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Miracles out of Heartache: I’m Heading Back to Work

Me in front of my new office, and putting on
a brave face before going into my second interview.
Cancer is not the first obstacle that has tested my hope and
gladness this past year.  I have worked for child welfare for the past
six years, and spent one year in child protective services, until they realized I
was likely going to cry more than the kids  when they would have to be removed from their
home, so they moved me to a job in prevention. As a prevention worker I worked
with families to maintain their children in the home, and did weekly home
visits with families.
I spent several years in the “field”, and saw a lot of dysfunction and
heartbreak, and really started to become burnt out. I decided it was time for me to look at other options and so I applied
for five promotions within child welfare where I could distance myself from
being on the front lines.
 Every time I had an interview I
entered with confidence that this was the job God had for me, because each
opportunity progressively seemed to fit my skill set and needs better.
Well…although I consider myself an outstanding interviewer I was proven
wrong time after time. God kept having to remind me that He had a plan for my
future, and I had yet to discover it.
In between my second and third year of graduate school I came up with a
way to improve the prevention model within child welfare.My administration liked the idea and so I spent the summer researching
and writing protocol for the new program I had developed.
Last year, At the end of the summer, my office decided to expand the
prevention program and hire a new prevention supervisor. Since I had worked on
developing a new model for prevention, that my administration had been eager to
implement, I had high hopes that I would be the most feasible candidate
My interview was a year ago almost to this very day, it was August 16th
2012. The interview went perfectly, and I had what I was told was a “Knocked it out of the park” performance.
After a weekend of anticipation, first thing Monday morning I got
called into the office. I expected to be briefed on a transition plan for
coming from out of the field and into a cushy supervisor position, but instead
I heard those familiar words, ” you did not get the job”.
I had been rejected yet again, and I was furious. I was so mad that I wondered “Why I even served a God that seemed to
not care about my needs, and what I wanted”. I mean my husband and I volunteer in
leading children’s church every Sunday, we pray, we give, we seem to do a lot
of things right…
The disappointment really hit me hard, and I spent a week at home
moping and evaluating my options. I decided I could get one thing right, and so I finally made the call to
a specialist for a third  opinion on what was going on with my health. I had struggles with pain, and undergone tests and minor surgery all with no avail to the problems I had lived with for several years..
From that disappointment, in the midst of feeling lost and abandoned I
made a phone call that started a process that changed my life. In the midst of despair God led me to make a call that eventually led
my family and I to a diagnosis of Stage IV Ovarian Cancer.
After the big disappointment with my job I didn’t recognize Jesus
walking next to me, and leading me to where I needed to go. After my second surgery I asked my oncologist how long I had before the
Cancer would have taken me down.  She estimated
that I had only weeks, maybe a couple of months, before my body began shutting
down from being overburdened with Cancer.
This makes the crushing experience with my job that at first was perceived
as abandonment a true miracle. If I had gotten that job I wouldn’t have made
that phone call to the specialist, and would have just kept going until my
health completely suffered.
A few weeks ago I took a brave step in making a decision to return to work and enter the interview room one more time. After a lot of stress and two interviews I finally heard the words I had been longing to hear,  ” you got the job”! I will start my new job tomorrow at DHS’s state office where I will work on policy writing, training, and developing a new program to assist incarcerated women in developing transition plans for their unborn children. 
The opportunity is a true miracle, and in fact a much bigger promotion then any of the jobs I had interviewed for before. I challenge you today to look for the miracle that either have or will
come out of the disappointment or trouble you are facing. Miracles don’t always happen as we expect them to, but in faith we know
that God loves us and can give us hope no matter how troublesome the future
appears. Choose hope and  believe that miracles can happen and will happen when
you submit your life to God’s plan.
  • Glynna

    August 19, 2013 at 2:55 am Reply

    Wow! Guess I better stop complaining and just keep looking!

    • Tarah Warren

      August 27, 2013 at 1:42 am Reply

      Yes, keep looking Glynna. I will keep you in mind when I say my prayers!

  • Brenda Torres

    August 19, 2013 at 3:13 am Reply

    So true that God knows us so much better than we know ourselves and often has us wait for the "perfect for us" opportunity. I actually heard a speaker this past spring who was born to her mother while she was incarcerated. Many many years ago — so the system was very different. She wrote a book called "Even Tough Girls Wear Tutus." I haven't read it yet, but I'll send it to you if you're interested. My prayers will be with you tomorrow. Congratulations on the new job!!

  • Dawn

    August 30, 2013 at 1:51 pm Reply

    What an amazing story! I know your family from way back in Longmont and Golden Bell days. I have not followed your story, but Ginger (a blogging and FB friend) sent me here today. What a beautiful blog you have – love teal. And what an amazing young woman you are. God bless you in this new position, and with your continuing struggle with cancer. I worked with MSW students at Colorado State for 15 years and loved those students so much. Where did you go to school?

  • Dawn

    August 30, 2013 at 1:53 pm Reply

    Oops – I mean your grandparents! Your dad was a teen with my youngest brother, Randy Swanson. Hard to believe we're all that old!

  • Tarah Warren

    September 2, 2013 at 12:26 am Reply

    Hey Dawn,
    It is great to connect with you. I love to hear stories from my dad and grandpa about their Golden Bell days, such a special time in their lives! I got my MSW at the University of Oklahoma, Boomer Sooner:) Thanks for stopping by the blog, and glad you love teal.. I do to!

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