Reflections

If you told me two years ago I would be where I am, I’m not sure I would have believed you. I had my own perfect plan for my life (that certainly didn’t include being single and living in SoDak! — but even there I have to trust in God, I just have to. He has always come through, although sometimes He tests your patience to the very last minute). As I scrolled Facebook today one of those memories popped up that reminded me that two years ago to the date I was graduating college from SDSU. Time flies so crazy fast! After graduation I went on to follow God’s call into college ministry with Cru and learned and loved so much. But in the end I wasn’t sure, so I decided to give nursing a go (I mean I did spend four years and $60,000 and lots of all nighters to earn a BSN)—might as well give it a try right? Honestly I just wasn’t sure what to do with my life or where to go, so I had to start somewhere and Sioux Falls had a community of friends so it seemed to best place to be. But who really knows where life will take you? Maybe you’ll be looking back in a few years and be just as surprised as I am, or maybe you already are! Either way, I wanted to share some lessons I learned along the way…and I couldn’t have done any of it without my family standing by me!
Family at grad

  1. God calls us to hard things, things that seem so impossible that the only way to even think about getting through the situation is to admit you need Jesus to carry your burdens. I experienced this through having to support raise for my position in Cru (which if you’ve ever done is so up and down emotionally!) Working on a floor with cancer and hospice patients who get very difficult diagnoses, and need someone to be a light to them. Nurses are that light so many times.
  2. We will want to back out of God’s call at some point. We lose track. We forget. It becomes way too hard and we forget to rely on our Savior. About 6 mo. into Cru I thought to myself, “I wonder if I can quit.” I really did, ministry is so challenging. But my community encouraged me to preserve. Maybe you’ve been in the nursing field a while and are starting to feel burnt out, and that’s ok. But don’t quit, if God has truly put this on your heart. Find a way to renew your passion, maybe switching floors or moving from a hospital to a variety of different opportunities.
  3. As humans, we are terribly forgetful and sometimes lose track of our mission. Matthew 28:19-20, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” God knows we need a purpose. I mean, you crave for a purpose don’t you? Something bigger than yourself? You want to make a difference.
  4. Sharing your story is incredibly hope giving to others and healing for you. In Cru, with co-workers at Sanford, and with friends at Connection Church I’ve been able to share my story. The ugly and beautiful parts of my story. I’ve been able to connect more deeply with women who have shared similar struggles and been able to love them along the way. With my patients I am still learning how to share my story, and more importantly, to listen to theirs.
  5. Uruguay. The hardest six weeks of leadership in my life helping to lead a summer mission. Thank goodness I had an awesome co-leader, roomate, and team there! Ten things I learned about leadership: Leadership is a sacrifice and it call you to give it your all. Leadership is humility as you and sometimes fail and sometimes succeed. Leadership takes great confidence, you cannot please everyone. Leadership is looking out for the great good even if that means individual disappointment. Leadership is lonely, when your at the top of the leadership structure you are responsible for providing support to those under you, they have no responsibility to be your support. Leadership is knowing personal limits and when it is time to take a break. Leadership is encouraging those who serve under you in their strengths and gently correcting their weaknesses. Leadership is rewarding. Leadership is putting others needs before your own.
  6. If you don’t have a strong Christian community to support you, you will fall. While I was searching for a nursing job my community was really limited in my hometown and I really started doubting everything EVERYTHING. You need others to lead you and correct you. I have so many awesome co-workers, but a few have been really encouraging in my walk with the Lord. If you don’t have any close Christian friends, ask a co-worker to pancakes after working the nightshift or be brave and check out a church or life group near you. This weekend I’m actually going on a zoo day trip with a couple of my co-workers and am stoked!
  7. God provides. After working for a ministry I literally needed to find a job, and STAT, or I feared I would soon be living in a cardboard box.  One hour after my interview on Medical Oncology I was sitting in a coffee shop journalling and reading the word. I got a call in the middle of a sentence I was writing and could hardly contain my excitement. I don’t think I heard anything on the phone except I was accepted. Thank goodness I avoided homelessness. My job is far better than I expected, I just love 6000. The staff, the patients, and the leadership. I am blessed!
  8. Ministry is far more challenging in the workplace than in a full time ministry position. (At least for me personally). In ministry everyone expects you to be a Christian. I was constantly talking about Jesus. As I entered the workforce I was in a bit of culture shock. Just because people are so wonderfully different that I was. It’s way harder to start conversations (Well obviously as a nurse so I am running around all the time, when I’m sitting at the desk I’m usually charting or trying to catch my breath, I’m emotionally exhausted, and I fear being misunderstood by someone I work with or pushing to far into their lives). But I’ve loved just getting to know my co-workers and hope they see Christ through me, although many days I know I’ve complained too much, gossiped too much and lacked compassion. But grace is enough for me and I’m being sanctified every day.
  9. You absolutely must read God’s word everyday if you want to stay close with him. You have to know truth or the world will start to overtake you. You must find a time for prayer every day. For me, this has been my eight minute commute to work in the mornings. It’s a relief to start out my day by just saying, “good morning Lord!” I also cherish my ride home where I can take eight short minutes to evaluate and mentally process my day, asking myself where I had a mishap and could do better or where I really did a good job.
  10. He is not done with me yet. I am applying to go back for my MSN in Education (Another post for another day). God has been renewing and refreshing me so much lately. Writing this blog has actually been a huge blessing to me and I have a huge list of things I can’t wait to write about them!
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