I’m not exactly sure when it all started…I was 17ish…I was a horribly miserable person.
I hated life…
I hated myself…
I hated God (to a point)…
Believing lies about myself, about God, and about my family…in all I wanted to disappear, wanted a way out from the horrible, miserable mess that I was in.
I thought about killing myself on multiple occasions because if you’re dead all your problems are solved right? WRONG!
I thought about jumping the train to run away from home, not because my family was so horrible, far from it! But because I “thought” I couldn’t take life anymore, and if I hopped the train and ran away, I could run away from all my troubles.
There was one big problem though, it is illegal to hop the trains (yeah I looked it up back when I was considering it), if I got caught I’d be in trouble with the law…and since I really, really, really, really liked all things fire/police/ems…well I wanted to remain “friends” with them!
I use to talk non-stop (true story…just ask my family! ), about anything to do with the emergency services, to a point that looking back I can say that I had to be terribly annoying! Lol! Around the age of 17 I also decided that I wanted to go into EMS and be an EMT…but it was for all the wrong reasons…the glory of it all and how it would make me look good…that’s just embarrassing!
Over the course of several years I prayed about it to see if that was God’s will for me…funny how I could practically almost not believe in God but I remained firm that if this wasn’t where God wanted me then I would not go into EMS. I wanted God’s blessing on it…yet, I still wasn’t sure if I really believed in God.
I believe that God planted in my heart the desire to go into EMS, and with that desire He grew me in so so so many ways and continues to do so. But with that desire He gave me, He used it to save my life.
As much as I hated life and wanted to kill myself, there was one thing that kept coming back to me…I really wanted to be an EMT, and as we all know, dead people just really don’t make good EMTs. 😛
So even though my motives were wrong at the time, God used it to save my life..and then! Fall of 2011 I said, “Okay God…I’m tired with all this junk that I have acquired, I’m not saying I believe in You, but I’ll at least start on the path that leads back to You.”
January 2012 I surrendered my life back to Christ and really owned my faith as my very own! Can I just tell you…OH. MY. GOODNESS! It’s a very amazing thing to go about your day and think of something besides hate, lies and death! You have such a better outlook on life (imagine that). The peace and joy that I had was such a HUGE contrast to way I had previously been.
As God changed my heart towards Him, He also changed my heart for EMS. I will be the first one to tell you that the lights, siren and excitement of it all is amazing! But that’s not my reason for wanting to be in EMS, my core reason is because I love people and want to be a blessing to them, I want God to be able to love them through me! Building on that foundation I have a huge passion for EMS!
Days turned into months, and months into years as I waited for an answer from God…I still wanted His blessing on it.
The reason? EMS is not an easy field, you experience things that can really affect you in a negative way if not dealt with. I knew there would be the happy times, the sad times, and the times that make me want to quit…I believe God is with us where ever we go, but when we walk in His perfect will for us that there is an added blessing. I want to be so in the center of God’s will that when those times come, I don’t doubt myself if I choose the right path…I can know in my knower that I am right where I’m supposed to be and God will help me through whatever I am facing.
Two years after I had first asked God about EMS, I attended a conference for people in the medical field. (you may recall a post I did about this conference last year.)
Through the seminars I sat in on and then talking to my parents when I came home…God showed me EMS was a yes!!!
I…was elated! And had an amazing peace!
But I still had a lot more waiting to do! Waiting is SO hard…but SO SO SO worth it!
Next was “When do I start classes?”
Again, I could rush out and find every class in the state, pick one and go with it. But for me, I wanted to wait on God’s timing.
Last year during elections, us four older girls and Mommy helped out at the polls. It makes for a really long tiring day but a fun one as well! Mommy was helping out at our local polling location that was at the fire station. At one point she took a break and went to the EMS lounge area to get some lunch.
A friend of ours was just coming off shift so they struck up a conversation, and through the course of that conversation Mommy mentioned that I was interested in EMS. The friend then suggested that I come drive for Mentone EMS…get my feet wet and see how I like it.
At the end of the day we all came home from the various polling locations we had been working at…there’s always stories to tell so as we sat around laughing and catching up, Mommy shared with me about the ambulance driving opportunity.
Whenever I would hear of “EMS opportunities”, I’d start to get scared, doubtful and want to run the other way…As Mommy shared I started to feel that familiar turning in my stomach…but then I had peace, His peace.
I prayed about it and told God to remember that I promised Him I would not go until He said go! He reminded me of a verse He gave to me back in 2012 for EMS. It says: “You shall go forth with joy and BE LED FORTH WITH PEACE!” Isaiah 55:12
Stopped in my tracks I was like: “Oh wow! This is you God!” The next Monday I went to the station to meet and talk things over with the training officer about what it all entails.
Needless to say I walked away with an application to be an ambulance driver. And on October 21st I was voted in as a member of Mentone EMS.
From my journal:
November 29th, 2014
My very first day on call! Was on call from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. and nothing happend. I won’t lie, I was a little disappointed…but it’s okay. This morning while trying (note trying), to eat breakfast I said “I’m just going to scream and get it all out, all the pent up emotion!” Leah, Bekah and Anna, the ones that were around, were like uh…and prepared for impact…I screamed then ended up laughing. 😛
Here’s what I wrote 9 days later on December 8th.
I GOT MY VERY 1ST CALL!!!!!!!!!!! So very, very, very exciting! I got to the station (note: it’s a volunteer service and since I live close enough to the station, I can be on call from home).
Bobby (one of my instructors), says: “I’m going to let you drive”
Me: Okay…and nervously gets in.
Him: Do you know where you’re going?
Me: Uh, no…I was so focused on just getting here.
He walked me through every step (thank goodness!), I tell dispatch that “Medic 98 is en route” pull half way out, turn on lights, make sure the road is clear and away we went. Traffic comes to a stand still for me…weird…cool! A couple of turns later and we’re there.
“County dispatch, Medic 98″…”on scene.”
Walk in and an elderly gentleman had fallen and needed help getting back up. He checked out fine and didn’t want to go to the hospital.
We helped him over to his chair and as I worked on getting some information, Bobby finished getting the gentleman his lunch (he had fallen while trying to get it).
Made sure he was good to go and walked out.
Back in the ambulance “County dispatch, Medic 98…we are 10/8 (back in service) on a signed refusal.” Drove back to the station and backed in perfectly (the very first time I backed in during some training, I did a terrible job and held up traffic on main street while trying to get lined up with the door…it was embarrassing. :P) Finished up on some paperwork…high-fived on my first call and giddy me left the station.
Eight months later…I have so so so very much enjoyed being a driver, learned a ton and still have a ton more to learn!
There’s been good calls, funny calls, bad calls…something I’ve learned is that God’s grace is there when you need it, I’ve come to appreciate it in a whole new way, and the phrase “amazing grace,” means so much more to me then it did in the past!
This year I’ve turned down three opportunities for an EMT class…it might seem like a dumb thing to do when this is where I want to go in life… but they were either not a good fit with my work, or the timing was bad. Like the one that was from June-August and was 4 days a week. That’s right over the fair and as you know from our previous “Fair posts”…that is no time to do such things!
Via my EMS people I was given information for a class that starts in August. I took everything into consideration, distance, cost, timing, choice of instructor…prayed about it and found the familiar peace that I had been given in previous EMS decisions. Let me tell you…that “joy and peace”…I definitely have it!!!
I’m so excited, beyond excited to tell you that in August, I will be starting EMT classes!!!! I dropped off my application yesterday, met my instructor, and became familiar with the location (didn’t want to do that on my first night of class!)
…One chapter of life has came to an end…another one is being written…
As I sit here sharing my story with you I want to laugh, cry and scream!
Laugh because as I reflect on how I use to be…it seems so ridiculous! Kill myself? Seriously? Yes, seriously…one time while cleaning up my room I found a paper with this number on it: 1-800-273-Talk. “What’s this?” I thought, then “Oh man, I know what this is.” At one point I had written down the number for the suicide prevention lifeline. So I laugh because it’s hard to believe I use to be that way…but it was all very real!
Cry because God is so so so SO good! His faithfulness and love to me over that time is amazing, and still is! My parents, my family, my adopted 2nd mom and some mentors who helped me through that time, and still remain my friends after everything that I put them through! (and it was a lot!) I am who I am today because of them! So many people, the friend who was coming off shift, a dear friend of mine, my EMS family, my two main current instructors and many more…they all have helped me to get to this point in EMS and I am forever grateful! God is good and He is faithful!
Scream because I can hardly contain my excitement for the joy that is set before me!
I sing because I’m happy!!!