new life. He allowed a scare and suffering, but he brought her back. He reminded us that he was in control and that he was good. And when I was convinced I would be without a job at all, God was just planning the perfect thing for me at just the perfect time.
I am happy to say that I accepted the third grade position and God has continued to work out the details. (Even moving me from Math/Science to Language Arts and placing one of my best friend’s sister-in-laws as my teammate!) I am excited to see the way God moves in me and in my classroom this year.