15 January 2013

Who says you can't go home?

Almost exactly six months ago, I worked what I thought was my last day as a prosecutor. After weeks of weighing pros and cons, much hand-wringing, and so many prayers I bet God got tired of hearing from me, I decided to accept a position at the Legal Services Office. At the time, I thought I’d be handling mostly civil cases – divorce, custody, child support, maybe some estate planning, who knows – but very quickly, I was moved to Guardian ad Litem work, which afforded me the opportunity to work with children in a capacity wholly separate from my former role as a child crimes prosecutor. Dependent wards are appointed GALs to advocate for their best interests. Our only job is to advocate for the child – not for the Community or the parent or the Social Services caseworker, but for the child. It’s a unique perspective, especially for someone like me who started her career with a mindset toward prosecution. There are prosecutors in dependency cases, but I’m not her, a fact which can sometimes be as irritating as it is liberating.

Friday will be my last day at Legal Services, and next week, I will be a prosecutor again. Specifically, I will be Assistant Chief Prosecutor, which is a title that’s much fancier in theory than in practice. Mostly, it means that in addition to new supervisory duties, I’ll be back in a courtroom, back to working with victims of child abuse and neglect, back to doing the work that I love no matter how hard it sometimes is. It’s strange to think that I’ve reached the point in my career where I’m supposed to be able to lead and teach. I’m both eager and apprehensive about the change, but primarily just anxious to get started.

Since the summer, I’ve been drawn (probably divinely directed) to Psalms and Proverbs, more often Psalms. In reading Psalm 25:12-13, we see that God teaches prosperity, not failure. When we follow His instruction, success is the reward. Even the promise of success, though, isn’t always enough to keep away the doubts that occasionally creep into my subconscious. Thankfully, His grace is abundant and abiding, as are His blessings. In fact, the lesson that constantly boomerangs in my mind is how blessed I am. I am blessed with amazing mentors, and the rare ability to leave a job that I love for another that I hope to love more. I am blessed with a precious group of close family and friends who prayed for me six months ago, and then stepped right up when I asked for their prayers again. And I am blessed with something that we’re so often told we can’t have: a chance to go back to a place that I left.

Through the past year – with its challenges, its uncertainty, and its incredible gifts – God has answered my prayers. In spite of my fears, my anxiety, and my doubt, He has been as He promised:

a refuge and strength (Psalm 46, Psalm 59);
a strong tower (Proverbs 18, Psalm 61);
capable (Psalm 25);
gracious (Psalm 86);
forgiving (this is mentioned so many times in the Bible, but my favorite is Psalm 103).

I realized, somewhere in the middle of all this, that inasmuch as I’ve believed and trusted in Jeremiah 33:3 all my life, I’ve never been more aware of having lived that promise until now. Thankful, so thankful.

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