After I got over the initial shock of my diagnosis, I picked my head up and gave myself a little pep talk. I told myself what I would have told someone else. GET OVER IT ALREADY, there is nothing I can do to change it, only a miracle would help. I literally did not have time to waste being all sad and mopey.
I also had a lot of encouragement from a wonderful woman named Nancy Huffman, which helped me keep my chin up. She was an Assistant Principal at DPJH where I was currently teaching, but she taught one history class right next door to me. I had grown fond of her because I had observed how strict, but fair she was to the children. Her students really liked her and they learned a lot. When I was told about my diagnosis at school, I immediately went to her and told her. She hugged me and wouldn't you know it, she was a transplant recipient of a kidney. She looked great and healthy, and this inspired me. It hit me right then, God had worked it out so perfectly to put me in a place where I could make a friend like her. You see, the previous year, I had worked in PISD and planned on staying there for a long time. I was not looking for a job and I had always heard how hard it was to get a job in Deer Park, but a job literally fell into my lap.
I ran into a friend at Barnes and Nobles on day in June (actually she is the mother of a girl I played softball with all growing up as child). She asked me how I was and what I was up to. I told her I was a teacher and she asked what all I could teach. I updated her and then she said that she worked at a wonderful school DPJH, but was leaving to do an assistant principal internship for the next year at another school in the district. She asked for my information and told me she would tell her boss about me and hopefully I could have the job she was leaving. Wouldn't you know it, this wonderful man, Victor White, called me and asked me to come in for an interview. I accepted, and I was very excited. The interview went great and he offered me a job. I knew in my heart that this was definitely the place for me, my boss had already let me know that he was a Christian and I had heard how wonderful he was from my friend. I accepted, but told him I would be spending the month of July in Botswana, Africa and I could start once I got back. I was able to let him know, that I too was a Christian.
I went to Africa, had a life-changing time and learned so much about our God. I saw the earth how God had created it, full of colors and life, not tons of cement and buildings to block the breath-taking views all around me. I wondered how America had looked before we destroyed it with man-made things. I learned that places still exist where everyone is not in a hurry, and no one person seemed to wear a watch. When someone died in a village, the whole village attended the funeral and stopped what they were doing. I felt safer in Botswana than I felt in America. People are kind, people are good, we are made in the image of God. I couldn't speak the same language, but I could still communicate. Kindness, compassion, concern, love, these are all things that can be spoken through our actions.
I could go on for days about all that I loved about Africa, but let me get back to my point. I know I have a rambling problem, blame my momma.
I came home and started my new job at DPJH. I can honestly say that I felt like I had entered the gates of heaven when I went to work. I was so happy and content. I met the most amazing people that were my co-teachers. I truly loved and respected my boss, and I was surrounded by really strong Christians. I loved my students, I loved that I wasn't enforcing dress code rules all day everyday. I loved that I felt like I was trusted. I loved all the teamwork, basically, I loved it all.
The counselor at DPJH is one of the most phenomenol men I have ever met. His name is Frank Semmellmann, and he loved the Lord so much that Jesus seemed to seap out of every pore on Frank's body. I would always tell him that they don't make men like him anymore. Frank LOVED his wife. She too, had a chronic illness that would soon take her life, we just didn't know how quickly it would happen. Frank mowed a bunch of widows' lawns (free of charge), he went every morning before work to help get a "special needs" boy dressed because the boy's mother just couldn't do it by herself anymore, he took excellent care of his wife, and he found the time to brighten every single one of my days at DPJH. I will never forget his wife's funeral, it was so memorable and well-done. He, to this day, is still madly in love with his one true love. I can only dream of being loved like that, it is endless.
SO, let me wrap all this up! God put me at DPJH. He gave me a gift, a blessing, a lesson, an honor. He put me right where I needed to be and I am so glad I listened to him. I left my other job (which was hard), but God knew what He was doing. I had 8 months to get to know and respect so many people I worked with, before finding out about my Autoimmune Hepatitis. I could not have dealt with my diagnosis without the love and support of Nancy Huffman, Beth Williams, Franks S, and my boss Victor White, and this was just my first year there!!!