“Part of our purpose in life is to be of service to the rest of us.”
This is the final part in the “live crazy” series on our blog because it is still detailing things we learned while on our visit it St. Croix. While the previous two parts coved our calling to move down to the Caribbean, as well as our place (moving to St. Croix and even more specifically deciding on a marina); the final piece covers our purpose.
I believe it has been mentioned in previous posts, but if not it will be now, TJ has a job where he is away from home for long periods of time. It is a maritime industry requiring he leave us and spend time at sea every so often. Even though this is the career path he has chosen, after five years (four being married), and having a child I am ready to have more time with my husband. As a family we need more time together and with his industry there is more opportunity for that to occur if we move to the Caribbean. At this point in time I don’t want to divulge too many more details on that end but it has been a big, probably second only to feeling God’s pull to take us there, factor in our decision to move. I’m ready for more family time. TJ is ready for more family time. Vivienne will love having her dad around a whole lot more.
While we were visiting St. Croix, TJ was actually offered a job (very randomly) in his industry. It took us both by surprise. The man who offered the job had been talking to TJ about what TJ does in the merchant marine and ended up extended the offer to TJ to come work for him. The same day TJ was offered a job in his industry I was actually offered a job at a local breakfast and lunch only cafe because I stacked the plates before the owner came out to get them. She asked me if I stacked them and when I told her yes she said, “I am looking for someone to come work for me! Do you live here? If you do you can work here!” Even though I have never worked in the food industry, and I won’t write off doing it in the future, I was excited that it appears we will be able to obtain work in St. Croix.
However, in addition to our calling to move to St. Croix I believe I have found my purpose when we move there. Although Vivienne will always be our first and most prioritized mission field for Christ, and I have enjoyed being a stay-at-home mom, she will be going to pre-school soon and I will be able to go back to work. In graduate school I focused on the macro end of social work: nonprofit organizations and the “business” side of things instead of counseling. However, since I haven’t been working I’ve been volunteering each week working with recovering heroin addicts, which is definitely more on the micro (counseling) side of social work. I have greatly enjoyed my time working with them and have always held a special interest in drug and alcohol recovery when it comes to social work but when we were in St. Croix I felt a different pull on my heart: the homeless.
The homeless population is one I avoid for the most part and I am ashamed to admit it. I avoid speaking to them or looking at them most of the time. When we were in St. Croix I noticed there is a pretty big homeless population and I was treating them differently than anyone else I passed on the streets in St. Croix. In the U.S. Virgin Islands it is customary to give everyone you see a proper greeting: “Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening/Night” regardless of whether or not you know them. At one point I walked past a homeless man who looked up at me and I didn’t give him the same greeting I gave everyone else. When I got back to the car I told TJ what I had done and told him it made me question myself. Did I think the homeless man was unworthy of the same greeting I was giving everyone else? Did he deserve less than a polite greeting because he is homeless? The answer to both questions is no and I felt so ashamed of my behavior. Then one night while we were sitting in our condo in St. Croix and I was looking at something completely different on YouTube when a video about homelessness in St. Croix popped up:
That’s when I knew this would be my purpose in St. Croix. My thoughts and feelings stemming from my i
nteraction, or lack of, with the homeless man, this video, and my background bubbled over and I knew this would my new mission field. I have never felt called to work with the homeless before; never felt the need to interact with them until our trip to St. Croix. I even began looking up the social work license requirements for St. Croix and what I need to do when we arrive so I can officially be a social worker trying to help the homeless population. While it is presumptuous to think I could get a paying job working with the homeless, I know I will at least begin by volunteering with one of the ministries that serves them when we arrive. I am excited about this new mission field, as I am sure it will be an eye opening and life-changing experience (much like working with the recovering heroin addicts has been).
And there you have it, our “Are You Ready To Live Crazy” series comes to an end with
a calling, a place, and a purpose.
Par la Foi,
~~~All things are possible for those who believe. -Mark 9:23~~~