It was my first day volunteering at Teen Challenge. Have I talked about Teen Challenge? Do you know what it is? It's a year long drug treatment program and my sister just passed her six month mark of being there.
I really hadn't heard of it before she signed up for the program but Teen Challenge is an international ministry, helping people of all ages and lifestyles, overcome their addictions and live their lives as they're called to be. Just seeing the results in my sister has been pretty amazing for she's healthier than I can ever remember seeing her, physically, emotionally and spiritually.
The coolest thing about Teen Challenge is that they will treat their residents free of charge, no money to get in and no money to stay in. The ministry relies on the donations of family members and other donors. They also rely on volunteers and after praying about it for quite a while I met with the house director and signed up.
I'm going to be helping girls who are close to graduation, to learn how to set goals and accomplish something before they graduate. T. who I'm helping right now is wanting to go back to school so I'm going to help her do that, navigating financial aid, learning about work study, choosing the right degree or certification and all that. I'm really excited. I feel like God's really prepared me for this.
Even in some ways that I didn't expect. Years ago when I was in school I remember taking so many useless classes like job searching and resume writing. Actually I remember having to write resumes in several different classes and then I got a job from one of my teachers and never had to use an actual resume. But that's one thing that the director asked me to do...to help the girls write resumes. Yeah, I think I can do that...
Anyway, my day...
I woke up, got ready, printed out some information that I was planning on taking with me. My mom got here to watch my kids and I headed out.
I love a long drive in the morning. I sipped my coffee, listened to some music, listened to a little bit of Family Talk (Dr. Dobson's new radio show) and just enjoyed the time to myself. I prayed some for T. the girl I was going to meet with and all seemed good.
Then I got off the freeway and I started to sneeze. I HATE taking allergy medicine and usually can divert an attack with a big class of water, but I was in the car and the coffee wasn't helping. My allergies were going crazy and I needed something to wipe my seriously watering eyes, which were also itching like crazy.
I reached over and grabbed what looked like a clean gray sweatshirt. I wiped my eyes and was totally rubbing them because they were itching so bad. Then I pulled out one of the sleeves which was inside out and noticed quite a bit of dust come off. "That can't be good" I thought, but I kept using it anyway.
I got to the place and looked in the mirror. Good thing I hadn't put on any eye makeup I thought and I dusted a little powder on my reddened nose and headed in.
The girl who I was supposed to meet with was not there. She is the only resident with a car and had to take another one of the girls to the hospital so I went into the kitchen to get some water and talk to my sister for awhile. My sister was kind of looking at me weird and suddenly I felt like I felt like I could barely see out of one of my eyes, like things were getting blurry. I went into the bathroom and almost screamed. My left eye was almost completely swollen shut and the right one was pretty bad too. It looked like I'd been stung by bees or have you seen "The Mask"? It was bad. Luckily I had my sun glasses so I went in the office, left the info for T., wrote down some stuff I was going to tell her and then I had to head home.
So, I'm heading home, spending some more time thinking, listening to music. It was okay how it turned out I felt but then I'm driving along in the left lane of traffic and my car starts to sputter and lose power.
Seriously??? Thankfully there was a little break in traffic and I made my way over to the right shoulder just as I lost all power to the car. All I could think about was that a police officer was sure to pull up behind me and see what was going on. He'd come up to my window and want me to take off my glasses and then what??? Ahhhh....
I quickly called my husband and you know what? He'd just been thinking about me and was going to call me....awwww....soul mates....;)
Also thankfully he happened to be heading my way and would be there in just a few minutes. He didn't have a gas can though. I sat there and waited while my car rocked back and forth from the wind of traffic. It's always kind of scary to be stopped on the side of the freeway. I called and figured out something for my kids since my mom was supposed to be heading to work and finally my husband arrived.
I got in his car and lowered my sun glasses to show him my face....he was like "Whoa, Babe! Can I take a picture with my phone?" "NO, you can't take a picture! I look like the Mask!" "Haha, yeah, you kind of do..." Hmmm....such a sweet sensitive response from my lover....
Anyway, it all worked out from there but I was instructed to go home and go to bed after freaking out when I thought my suburban had been towed (I remembered it being a little further south than it actually was). I think the exact words were "Honey, it can't be good for you to act like this." Hahahaha (me laughing crazily...)
So, I did actually take a couple of pictures, but this was after a couple of hours when the swelling had actually gone down significantly. In addition to calling me "the mask" I also heard the name Warf.
(My nose is pretty swollen too..)
Everything was too ridiculous for me to be offended though. It really was so sad it was funny.
And although I felt pretty discouraged and like I should have stayed in bed and not ventured out anywhere, I realized that's exactly what Satan would have loved me to think and instead I think the truth is that God definitely has good things planned for this experience and those girls at Teen Challenge!
Matthew 10:26-31 says this "So do not be afraid of them. There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs. Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.