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Sunday, April 26, 2009

YOU'RE FIRED!

Those are the words I heard 16 years ago today. I was 23 years old. My husband and I had been married for almost 4 years, but no children, yet. He was going to be turning 30 years old four days later, on the 30th, and I had a surprise party all planned for him. (We had it, too!)My husband actually worked for the same organization I did, so me being fired from there was a difficult and awkward situation. To make matters worse, we lived on the campus of the organization, and because I was no longer going to be there, we were asked to move. Oh, yes, and I forgot to mention - it was a Christian organization. Needless to say, we were both devastated. Our hearts were hurt and our lives were changed dramatically. It was an extremely difficult time for us.

Why do I tell you this? Why do I bring it up? It's surely not because I dwell on on the past or the pain. I don't. Of course, there was a time that I did. A long time. It's not because I'm bitter. I'm not. Of course, there was a time that I was. Unfortunately, longer than I should have been. So, why? Why tell it? Some of you may be asking yourselves that same question, and I don't blame you at all. I would have asked myself that same question, too. That is, until almost six years ago. Six years ago something happened in our life that made the words "YOU'RE FIRED!" seem understandable. In fact, even made us thankful.

I tell you this story because God moves in mysterious ways. His ways are not our ways as Isaiah 55:8-9 says, "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." Sometimes things come into our lives. Bad things. Hurtful things. Painful things. And we ask, "Why?". But God says, "Trust Me." "Rely on Me." "Have faith in Me." In times such as these, we want help and we want answers. And, we want it "Now!" But God's time is not our time, and His ways are not our ways, and His thoughts are not our thoughts. So, I tell you this to encourage you. To show you how that when bad things happen in life, it is part of His bigger plan. And sometimes we are able to see the results of His plan and understand them, and sometimes we may never fully understand. But we have this promise: Romans 8:28 says, "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose."

Immediately after I lost my job, I went to work at a craft store in a nearby town. Luckily for me the "country craft craze" was a big thing in southwest Oklahoma, and probably elsewhere, too! Some friends needed someone to manage their little store. It was a fun job and I enjoyed it, but worked six days a week, which I had never done and sure didn't like! I had only worked there for three weeks when I read an ad in the paper for a "scribe" at an ophthalmologist's office. To tell you the truth, I didn't know what an ophthalmologist was at the time, but I had heard of a "scribe". They have scribes in the Bible! I applied for the job and got it. I was so excited!

I worked for "Dr. K" for seven years as his "scribe", writing in the patient's charts as he examined them. I worked three days a week and enjoyed the job tremendously. I enjoyed meeting the patients and the medical field, in general. "Dr. K" and the girls were great to work with, too.

I had my first three children during those years, but quit to be a full time mom in May, 2000. Our forth child, Tyler (A.K.A "Biscuit") was born in December, 2002.

Jump ahead to the last week of June, 2003....10 years after hearing those words, "You're Fired!".

Our children were 9, almost 7, 5, and Tyler was almost 6 months old. We were outside a lot and I had noticed Tyler squinting in the sunlight, but didn't think too much about it at first. Our three boys all have big eyes like I do and I'm really light sensitive, so figured he was. But then, one day, I noticed he was only squinting one eye. I remembered "Dr. K" saying something about children squinting only one eye, that it could be a sign of amblyopia (one eye weaker than the other). I really looked closely at Tyler's eye and noticed that the left eye's pupil couldn't be seen. His eyes are dark brown, but this was even darker and the eye looked bigger.

Immediately after calling my husband, I called Dr. K. It was a Saturday, but he told me to drive to Altus (21 miles away) and meet him at his office. When I got there and he examined Tyler, he said that it was one of two things: glaucoma or an ocular tumor. Glaucoma could be corrected with surgery. The ocular tumor would be fatal. Of course, we prayed that it would be glaucoma.

Dr. K was going to have his office manager call Monday morning for an appointment with a Pediatric Ophthalmologist. I knew if we waited on the call and then had to get ready to go, we might not see the doctor until Monday afternoon or even Tuesday, but I didn't want to wait. My husband and I went to Edmond, OK, a suburb of Oklahoma City, on Sunday afternoon. That evening we went to worship services with his brother and our sister-in-law and their family and stayed the night with them. At their congregation there is an ophthalmologist and an optometrist, who both said they would help in any way they could when they found out the reason we were visiting. I think I began calling early Monday morning, not even waiting for anyone else to make an appointment. We got Tyler in immediately and were so relieved when the doctor said it was juvenile glaucoma and that Tyler would need immediate surgery. However, there was a possibility his vision wouldn't be very good in that eye.

The surgery was performed the next day on Tuesday, July 3. Dr. S checked Tyler on the 4th of July when his office was closed. This picture was taken that morning, July 4th, 2003.

Tyler remained on glaucoma drops for a few months, but eventually he was able to stop them. He got glasses when he was 18 months and has had two muscle surgeries. His left eye is very, very nearsighted now, due to the glaucoma.

Both our pediatrician and the pediatric ophthalmologist have told me that if I hadn't noticed his eye when I did, Tyler would be blind in that eye. In fact, they both said most parents don't notice congenital glaucoma until the child is running into furniture.

So, you see? That is why I am thankful that I was fired! If I had never gone through that time in my life, I never would have worked for Dr. K. And, if I had never worked for Dr. K, I wouldn't have learned a lot about the eye and known about certain symptoms of diseases or problems. God worked in His time and something bad turned in to something good!

Tyler sometimes looks in the mirror when he has his glasses off. He'll say, "Mom, my eyes look different." I tell him, that, yes, God made him that way and that is a way he is special and unique. I am thankful that Tyler's vision is great, between 20/20 - 20/30!

Yes, God does work in ways we sometimes don't understand. But God is faithful to His promises and we must trust in Him, no matter what. He will never leave us or forsake us as His children.

Thank you, God, for blessing us in ways we may not fully understand. Thank you for your patience and love. Help us to realize that you are in control and that we should put all of our trust in you, even during pain, trials, and sadness.
In Jesus' Name, Amen.

2 comments:

Wa Wa Waughs said...

thanks for sharing this...I had forgotten the details!

Brandi Sue said...

I have remembered and used this story ever since you told it in the ladies Wednesday night class! I have many stories like this of my own, but sometimes it helps to tell others, so I tell yours! Hope you don't mind ;) (p.s. I don't mention the organization either)

 
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