Saturday, October 11, 2008

We Interupt This FBI Report For A Random Question

We interrupt this FBI Report for a Random Question from Edie at Rich Gifts. Our report will continue after this post, but for now, we are handing the post back toMyADHDMe.

"Thank you gentlemen. Hi everyone, it's nice to be back."

Edie's Random Question:

"What specific qualities did God implant in you when He designed you? Things that you do well. Talents, skills, passions etc. Things you could spend hours doing without feeling the time pass."

That's easy for me to answer. Most people might think it would be ability to make people laugh. But that isn't it. Actually, as I think I mentioned once before, if I had to make people laugh or say something "On Demand" it would never happen. My humor is, well, you never ever would have guessed that. And many things that I think are hilarious, many people just stare at with blank eyes. You know the kind of people I'm talking about....the normal ones.

I think God designed me to help people during times of crisis. Not the little everyday problems. I'm talking about the big, this could change your life, matter or life and death problems. That is why I adore being a firefighter. When that alarm goes off, something happens to me. I change from this random,ADHD , mind off in Never-Never land to "someone on a mission". That is one of the only times in my life where I can focus. There is a job to do and I can do it. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying it doesn't give me a rush of adrenalin. It's that rush that allows us to "go in" when everyone else is running out.

Many people say it is bravery. Maybe it is a little bit but that really isn't what it is all about. What it is, is that feeling of making a difference. Someone in my community, my neighbor, my friend, even my family,... ANYONE.... is depending on me to help them.

We are taught to protect 3 things, in this order....1. Human Life. 2. Property (house, car, etc) 3. Environment. Some people may argue that environment should be before property but if your house was on fire and we said that we needed to hold back and conserve water...well, you get the picture.

Back to the bravery part. I am not any braver than anyone else. I've been trained, I have the tools and equipment and I have a job to do....just like everyone else does. However, unlike many people, I ABSOLUTELY LOVE MY JOB. It changed my life. Before becoming a firefighter, I, Like Edie, felt like I was plodding through life. Was this it? Was this all I was supposed to do until the end of my life? I loved and adored my children but I KNEW I had to do something else.

Another gift God gave me was compassion and the ability to empathise . I have seen so many firefighters and emergency response workers who become oblivious to the fact that although we are doing what we do everyday, the people involved are probably experiencing the worst day of their entire life. After the people are safe and we know the house isn't going to collapse on us, I try to think about what I would want from my house if I knew almost everything was going to be lost. Yes we are trying to save furniture from fire, smoke and water damage. But there are other things that cannot be replaced. Many victims have told me where they keep their special boxes of photos etc and that is something that I want to be able to retrieve for them before the water and smoke destroy them. For some people it is a set of videos, or maybe a teenager's clothes, handbags, medication, a wedding portrait or anything that is important to that person. In other words, in addition to helping get victims out and helping to save their homes, I try to empathize with them. I think that the day that doesn't matter to me, is the day I need to step back and re-evaluate what I am doing.

After saying all that, there is a problem. First of all, although I dreamed of firefighting most of my life, I never thought I could do it. Therefore I didn't join our department until the summer of 2002. It was after the tragedy of 9-11 and I HAD to do something. I was 38 years old. It was hard and I was training with mostly 19-25 year old men. But I had made up my mind and nothing was going to stop me. And nothing did. I became a Virginia Certified Firefighter and EMT. It was absolutely incredible to me.

Chatty Kelly gave me support but also, using her gift of talking and teaching, tried to warn me that I should not let it become Who or What I am. It could be what I DO but not what I AM.

Did I listen to her? Yes, of course (if I hadn't listened, I wouldn't be able to tell you what she said). Did I follow her advise guessed it....No.

Now I am 44 years old. I have fibromyalgia and degenerative disc problems. I've had these for years but have been able to keep doing my job, with the help of muscle relaxers, heating pads, chiropractors and the "occasional" vicoden.

I am not as healthy as I need to be, there is pain, and the time has come to step down. The only reason I haven't done it yet it that awful thing called PRIDE......not to mention I will miss it SO much. But it is time. If I continue to work in my condition, someone could get hurt. Perhaps my partner would need my help and I couldn't help him or I could be trapped and he would have to spend time helping me instead of doing what he is there to do. Perhaps the victim is calling for me and I can't move properly to get to him. The Adrenalin helps, but only so much.

People have suggested working on the ambulance or something similar. I'm not sure why, but that isn't what I am supposed to be doing.

So now I need to go back to the beginning of this post and ask again. "What specific qualities did God implant in you when he designed you? What are the things you do well, your talents, skills, passions, and things you could spend hours doing without feeling the time pass.?"

At this moment, I don't know. I'm looking. I'm trying to figure out what I am supposed to do for the rest of my life. But right this moment...I just don't know.


Beverlydru said...

I am so thankful for the different gifts we all have. I think every firefighter I've ever met LOVES their job. Wow - that's so awesome.
You are a courageous woman - but as much for persevering toward your certification as for running into burning buildings.

I will pray for you as you seek the next step. There IS a next step. Thanks for sharing.

Chatty Kelly said...

Your post was very honest today. I learned a long time ago that anything that anyone does that they find their identity in can be taken away - except child of God. Mother? Kids grow up. Wife - eventually one of you may die, if it's hubby first have you lost your worth, your identity? Job - you can lose it. Child of God must be our true identity.

Having said that - God did design us for his glory to do the good works he prepared in advance for us to do. What did he prepare for you?

Crisis worker. ER Nurse? That would require a lot of training, but would be very rewarding. Have you thought of Red Cross Volunteer?

Just remember, whatever you do put God first and he will clear the way for you. (Proverbs 3:6)

Chatty Kelly said...

p.s. Many people have said to me that they cna tell your spiritual gift is serving. That matches your firefighting (protect & SERVE). What other jobs or fields are serving fields?

Edie said...

I knew you had a deep side behind that wall. I really admire you for going after what you want like that. Most people don't ever find the job that they are satisfied in.

I'm glad you realize that it's time to step down because of your back. Your compassion even shows in your reasons because I suspect it's your concern for others that prompt you the most.

CK had some good suggestions. Take the matter to God and find out what His dream for your life is. Part of the equipment is the love for the task. That is the major motivating factor.

Great post!!
CK - You said "eventually one of you may die" Forgive me for laughing at this but I do think there's a strong possibility.

Chatty Kelly said...

Hey Edie - Jesus could come back and take both of you at the same time *OR* a tragic accident could take both people at the same time -
OR there is a possiblity that one of you may die.

Pffffftttt! :P

Don't mock me in front of Shen Chen! Be nice in front of our guest. :D

My ADHD Me said...

Children grow up and move away to have a life of their own (if we do our job right)

Husband "may" or may not die first, but by now I think it is evident to all that my marriage is not something that I can spend hours working on and not notice that any time has passed.

And yes, people lose jobs...whether it is due to being fired, health issues, or retirement. (unless, as CK said, Jesus comes back before you're finished with your job....but unless he comes sometime in the next few weeks, I don't see that being my out.

Maybe I'll learn Chinese so I can communicate with Shen Chen....on second thought, Edie is the artistic one and their letters are hard to draw.

I wonder if they checked back and notice that their name keeps popping up in our comments.

I do lose track of time when I'm on the computer, somehow I don't think that is what I am "destined" to do.

Also, there ARE those bubbles....

Edie said...

Hey CK ~ Pffffftttt! :P
LOL!! - Ok I concede.
I think Shen Chen did come back for a visit. I just checked my stats and there was another visit from Taiwan. I didn't check to see if it was the same IP. Here's what I say - Come on in Shen Chen and find Jesus!
What Bubbles? :)

The Patterson 5 said...

I loved your post. You would make a great ER or ICU nurse. You are a person who excels under pressure! I admire that in you. You also have so much compassion for others. What about teaching fire fighters? They need to learn how to excel under pressure as well as have compassion. I'd like you or someone you've taught if the P 5 house is on fire!

As for our visitor I kept reading his long, long comment thinking surely he'd get around to why in the world he would have responded to my poofy blog. I did not even check his out. -Oh if you are reading, Shen Chen I do not mean to offend.

Edie said...

You know you will always be my favorite. But shhh don't tell anyone. :)

Chatty Kelly said...

I HEARD THAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tammy R said...

My hat comes off to you...for risking your life to save smeone else.

When it's your time to put your ax down and set your boots aside,God will have your next assignment ready.

P.S. My dad was a Asst.Fire Chief for 40years and loved every minute of it.

Edie said...

CK - Spoken like a true sister! LOL. Actually my comment was in response to ADHD-Jo's comment in my post. You should know by now that ADHD-Jo has several conversations going in several locations within the blogosphere. It's easy to become confused.

Chatty Kelly said...

Edie - don't think I didn't back track to your blog and find out the reference point of said comment. LOL!!! Perhaps something to do with receiving many gifts in the same week.

My comment was as much as for ADHD as for you. See I have a tad bit of a rejection complex based on our childhood. It's important for me to be liked. So ADHD bends over backwards to make sure she always says glowing things to me (and that everyone else does too) so I don't go pout in the corner. (LOL! Figuratively speaking of course). So your comment was just hysterical to me. I knew ADHD would be explaining herself all over the place to make sure I knew that I was still "the favorite."

See, she's not the only one with issues. :D

Chatty Kelly said...

This is the chat room right? I mean we aren't really supposed to be commenting on the post here? We just come here to chat with each other and poke fun of each others comments.

Chen Chen - where are you?

My ADHD Me said...

CK honey, it's ok. Everyone loves you the best. I had a long explanation for you, but you got it. Thank goodness. You have the rejection complex and I have the guilt complex.
We're both crazy. But don't worry. I'm crazier than you.

My ADHD Me said...

They Like you! They really like you!!

My ADHD Me said...

bet you didn't know I could
"bend over backwards"

Edie said...

Yes CK, I promise you are the other favorite!!!

Pam from alertandorientedx4 said...

Wow...I think that one of the gifts that is seldom mentioned is the gift of total what you do when you are so selfless and rescue people, pets and possessions. I would love to hug your neck in real life 'cuz firefighters are, and have always been, my heroes. From everything I've read about you on your blog, I have no doubt that God will be able to direct that all important focus in times of dire need to something that will impact people for Him. Who I am is a Child of God and that is where my true and total identity must lie. How He has shaped me is What I am, but like clay, we never seem to harden and with patience and work, He can re-work us to whatever useful vessel He choses. I think it's amazing and awesome that you perservered and followed your heart to acheive your dream. You go girl!