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on crisis

I’ve been formulating a post in my head (yes still over thinking them… but look it hasn’t been a week since my last one!) about crisis. A lot of it stems from the old proverb that the Chinese symbol for crisis is the combination of two other Chinese symbols… danger and opportunity. I think just about everyone who has taken psychology courses has come across this at some point in time because it really sends a strong message of the ability to see opportunities to grow through times of crisis. Though this old saying may not be true, I still think that it is helpful to recognize that within a time of crisis we do still have opportunities for growth amidst the danger. We can either choose to face our fears and learn from them, or submit to the pain that the crisis causes and ultimately fail.

Though God does work through every decision and every circumstance, we have the ability to make decisions that make our lives a bit easier. By working through times of crisis and looking for opportunities within them, I think things are considerably easier. Wonderful things in our lives are never just handed to us on a silver platter, we have to work for them.

What sparks a discourse on crisis you ask? It seems that lately I’ve been encountering one daily. As I mentioned in an earlier post, this is the tough time. This is where the reasons for homelessness start to be divulged, and crisis occurs. I hope and pray daily for our families to move beyond these moments of indecision, crisis, and pain, but I know that overall, these spots are going to be increasingly rough. In my interview for the counterculture manifesto, Karin asked me a couple of questions about my job that highlights the struggle that I go through with all of this. They are:

What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?
What is the most challenging aspect of your job?

These are tough questions for anyone, but my answers really tell you that the struggle with all of this for me goes much deeper because of the level of compassion that I have…

First off, the most rewarding aspect of my job is seeing positive change within our families. Each day I seem to notice something that is just a bit different. A new attitude about working with the computers comes forth, a child isn’t so afraid of the unknown, a child begins to listen and speak more clearly, parents make small steps toward normalcy in parenting. It is refreshing to see some of these changes and they really help me focus on why I’m here and what I need to do to help those changes come about.

In the same area though, the most challenging aspect of my job is the knowledge that I am not the one making those changes. Sure, I can help encourage our families to make better decisions. I can do what I can to help them realize their full potential, but ultimately it is not my choice if they decide that they were better off in previous circumstances. Other jobs, people make decisions and they stand at that, the social services sector is a completely different ballgame. Challenges are never the same because circumstances are always different. People are different, so answers are different, and lots of generalizations just don’t work.

I do think that the rewards of all of this certainly outweigh the challenges. Seeing people get through their challenges is the most fulfilling thing I’ve ever experienced. Seeing lives changed is just plain cool. And that right there is why I love my job despite all of the crisis going around…

Addendum: I find today's Story of the day from Storypeople rather fitting to my post... "I finally got to exactly where I wanted to be, she said, so why won't all these growth experiences go away & leave me alone?"
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Wow, Laura.... I'm so proud of you. I got the messenger in the mail today and saw your blog address and came to check it out. I hope you have had an opportunity to check out Albuquerque. It's a beautiful city and has a rich history. The work you are doing there is facinating and I'm sure rewarding. You probably don't even realize how many people you are touching and helping. For every 1 you see there are probably 4 you don't see. WTG girl!

Good Luck to you and I'll check in once in a while to see how you're doing.... tell your Mom and Dad I said "hi".

Chris Orenbas

By Blogger Chris Orenbas, at 8:35 PM  


Saw your Mom and Dad at the Congregation's Christmas dinner last night. We had all the great food and trimmings, and your Mom's scalloped corn was a great hit as there was none there for me by the time I got through the line.

We are taking an unofficial vote - How do you spell the food: "Chili," or "Chile" or "Chilli?"

Wishing you a happy and safe Holiday.

John W.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:49 AM  

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