Some of you have asked me "So... what is it that you DO when you go to work?"
I have posted on a few different forums that I was "getting ready for work" or "have to work tonight", or "work was busy today". I realized that not everyone actually knows what I used to do before I had my son Joshua.
I have the privilege to work as an Adolescent Chemical Dependency Counselor, at a non-profit community health agency. My primary job is to offer substance abuse treatment to youth who are referred by the juvenile courts, schools, mental health agencies, and other community social service agencies. Right now, 100% of my clients are adolescent males, between the ages of 15 and 20. I absolutely LOVE what I do!
I had been working full-time for 2 years at this agency, when I left for my maternity leave. After Joshua was born I didn't think I would return to work, BUT, the Lord allowed me to continue practicing my counseling skills at the part-time capacity and I couldn't ask for a better schedule. So now I put in my 10 hours a week and it still gives me the joy to work with those youth, and the focus to stay at home with my son. Did I say I absolutely LOVE what I do??
So, what's my typical day at work looks like?
I juggle many tasks at once... phone calls, collateral contacts with parole/probation officers, case managers, counselors, and parents. I see individual clients and lead a weekly guys' group (after-care group for males who completed the Intensive Outpatient program). ALL OF THAT IN 10 HOURS A WEEK? YES!! And I LOVE it!
Who is my typical client?
Adolescent male who just left the juvenile detention or prison, alcoholic or addicted to marijuana. Some are fathers. Most are fatherless. Some are violent, some are fearless. Gang affiliated. Intelligent but uneducated. Polite and respectful to me, but unafraid to assault community authorities. Victims of trauma, losses, and/or abuse. And MOST OF ALL... LOVED by GOD!
I absolutely LOVE what I do because it keeps me humbled and dependent on my Creator God. He has gifted me and blessed me with an unconditional love for these kids, and I can't thank HIM enough for allowing me to be a part of what He's doing in this world through people like you and me. Although I am unable to blatantly share about my faith at this agency, I am able to share about the source of my HOPE for them... And if they bring up their own faith in Christ, I GO WITH IT!
So... there... that's what I do on my working days. I'm not sure how long the Lord will allow me to continue "serving" there, but as long as He wills it, I'll do it dilligently, passionately, and unconditionally.
Now I need to get ready for work!
Helen G., MA, LCDC-III