I did not grow up wanting to be a nurse. In the fifth grade during Red Ribbon week we had a dress up day for the career you wanted to be. I dressed up in khakis with a stuffed snake draped around my shoulders and a monkey hanging around my neck. I just knew that I was going to be a zoologist. Somehow, that dream slowly dissipated.
My cousin and I playing 'nurse'
In choosing a major for college, health care came up several times on the career evaluations we constantly took senior year in high school along with some kind of art degree. I have always loved art, loved creating, loved spending hours drawing minute details, so I decided to first try my hand at a graphic design degree. I soon realized this was a lot of work for a degree that I did not really enjoy doing. The gratification of creating wasn't there. I decided if I were to change my major into something else in art, it would be very difficult to make a real career from it. I consider myself to be a compassionate and caring person and had always been told I would make a good nurse (for whatever reason). I also had this little voice (a.k.a. The Holy Spirit) in the back of my mind telling me that's what I needed to do. Never an audible voice, more of just a leading feeling. So in my second semester of my freshmen year I decided to jump into a nursing degree.
To be honest, I fought it the whole way. After applying for the nursing program at Northwestern Oklahoma State University, I secretly hoped that I wouldn't get in. I knew it was going to be very hard. VERY hard. And a part of me still wanted to revert to the dream of owning a small crafting store where I sold tea and handmade goods for the local folk (A part of me still wishes I could do that). I might have even prayed that God would take this calling off of my life and let me worship Him through creating. But it was not so, and I received my congratulatory letter of my acceptance into the nursing program. I did not jump up and down excitedly or call relatives. I believe my words were, "well I guess I am going to be a nurse...?" I was scared and very apprehensive. Surely they must know that science and math are my worst subjects.
I took this of a water bottle I was given on my first day of nursing classes. I rolled my eyes at this water bottle. See how graceful my obedience was to God?
My first semester of nursing school was the most difficult. I had never failed so many times in my life at something I had put so much time and effort into. I literally failed every test in one class accept for the final and the test before it (to my credit, failing in my nursing program was below a 78 so in regular school it wasn't that bad). Somehow, (by the grace of God, that's how!) those last two tests pulled me out and I was able to move on. It didn't necessarily get easier after that, I just got used to the workload and learned how to study.
As I have gained more experience in this field, I can see even more how nursing is my calling, for it is not something I would have worked for if it was not. However, I knew that this is where God wanted me to be and I love it much more then I could have ever anticipated.
I share my story for two reasons:
1. So you can learn a little more about me.
2. Because I think it is important to know that not every calling God places on your life will feel natural or even look appealing.
In fact, most of the time it is probably the opposite. God does place passions in your life (such as art) to glorify Him. However, I believe that when you follow God's call on your life, your passions and joy come from a place of obedience and will be much more fulfilling then you ever would have believed. I think some people truly believe that such and such situation in their life can't be what God has called them to, because they don't automatically love it or feel comfortable with it.
I often look at the example of Moses. He wanted nothing more than to live out his days herding sheep with his little family he had started in Midian, but God called Him to a higher cause (Exodus 3 & 4). Do you think it was comfortable for Him? The Bible talks about how Moses was not a good speaker. Yet he was called to speak to pharoah and all of the Israelite slaves in Egypt (with the help of his brother, Aaron). Sounds pretty intimidating. So why did God choose Him and not someone that was a naturally good speaker and leader?
When God chooses someone to do something that is out of their element, it leaves room for Him to receive the glory. If God let me live out my days making dumb crafts and people were to say, "Molly is such a creative person, we just love her crafties and thrifty furniture redos!" (I wouldn't mind it, hehe) I would probably be like, "yeah I've always been pretty creative, it just comes naturally to me!" But since God has called me to something completely out of my natural being, I can say, "without God, I could not have done this. Without God's hand over me, guiding me, I would not have accomplished this task." Because He brought me through it I can now use this completely for His glory and for the furthering of His kingdom.
And just look at how Moses's life turned out! He is one of the most well known people in history and was able to lead thousands of people out of slavery. Not to mention he got to do some pretty cool stuff (writing the ten commandments, parting the red sea, turning a stick of wood into a snake, and visibly SEEING God's back!). We may never be called to do these things specifically, or as seemingly great, but can't you see how it will be much more exciting if we choose to follow God's call? I know that I want to be a part of something that exciting and awesome.
Now, I say all of that not to say that God doesn't call people to careers or to tasks that are comfortable to them. I am also not saying that if you feel uncomfortable about a situation that you should automatically think God is calling you to it (He gives us discernment as well). I say it more to make a point that no matter how intimidating the task may seem, or how unpleasant it may seem, following God's will for your life will ALWAYS be more gratifying and more fulfilling than anything we choose for ourselves.
For me personally, I believe EVERY decision you make should be based on what you believe God's will is for your life. I try to often revisit the question: where can my life be used as my mission field and where can God use me? Though it wasn't comfortable, I have never doubted since I began that nursing is the field in which God wanted to use me, even though I didn't really want it to be.
Throughout my journey, I have come to realize that nursing is so much more than a job for me. It is my calling, it is my mission field, and I hope my passion grows for it as I grow as a nurse.
One week from today I take my NCLEX exam and prayerfully end my journey in nursing school so that I can begin my journey as real live BSN RN. Please remember me in your prayers as I continue to study and prepare!