By Tanya Fifth

Hello everyone! My name is Tanya Fifth. Chances are if you have called the CareNet office I may have had the pleasure of greeting you.

I have been serving as the Administrative Assistant at the Center for nearly 4 years. Even as I type that last sentence, one word rings louder in my ears then the others –serving. Although one may not think of it as any more than a grammatical choice for job description, it really is so much more. I have had several jobs in my lifetime; from retail and food service to mortgage lending and accounting – and many things in between, but there is a big difference between working and serving. God is teaching me the meaning of that word – his meaning of that word in new ways all the time.

I came to CareNet nearly 4 years ago because I was in need of a job and the open position for which I was applying had appeared in such a way that I had no choice but to recognize it as divine intervention. Once here, by the end of my tour, I had been offered a completely different job than I had originally applied for! There had literally become a need to fill the position I now hold as I was downstairs touring LoRita’s Open Door! It also just so happened that the job of Administrative Assistant was more conducive to my skill set. If that’s not a “God thing” I don’t know what is! That was 4 years ago and aside from dreadfully cold weather or occasional illness there has not been a day that I dreaded going to work.

There is truly something different about being employed for an organization with the sole purpose of serving others and spreading the love of Christ to those that are hurting. Looking back, I can see so many ways the Lord had been priming me for “such a time as this.” It was not too long ago that I found myself working for a corporate-run drug-treatment facility and while I absolutely loved being able to help others while at their lowest points, I quickly became disenchanted by the “business” of it. When the facility I worked at closed, I was at a loss. I knew I could probably find another job easily, but while working at the treatment center I had realized that because of the lifestyle I had previously walked through, I had experiences in life had equipped me with the insight to help others. I took a well-paying temp job in Nashville but working with hurting people had changed something in me and once that assignment ended, I decided to finish the Associates degree in psychology that I had been previously pursuing while working with the treatment center and try to get some direction.

As it turns out, the Lord directed my steps to CareNet, literally. Now that I am here, I get the opportunity to turn everyday tasks, such as answering the phone or greeting people as they come through the door, as an opportunity to serve Christ. Sometimes when the phone rings it is a woman who is hurting and just needs someone to tell her “Everything is going to be okay,” or “I understand.” Sometimes it is one of our friends in ministry sharing a prayer request and I get the opportunity to pray for those we appreciate so much for being a part of what we do. And sometimes it’s a pesky telemarketer who reminds me that we all need Jesus to get through the day!

Whatever the case may be, no matter who it is calling on the phone, or walking through the door, I get the opportunity to share a little bit of Jesus with them. It is this daily practice that serves as a reminder of how lucky I am to come every day not to work, but to serve.