“Celebrate endings – for they precede new beginnings.” — Jonathan Lockwood Huie
I remember my very first job like it were yesterday. Bundled up, sitting in the passenger seat of my mother’s cold car in the frigid winter delivering newspapers to neighborhood doorsteps and mailboxes. Proud as could be, making my very first paycheck, making my mother proud, making an earning of my very own for my very first time. Once spring came about of course, off I sped on my bike with plenty of newspapers to deliver. Over the years, I would have plenty of great experiences with part-time work and school. Earning a paycheck, and learning the responsibilities of money. However, at the age of 16 years old, my very first grand mal seizure made its appearance into my life causing me and my entire immediate family to question everything about what to do next. As medications would be tweaked, doctors visits and testing would find themselves frequent over the course of the year, working was something that needed to be placed upon the back-burner. Thankfully, at that time, I had only encountered one and only one seizure. After one year, I continued on with my life and resumed regular activities such as schooling and work, driving and learning the responsibilities of approaching adulthood. A few years later, I became a married woman, working, happy and healthy. Unaware that epilepsy had plans to reappear into my life. This time for good. At the age of 22 years old, just days before I and my husbands birthday and before Christmas, I became involved in a car accident as a result of a grand mal seizure. Epilepsy had returned and this time, it was here to stay. After recovering in the hospital, I had made the decision to leave my then job, to finish recovering at home. I was both terrified and bullheaded because I had never liked the idea of simply quitting or giving up on anything before. But this was about my health. I had to remind myself… this was about my health.
Fast-Forward 2013-2014, new city, new beginning. A fresh breath of air for the both of us. At the end of last summer, Chris and I made the decision that we would start over anew in a city we’d never known before. Perhaps, it would be a good change of pace. A good change of environment. A distance that both we and our families could agree upon that wasn’t too far away. Only a couple of hours south. We had felt confident enough having gained a great deal of seizure control that it was a good time to make a move, and so that is what we did. So confident in fact, that not long after planting our roots in our new home, I began to apply for part-time work to allow myself time out of the house from time to time. I applied for a Christian Bookstore with high hopes that I would hear back and sure enough I certainly did. What a great place it was to work. Great staff, great management, great job all around. So supportive, straight away when I mentioned having epilepsy. Inquisitive on what they could do to help and I was sure to inform them about The Epilepsy Network (TEN), epilepsy awareness, seizure first-aid and much more! I prayed that a situation would never arise where they’d have to witness me seizing in the middle of work. I prayed just about every day for this to never happen. However, confident that I was surrounded by a great group of friends should this ever arise.
Of all the part-time jobs I’d ever worked, this by far was the best one I’d worked and the best group of employees I’d been blessed to work alongside. Nearly 6 months I had successfully worked there and seizure activity never arose. Then an unfortunate night out of the blue came, in the comfort of home, where grand mal seizure… after grand mal seizure struck me down causing me to be rushed to the hospital where seizures continued to relentlessly attack. Roughly 5 seizures in total ravaged my brain and body in a short amount of time. Was it my medications weakening? Was it my epilepsy rising up from a slumber? Had I overworked myself somehow? I just don’t know. Whatever it was, was the domino effect, the beginning of the end of my ability to work as far as I knew it. I remained in the hospital for many days following the multiple seizures. Upon release, I didn’t return to work for a while afterwards. Everyone questioned… should I return at all? Yet, I felt it strong within me. I was both terrified and bullheaded just like before. I had never liked the idea of simply quitting or giving up on anything before. So I had to try to see whether I had it in me to keep on going or whether I simply needed to throw in the towel for the sake of my health. Going back to work, my heart was filled with joy seeing the faces of those I’d missed. However, my body and my epilepsy felt threatened and worn like a rubber band ready to give out at just about any unexpected time. This is when I knew, I had to do….what I had to do. I sat down with my husband and told him how I felt about the “giving up” and “quitting” situation in which he completely understood. I’d made the decision to part ways with a job I’d come to love, by putting in my two weeks notice and allowing everyone I worked with to know why I had to leave. No, it wasn’t an easy decision to make but one that had to be made for the sake of my health. Yes I will miss my co-workers and the Godly surrounding tremendously.
That Christian Bookstore and the staff, certainly left a wonderful impression upon my heart and I certainly hope that I may have done the same with them in a variety of ways.
I absolutely do believe God led me there for a reason and that also God opened the door and let me know when the time was right to leave as well.
Always remember to trust God, trust your instincts and never push yourself beyond your limits. If you feel you must do something because its right, because its for the sake of your health or the health of someone else, then I say do it. Pray first, always ALWAYS pray first but if it feels right, don’t ignore the feeling.
You never know what blessings and chapters God may have lined up for you next.