By Amanda Boss Collier
Amanda is loan coordinator at Veterans United in its Earth City location in St. Louis, MO. She studied Nutrition and Fitness at Mizzou and married an awesome Chiropractor named Chris. Amanda is a dog mom of two and baby mom of one (and, yes, she does have a favorite). She can often be found trying convince someone into some sort of physical activity and she smiles a lot.
Before we hear from Amanda, I want you to know a little bit more about her. Sure you might have just read that she is a dog mom and a baby mom and that she is a nut about exercise with a Chiropractor husband named Chris, but unless you have met her you probably wouldn’t guess just what a contagion she really is. The best kind of contagion. And I get it, we’re not in a season where we ought to be tossing around the term “contagion,” but I don’t know how else to describe what happens when Amanda enters a room. Or, most especially, your life.
Her smile is infectious. Her love of people, stirring. Her passion catches in the air around her, waiting patiently for some unsuspecting host to wander along unawares. She’s working. Spreading light, drawing you nearer and nearer, like the soft twinkling of city lights off in the distance. Still, even folks like Amanda, these wielders of joy, propagators of fun, yes even they come up against the stormy winds of life. For many 2020 was a year of forceful, swirling winds, and as it turns out, it was for Amanda too. Please enjoy reading her words below. It’s a short tale of gratitude, appreciation, and hopeful perseverance. It just might be the story you need today. – Ellen Nimmo
COVID. COVID Sucks. COVID needs to go away. It’s probably the most hated word right now. Its torn our world apart, shattered lives and jobs and families. It been… hard. For everyone. I am no different.
In 2020 I was pregnant with my first child and my former employer had me use my saved PTO I planned to use for maternity leave for short hours. After I had my baby I was home for much longer than planned without pay because at first they didn’t need me to come back. Then they laid me off. God knew what he was doing.
I was still friends with some people at a job I had years before and I noticed on Facebook that their employee created and funded Foundation was making a special effort to help those effected by COVID. My husband had recently started his own practice so I was our only source of income. We had been significantly financially affected. VUF helped us cover a large bill we had coming due that we were not going to be able to pay. God had his hand on us the entire time.
Back to my job. I was very unhappy in a dead end job with a toxic work environment. Then Veterans United, my former employer in Columbia, MO, added office in St Louis. I never thought I would get to work for this great company again but here they were, with job openings while I was out of work! A friend helped me submit an application. I wanted a job, something, anything! Then, my old boss reached out, asking me if I wanted to work in his department again. YES PLEASE!!! God knew what he was doing.
Now it’s 2021. Still under the looming clouds of COVID. But with a happy baby boy. A wonderful husband. And an amazing job. All during in the worst year I can think of. Through all this I find myself encouraged. Reminded that while the journey may be hard the destination is worth it… and it is one He had planned for us all along.
2020 sucked in so many ways, but it will be a year we will remember for years to come. It taught us love. Compassion. Teamwork. It made us slow down and enjoy time together as a family, it gave us opportunity to appreciate the blessings we already had and trust that there were others to come. I find myself overwhelmingly grateful for this past year. Because, despite the hardships, it might have been the year we needed.
P.S. Thanks to EVERYONE who helped me show my sister and her unit support based on the post I made last month! It truly lifted their spirits!