Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Thoughts on social work.


  I don't talk about my job much, if at all, on this blog. That's probably due to a combination of my job being incredibly personal and potentially uninteresting to anyone else. It's personal because being a social worker isn't just a source of income for me, it is really an extension of who I am. It is just part of me. Its potentially uninteresting because, are you really interested in my 9-5?
  But with thoughts of what the work/baby balance will be come this summer and having a really heavy (read: pregnancy hormones) week so far, I just want to sit and talk about my job. This snow day seemed like the perfect chance to do just that.
  First of all, I struggle to call it a job. If I'm talking about pay or leadership or HR-type things, then it does feel like a job. But when I think about my clients and what I actually do all day every day, it feels right.
  Right now, I'm a school-based therapist. My days are spent doing a lot of play therapy with kids as young as 5 and as old as 12. We work on things like depression, defiance, and trauma. I spend a lot of my time working with parents and helping them get to a place to provide the best support for their kiddo, whether that means getting counseling themselves or helping them secure health insurance or addressing issues of abuse and neglect in the home. Basically, no day is the same.
  This week, I have spent most of my time on a really complicated and ever-changing situation with one of my kids who has been exposed to a lot of trauma and possible abuse. That is always hard. But it kind of reinforces my passion for social work. For loving on people. I have been so frustrated with the system and others not stepping up to advocate for this little one, but at the end of each day I remember that I can do something. I have to do something.
  I am always really passionate about my job and caring for others, because I truly feel that is what God wants me to do with my life. But this pregnancy has me feeling things in a much deeper way than I have before. Never has James 1:27 felt more relevant and necessary to me than it does now. I don't often like The Message's use of paraphrasing the Bible, but its version of this verse just puts it so well...

"Anyone who sets himself up as “religious” by talking a good game is self-deceived. This kind of religion is hot air and only hot air. Real religion, the kind that passes muster before God the Father, is this: Reach out to the homeless and loveless in their plight, and guard against corruption from the godless world." James 1:27

  I'm not really sure the point of writing all of this out, except to process it. We have a snow day today, and I'm not ashamed to admit that I am so thankful for the day off. My heart has been so heavy at work this week and so frustrated with the injustices I have been coming up against. I'll be back at it tomorrow, but honestly, I needed this break. As I look forward this summer and balancing my job and being a mom, I have no idea what it looks like. But today I'm praying more than ever that God give me a bit of direction and discernment of how this passion for social work will still be present.

What about you? 
What parts of your job are you passionate about?
If you're a working mom, what balance have you found?


Allison said...

This is just crazy...I posted about my job today too. Must be the snow day topic. :) I admire your work and love how passionate you are about it! :)

Holly Osbeck said...

I definitely understand :) And writing about the hard things can be so beneficial (even if we can't go into details). What you do is amazing, and it's obvious the Lord is pleased as you carry out His mission!