Monday, October 29, 2012

New Job Journey

I am a details person, so please bare with my tendency to become long winded haha! But seriously, this story is a great testimony of God’s perfect plans.

“What’s your dream job, Carly?” has been a question asked by many since I have graduated.

(My BIG dream job is actually not in the field of Occupational Therapy, but I know that I’m not in a place or pursuing that job yet. I still absolutely love Occupational Therapy though and feel so blessed to be in a field that I really do enjoy.)

So besides that tangent that I went on ;) I always respond with, “My dream job would be working as an Occupational Therapist in a school system.”

As I have shared this with other Occupational Therapists that I have networked with, there is a common message of, “You’re probably going to have to pursue other areas first because getting into the school system is really tough, that’s where almost every pediatric OT wants to be.”

So I pursued a job at Pine Rest, where I had my internship and truly loved as well. I love my patients at Pine Rest….A LOT! Ask my husband, he hears me go on and on about them (without personal information of course!). So that is where I have been working since I graduated.

So fast forward, and I took my Occupational Therapy boards in the middle of August. I found out that I failed and was so devastated. I had missed it by 2 questions…TWO QUESTIONS! AH!

The day after I found out I failed my exam, I got a phone call from a principal in the Grand Rapids Public School System.
“Hi, is this Carly Stender?”
“Yes, it is, may I ask who’s calling?”
“Hi, my name is Jean Allard. I am the principal at Ken O Sha. I recently got your name and some information about you from an OT in the district that you have been talking with. He said you wanted to work in the schools, and I am interested in you applying to the OT position at my school. Our OT just notified us of her resignation.”

I told her that I was taking the exam in 45 days (that’s how long I had to wait) and so she stated that they would keep me in mind but that they were going to have to open the position to others as well.

We kept in touch during the 45 days and she shared that Human Resources still hadn’t gotten to the interviewing process. I went and took a tour there to see what it was like. Honestly, I was intimidated and got terrified of the idea of working there actually haha. There were some really involved patients and I felt like such a baby walking in there and thinking that people would be coming to ME for my “expertise.” I figured that they would start the interviewing process before I took the exam though, so I thought that I would be let off the hook.

I prayed, “God, this job terrifies me. Please just close this door if I’m not supposed to work there.”

Fast forward some more and I took my exam on October 10. On October 10 after my exam I got a call from the principal. “Hi Carly, we are starting the interview process next week, are you still interested in an interview?”

I could not believe that the job was still open!! SO, I scheduled an interview (OH and then I found out I PASSED THE EXAM!!)

My interview was….ok. Haha, I did not feel good about the interview actually. It was very straight forward and all about situations (which can be hard to answer when you’re just starting your profession). They interviewed 4 people for this job and the person before me and after me were both older women, who looked like they probably had a TON more experience than me.

As a part of this interview they asked me how long it would take to get my license now that I passed my exam. Most of my classmates shared that it took 3-4 weeks, so that’s what I told them. They said they wanted to fill this position as soon as possible, and so that that time frame might not work for them.

I left the interview feeling disappointed (since this was the door  to get into my DREAM job as a school OT) but felt relieved as well because I knew this job would really challenge me and stretch me out of my comfort zone for sure.

One day later I got my license in the mail!!! This 3-4 week process took ONE week for me! I was shocked! Everything seemed to be lining up!! They pursued ME for this job from the beginning, they started the interview process at the perfect timing for me, AND I got my license a lot sooner than expected. However, I truly did not think I would be offered the job because of being a new graduate.

The morning after I got my license in the mail, I got a phone call from the principal asking about my license and I told her that I got it in the mail already! With excitement she shared, “well that works out perfectly because we would like to offer you the job!!!”

WHAT?!?!?!?! Are you kidding me??? I literally was speechless for 10 seconds. She sounded really confused when I was stumbling over the words I was trying to find to say haha. I seriously had a “speech” all thought up of what I would say after she declined the job offer.

So here I am. Walking in God’s goodness…walking in God’s perfect plan, starting my dream job on November 5. I am honored and terrified all at the same time J

Monday, October 15, 2012

Wedding Day

Recently I had a vision of twirling around with Jesus. It was bliss. Lately, I have been blessed to be in a season where I truly feel like I have just simply been enjoying Jesus and allowing myself to receive his affections toward me. Now this may sound "ultra spiritual" and "fluffy" to some, as I hope that there are all different kinds of people who read my blog; but to be completely real with you all, this season has brought me such deep joy, peace, and refreshment and I hope you can one day experience this as well.

For the past year God has been stripping me of my pride and self sufficiency. It was hard. painful. refining. I needed it, I needed it bad. I have loved Jesus since a young age and so I often thought I "had it together."I wanted to just depend on myself and not have to be weak. I wanted to receive the glory and recognition for what GOD alone had done through me as His vessel. But my good deeds were still like filthy rags to him (Isaiah 64:6).

When I picture Isaiah 64:6 for myself, I picture myself in my wedding dress (white, pure, radiant) and doing one of those Trash the Dress sessions and presenting myself in a completely muddy, stained, no longer white, wedding dress. My wedding dress, something that was so pure and lovely to me, was covered in filth. This is how I was before God. When spending time with God I wanted to tell him "but look, I'm wearing white, it's there somewhere." But, it is ONLY through the blood of Jesus that I have been made pure and lovely.

I want to present myself to my King, my Groom in white. I have already done that to my incredible husband, Mike, who daily portrays Christ's love. But I know one day I will be united with The Groom, the One that saved me, the One that calls me His Beloved. My wedding day with Mike took preparation (not just with the logistics and decorations for the day, but with my heart) and my wedding day with Christ takes preparation. As Christ has been sanctifying me throughout my years of following him, especially this past year of being refined, he is preparing me for our wedding day.

I've been listening to a song by Cory Asbury and Allyson Prior called Shine (check it out!) and  it gives such beautiful words to what Jesus says to us about the preparation. This song means so much to me as I have seen breakthrough with some areas of sin for the past couple months.

The song says, "You don't have to look on the past and remember your sin, because I have washed it all away. As far as the east is from the west, so have I removed your sin from you. I've thrown it away in the sea of forgetfulness. You don't need to dwell there any longer. You have the victory because I have the victory. I have conquered it."

It has been amazing to be able to move forward in freedom, that I don't need to sit in condemnation but that Christ's blood is enough to wash me. That in my filthy wedding dress, I am made white. The next part of the song talks about preparation for the Wedding Day.

"I've clothed you in garments of white, my Beloved. I'm making you ready. I'm preparing you for that day. It's all about the wedding day, on the day when I return. I can't wait for that day, My Bride. I will claim you as my own. You are going to shine. We are going to spend eternity together."

So this is what it's all about for me.

"There is going to be a wedding. It's the reason that I'm living--to marry the Lamb."

Behold the Lamb, who takes away the sin of the world. John 1:29

Sunday, October 7, 2012


This is just a test. I have had some friends share that they leave comments and then they don't show up. So please just leave a simple comment so I can see if I can get the issue checked out.

Thanks :)

More blogging to come...

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

I'm baaaaack....again!

So if you have followed my blog for any amount of time, you will be quick to see that I have been SO inconsistent with this thing! Like....SO inconsistent!

The thing is, I found myself looking to my blog (along with too many other things) as a place to fulfill my selfish desire to be seen and noticed.

If only I could write up some fancy piece about humility, or offer a killer recipe...well not literally killer ;) or show a "sweet" art project I was doing on my own, than MAYBE more people would be drawn to who I was.


Loneliness sucks. It sure does. But so does pride and so does a lifestyle of performance.

It is JESUS CHRIST I want others to be drawn to.

God has so kindly and gently brought me to a deeper place of humility and dependence on Him as I learn to trust His faithfulness and provision. I have been through a season of being lonely, stagnant, and honestly...ungrateful.

BUT God (in His perfection) has so sweetly and richly blessed me. I often tell other people this, but now I have learned to preach it to myself, and I am seeing it come to pass: "You will one day live in the fruit of the season you are in."Out of this trying season I've had for the past year, I have learned so many things!

Things like...
-Jesus is my FRIEND and I can count on him
-It is not God who leaves me, but rather, I am the one who tries to make it without Him
-How to be thankful in all circumstances (I have really been in a season of embracing this, and let me tell you, life is SO much better when you choose to live this way!!)
-God knows what He is doing
-God is faithful
-God cares about the things that are important to us
-How to worship for HIS glory
-How to intimately follow Christ behind closed doors
-AND...That I am a DAUGHTER of the Most High King...meaning that I have authority and that God's goodness and unfailing love will surely follow me all the days of my life! HALLELUJAH!

So here I am...for now. I hope to be back to blogging (if I can keep my heart in check about it), because truly I love writing and testifying to what the Lord is doing in my life and in the lives around me. So friends, I am studying 1 Peter for the month of October and it is rockin my world. I'll be back at some point to share with you :)