A couple of decades ago an opportunity came into my life.  Not one I was seeking.  But it came all the same.  And even though it wasn’t something I had ever done before.. I took the opportunity.  For seven years I volunteered for a local domestic abuse center called Crisis Intervention Service.  www.CIShelps.org   I went to the volunteer training.  I felt like I had fallen into a soft comfortable blanket. I didn’t tell anyone there that I had been a victim of partner abuse.  But the things I learned helped me heal the things that had happened to me.  Not only did it help me learn, but it helped me pay it forward to others who were still in abusive relationships.  To help them know they weren’t alone.  To help them know that others understand.  To know that others will not judge them for their choices to stay or their choices to leave.  I’ve been judged for both many times.

The day came when I got my first crisis call.  She was crying and scared and shattered.  And I opened my mouth and words of comfort and true understanding flowed from me to her.  She had a connection.  A life line.  Even if she never called again.  Even if she never left.  She had all she needed.  She had someone hear her.  She was no longer alone.

When that call ended something powerful happened inside of me.  I realized that I had been called to do this work.  Maybe to heal me.  Maybe to heal others.  I had a nursing background.  I knew about dressing surgical sites, giving injections and how to give a relaxing back rub.  But I had never felt more healing take place for that woman as I had in that one conversation with her.  There was a healing power in the words I spoke to her.  I knew because I spoke the words to her that I would have wanted to hear in that situation.

I volunteered for seven years while I worked at the hospital.  I answered the crisis line, I was on a pager for law enforcement who needed someone to help a victim.  I worked in the brand new shelter.  I saw so many things progress in those volunteer years.  But then another opportunity came along.  This time an ad in the newspaper. When I read the ad, I knew it was my job.  The agency was looking for advocates to work in a new project.  Outreach Centers.  There would be one in the town I lived in.  I called the executive director and got an application.  Before long, I was in a new and more extensive training.  And they sent me forth with a laundry basket filled with office supplies and a telephone.  A seed was planted and it was nurtured and it blossomed.  I blossomed.  I thought I had found my place, when really, it had found me.

Now today, twelve years later, I packed up my personal belongings, turned off the lights and locked the door for the last time.   Life is calling me in a new direction.  It began as a grumbling inside of me.  My passion was not fitting quite right any longer.  Like a favorite pair of shoes that were once so comfortable, but had now reached the limits of their wear.  The pattern is familiar, like when I became a volunteer for the agency.  I have been getting my volunteer work experience completed.  I’ve been blogging.  There has been good feedback.  Encouragement to step forward.  And one baby step at a time, I’ve moved toward another opportunity.

So this afternoon when I transferred the telephones, and turned off the lights and locked the door for the last time.  I didn’t feel sad.  I didn’t feel glad.  It just felt like perfect timing.  I’m ready for the next step.  I wonder where it will lead me.


8 thoughts on “Endings

  1. Good luck on your new beginnings and next adventure! I was so glad to find out about CIS and what great work they do. I am sure you helped many and now you are off on a new adventure. Can’t wait to see where it takes you!

    • Gosh Beth Ann, I wish I had the last page of this new book too. It just hasn’t been written yet. Its like the anticipation of beginning a new book and hoping beyond hope that it’s a good read.

  2. Perfect timing … anticipation … around the bend … it’s a great day. You’re ready to start anew.

    May this fresh path bring adventure, new friends, fun and joy into your life, Jeannie.

    Hugs and Blessings – Maxi

  3. It’s early morning and the sun is just rising across the lake. It feels like a brand new direction Maxi. It’s almost time to go, but not quite. Still a few prparations for the journey. I’m going in faith that what ever I need will be right before me, whether that’s a friend or a helper, a guide or a teacher.

    ((((Big Squeeze))))


  4. Your faith is right Jeannie and this new path and direction will bring you a bright life with many new opportunities, adventures and friendships…there is one thing I know for sure though and that is you have helped so many women with the work you have done….your ‘good karma bank’ goes with you my friend xxxx

    • My first next adventure will be packing my car. I hope that Karma Bank is compact.
      I’m excited to go, but still have things here to get in order. Its all coming along though with all the help I’ve been getting.
      Jeannie xxx

  5. The “Others” also made a powerful impact on me. They taught me so many things.. I think it was merely an exchange of knowledge.. mine and theirs going back and forth. I hope the next chapter of my life can do the same things.

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