It’s been quiet over here for awhile, as life has left me in an unbroken chain of go, go, going. I’m not sure how consistent these next weeks will allow me to maintain, but I’m here today putting pen to the paper [or keys to the screen I suppose] and it feels like fresh air.
The last month or two back on American soil has left me a little bit confused and a whole lot of broken. It’s been overwhelming and I am learning a lot about rest and trust. It’s not the time to write it out and I don’t know that it ever will be, but Jesus is here and I know he is fighting. So I am learning to rest and ease the script continually running through my head filled with to-do lists, failures and what nots with Truth.
There hasn’t been a day this week that the Lord hasn’t brought me to this passage. What patience and grace he has for us! Even when I doubt him and pull back, He is quick to remind me it is not of my strength or willing that the dead come back to life. Hmmm. Ouch?
“For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again. You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many.” (2 Corinthians 1:8-11, ESV)
I’ve had to ask myself many times, even today, where is your hope set, Courtney?
And this conscious effort of warring against my hope being set anywhere else has actually provided the words I’ve been asking God to give me for several weeks now, as I am in the process of applying to nursing school and the following is part of a personal statement I was asked to submit.
I was just on the back end of those preteen years, when I started struggling with an eating disorder. It didn’t take long before I spent more time in hospitals then outside of them.
I remember laying in that hospital bed again that year; it was Christmas and underneath all the hardness, I was just a little girl. That morning was the first time I saw her, hobbling in through those big ole doors. She was from down south somewhere and she just plopped herself down on the bed beside me, like we were best friends or something. I sat up slightly taken aback and wondering if I’d seen her here before. “What are you doin’ in here sweetie? You should be out there livin’, girl!”
I had had some amazing nurses over those years. But Miss Cynthia, she sure was something. As I cried an hour or so at the sight of breakfast, she just sat there with her arms around me. At one point she turned to me and took my cheeks into her wrinkly grip. Made me look her square those big brown eyes of hers. She told me to stop this. That she knew God didn’t put me here on this earth so that I could starve myself out of it. She told me that wasn’t up to me. And I could keep wasting my days trying—or I could live life fuller then that. She babbled on about my beauty and purpose and sweet spirit.
She fed me my cheerios that morning, like a momma to a baby girl. Little by little. I ate them too. Every bite I swallowed, nourished more then those bones of mine though. She fed my spirit something and it changed me. She fed me hope.
That’s it I think—nursing is so much more then antimony, bed pans, and IV pricks. It doesn’t begin at the start of a new shift or end pulling out of the hospital parking lot. The commitment to the practice of nursing takes all of that head knowledge and practical skills and morphs it into this joy-filled giving of self for the hope of another human being to be rekindled in the midst of great pain and discouragement. It sure isn’t easy, I would imagine. Yet, I just see such an overwhelming reward that comes with the commitment to this filed of study.
We all have more hurts and heartaches then one could imagine, and we’ve all been on the other side. A nurse is the mamma hug and words of truth when you forget what they sound like. I marvel at how far medicine has come and how miraculously doctors can heal the human body. I think some nurses go right for the soul.
Every morning Miss Cynthia came back. She gave more then her duty detailed and ten years later, I still remember everything about her. I wish she could know I am living life with hope that far exceeds myself. If only I could let her know the impact she had in my life, the way I’m here applying for nursing school because I know there are other patients that need a “Miss Cynthia” to just be that safe place and stable voice for them too.
So I continue to dream of nursing, as it’s an opportunity for me care for others and meet them where they’re at. I believe God has really given me compassion and empathy for others in painful and difficult situations. I am a relational person and sitting behind a desk all day just wasn’t for me. Moving around and interacting with many different types of people and co-workers seems like it would fit me well. I just love helping people. I enjoy learning more about the design of the human body and how it can heal so miraculously.
Someday I would love the opportunity to continue my studies in nurse-midwifery, but in the meantime the prospect of obtaining a BSN through an accelerated program, coupled with lots of much-needed experience is what I am hoping for!
I know the next twelve months will be brutal. I know my life won’t really be my own and I may often find myself on information over-load. But what an incredible opportunity it would be to spend this next year acquiring many skills and so much wisdom in how to better love, serve, and offer hope to those in need.
I am so thankful for the tough stuff I was allowed to walk through as it has led me here, to this place of knowing that hope triumphs all else. And we all need it.
We all need hope. The older I get, the more I see the need around me and inside of me. I am so thankful that the gospel isn't just a Sunday morning song. Praise the Lord He is alive and active, continually working in us and through us that we may know Him and speak of the great hope found only in Him as well.
**And yes, I have applied to three different accelerated BSN programs. One acceptance and two in the process. For now, I just know my commitment remains to Jesus first and where He leads me, I just want to follow [even if I drag my feet all the way back to the classroom].