Thursday, March 7, 2013

Surrendering one day at at time

The spring semester started last month with a bang. By eleven am Monday morning, I had already been through three hours of nursing class orientation, including signing a HIPPA form (confidentiality), as well as other confidentiality agreements for our clinical sites, received our nursing uniforms, nametags, and lab coats, and a huge blue bag full of medical supplies for us to practice on.
Maybe not hit by a speeding train, but this
is a pretty good representation of how I'm
feeling some days.

No wonder I was overwhelmed.

By the end of the first week, I felt like I had been hit by a speeding train. I got myself into this when I picked this major, I reminded myself. God, are you sure I can handle this?

For those who might not know the story, I did not grow up imagining myself as a nurse. I think we had a pretend doctor's kit, but I had plenty of other ideas for when I grew up.

When I was nine, I wanted to be an astronaut. Okay, okay, the love of the stars has always been with me, but by twelve years old, I was convinced that I was going to be an author. I wrote stories by the dozen, many of them starting off as fan fictions, and later developing into independent story lines. I had several notebooks which I always carried around with me, should I stumble across a new idea during algebra, or history, or dinner, or carpool. By the time I was fifteen, I had already been to one writer's conference and was preparing for my second.

I loved everything about being a writer. I loved delving into imaginary worlds, allowing myself to go where I had never been before. Some say that reading can take you on any adventure you have ever wanted to go on. Writing does the same, except you are completely in charge of the adventure. It was a wonderful place to escape. I loved what other authors had done for me, and I wanted to pour that out on the world and allow children to be swept away by what-ifs and let their imagination soar.

But by fifteen years old and my tenth year of school, there is a certain question that nearly everyone asks:
Me in my nursing student uniform on the day
I got it. I officially wear it for the first time

"What are you thinking about for college?"

Ah, the college question! What does a young writer say? One does not need a degree in creative writing in order to publish a book. In fact, far from it. One author I know started out as an computer software designer. So I started thinking about what else I could get a degree in.

I had no clue.

So, just a few weeks after that writer's conference, I asked God a question. A really big question. I asked him to give me a vision of where he was going to take me in life. And he answered, in the most unexpected ways. First, a love for the wayward child. Second, the desire to be a midwife.

I did some research and discovered that the best way to become a midwife was to become a Registered Nurse, and then later do a Master's Program in Nurse-Midwifery. As I started looking for schools and preparing myself for nursing school, I realized how much I really loved the idea of being a nurse and caring for people.

So you see, it was God who brought me here. I have questioned it several times. Nursing is a scary field. I could do any host of things wrong, and it could really hurt somebody.

God has been working on my heart. The fear of hurting somebody is tempered with the joy of aiding somebody in their recovery. The fear that this isn't the right career for me gets flipped around once I slow down and realize how much I love the material. It is completely nerve-wracking at times. Entirely and completely. Most days, I have no idea how I'm going to get through.

When I look at pictures like this, I remember how peaceful
it was to look out over the Makhtesh Ramon. The same
slowing-down of life reminds me to surrender each day.
God has been teaching me. He has been teaching me to surrender each day. To give every day to Him, so He can take care of things.

Nursing school is tough. It is meant to be, and I wouldn't want it any other way. The more rigor I endure in school, the better nurse I will be someday. If I were to leave things to myself, I would be scared stiff, and might not do so well.

However, I am convinced that God has brought me here for a purpose. He would not continually show me how right the nursing field is for me if he did not intend me to use these skills someday. So I walk forward in faith. And I walk one day at a time.

It's a funny lesson. It has popped up in many places of my life. I remember a cassette tape I listened to in a friend's car as a kid which had a song for different memory verses. I remember one as Psalm 139:13-14 "For you knit me together in my mother's womb, I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made." (I pause here to say YES! This is EXACTLY why I love learning about the human body!)
I didn't have any pictures of birds, but this beautiful,
majestic olive tree is a wonderful representation of how God
cares for every bit of his creation.

The other is "Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink. Look at the sparrows in the field. They not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them." (By the way, ALL of that was remembered because of that song. I am so getting memory verse song CDs for my kids when I have them. :D )

Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.

Walk by faith and not by sight.

I read recently in a devotional out of Streams in the Desert that ancient oil lamps only cast enough light to see one step ahead.

Just one step.

Just one day.

One day at a time. That's all that is needed.