Uncondemning God

Something I have quickly began to learn in my most recent years of life is how judgmental people can be, especially Christians.  Which, should it not be the opposite? It is like we feel entitled to judge those around us for the things they are doing, that we do not agree with, and we think that we have a right? What is that? We think we get to decide who is going to make it into heaven and who is not? It is like we are placing the people we encounter, on a platform and deciding whether or not they are worthy enough to call themselves a Christian. We try to make it their judgement day, before God decides it is their actual judgement day.  What is wrong with us?

We serve and uncondemning God, so why do we condemn?

Matthew 7:5 – “Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?”

This blog is going to be short, sweet, and to the point, because there is no need to carry on the subject, it just desperately needs fixed. I am about to be brutally honest.

In the (similar) words of my amazing pastor, Jeremy Johnson, we have a plank in our eyes, along with those around us, but we do not seem to notice ours, but we like to point out everyone else’s.  But, Jesus carried our planks on his back with us in his eyes. We shouldn’t hate the sinner and hate the sin, nor should we love the sinner and hate the sin, we should love the sinner and hate our own sin.  THAT WILL PREACH FOREVER!

Jesus chose to show mercy to the worst of sinners, and yet as Christians, while we are to be striving to be more like Him, continue to shun the sinners around us. What is that??  It irks me so much!! It is so frustrating for me to come to the realization that sinners are looking for someone or something to capture them, to love them, and instead of doing that, we are bashing their behaviors and choosing their futures.  Jesus chose to look at the worst of these, and love and extend grace, and to not cast a stone when a stone was meant to be thrown. In John 8, there is a passage that pointed out a woman in the wrong-doing, and the Pharisees brought her to Jesus and said, by law, she should be stoned.  Jesus responded by saying, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” The people surrounding the woman and Jesus began to trickle down until no one was left. No one was without sin, no one is without sin, but yet we seem to think we can point out everyone else’s around us?

It is laughable to me that sometimes we legitimately believe that our sin is less than others around us. I am not saying that I have never been guilty of this, but as I said before, I have realized in the last few years how wrong it is, and I truly do anything in my power to stop myself from casting stones, and to also speak up when those around me are.

Our world is so lost, and judging them isn’t going to save them, we are going to lose them.

I just want people to understand how powerful our thoughts are, we should not even think some of the things we do about those around us.  We should be so in tune with God that we do not even notice flaws of those around us, but we recognize our own, and we love Jesus so much that all we know how to do is extend grace.  When I look back at my life, I see time and time and time and time again the grace that God has extended me, and I also see the time and time and time and time again that I failed to extend it grace out.  These things do not match up.  Maybe I did not get the memo, but since when is it our responsibility to decide who is a Christian and who is not? We do not know their personal encounters with God, and man am I glad I am not God.  Let’s all strive to be better than that.  Jesus seeks out the lost, shows grace to the lost, and loves the lost unconditionally. Let us.  Let’s allow those around us to find their identity in God, while we do the same for ourselves, let us not place an identity on them.

I am honestly happy and proud to say that I now strive everyday to show grace and love to anyone that I come in contact with.

Our world is lost because we are not fulfilling our calling like we are called to do.  I am not saying it is going to be perfect, but we should be looking for change in ourselves, so we then have the ability to change the world.  If we do not change ourselves, there is no changing the world in our future.

Change is needed, and it needs to start now.

Readers, know that you are loved at all cost, by God. Judgement free.

 

“You Say” – Lauren Daigle

I keep fighting voices in my mind that say I’m not enough
Every single lie that tells me I will never measure up
Am I more than just the sum of every high and every low?
Remind me once again just who I am, because I need to know
You say I am loved, when I can’t feel a thing
You say I am strong, when I think I am weak
You say I am held, when I am falling short
When I don’t belong, You say that I am Yours
And I believe what You say of me
I believe
The only thing that matters now is everything You think of me
In You I find my worth, in You I find my identity
You say I am loved when I can’t feel a thing
You say I am strong when I think I am weak
And You say I am held when I am falling short
When I don’t belong, oh You say that I am Yours
And I believe, oh I believe
What You say of me
Oh, I believe
Taking all I have and now I’m laying it at Your feet
You have every failure God, and You’ll have every victory
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Unfinished

It is not over; it’s only begun.  He’s got a plan; this is just part of it.  He’s going to finish what He started.  God’s not done with you.

These are the words that I felt the need to say to somebody.  Maybe myself?

I wrote the words above in January of this year.  It’s funny because I had no idea what I had yet to encounter, where these words would become even more true.  I am about to enter a world of vulnerability right now, and I have no regrets because I know that I am unfinished.

I have previously mentioned how great of a struggle I have encountered going through nursing school.  A lot of wondering. A lot of questions.  A lot of “why me God?”‘s.

Well, I was told from almost everybody with previous experience that it gets better after second semester of nursing school.  Funny.  I had no idea what I was about to encounter with third semester.  I had OB as one of my classes the first half of the semester: loved it, it was great.  The second half of the semester: pediatrics.  My calling.  What God has divinely placed on my heart.  My love for kids. My purpose. My dream…these are the things I entered into the course saying about pediatrics.  My hardest struggle.  My minimized self-worth. My inadequate capability.  My not so great professors. A failure. My worst nightmare…these are the things I quickly began to think while in pediatrics.

Why God? Why is my passion, what I am great at (kids), making me feel so so so belittled.  Why am I struggling so much? Why can I not do really well on just one exam? Why God? Why?

This semester, I was asked by my clinical instructor, because for some reason one time was not enough for her, how I think I am going to pass my NCLEX if I am not a good test-taker. I was asked if nursing was really what I wanted to do.

This thing that has been a dream of mine since I was twelve years old, instantly became a blur and a “why me God?”  Why am I so bad at what you have called me to do?

Long story hopefully short.  I needed a 79 on my final exam to pass pediatrics.  Grades came out, I looked at my phone, and I fell to the ground.  I got a 75.  I instantly called my mom, and she could not even understand me, nor did she want to face what she knew I was speaking to her.  I did not want to understand either.  My mom tried to be strong for me as she spoke life into me, but I could hear the quiver in her voice.  I asked my mom to call Jordan, because I could not bare to tell him, a genius in school and everything he encounters, that I, his wife, failed.  My mom called all her prayer warriors.  I called one of mine.  I drove to the school to see my professor and look at my exam.  The whole drive to the school I prayed.  “God, if this is what I am supposed to do, if this is where I am supposed to be, please help me find four mistakes on the exam.”

He did it.  He did it. He did it.  I found four mistakes on the exam.  I got a 79, the exact grade I needed to pass.  I still cannot think, write, or speak these words without tears falling down my face because I am unfinished.

I have never felt more broken, more of a failure, more of a disappointment than I did in the moments of seeing my grade.  The only thing I had left to give was my faith and my trust in Jesus.  He was all I had, and I was desperately in need.

What I am getting at is that every semester, I struggle, and then at the end I thank God for getting me through.  This time was different.  For long moments there, in my head, I had failed my calling, my purpose, my lifelong dream.  I had nothing left to give, and I did not know what to do with myself.  If I failed at my calling, then what was I supposed to do?

The only answer I had for myself was to trust God. So, that is what I did.  I prayed and trusted God.

Every semester, I go into it scared.  Scared of failing.  Why? It is my calling, I should not be scared.  This is what God has called me to do, surely he will be my strength to get me through right? So, why was I scared?

Because I was not letting Him.  I was not letting Him be the strength that I needed.  I still entered every exam with absolute terror of what was about to happen even though I had put hours upon hours preparing for it.

What I have learned…

I have learned that all I can do is trust God.  But I cannot just say I trust God, but not fully trust Him.  I have learned that sometimes the purpose of low seasons of life are to show us the mighty, high God.  I have learned that it is okay not to be good enough or strong enough on my own, because I am nothing without God, and I am so weak without Him.  I have learned that I truly can do ANYTHING when it is of God’s plan. I have learned that words from a professor or clinical instructor are not everything, they know a lot, but they do not know everything.  I have learned that pediatrics is still where I am supposed to be, and I am going to rock it.  I have learned that I am unfinished; God is not finished with me yet.  I am not finished yet.  I am called.  I am sent.

My point in writing this is to encourage those who are struggling to find self-worth, purpose, and strength…you are not alone.  BUT God always has purpose.  Whether we are in high seasons or low seasons, He has purpose, even if that purpose is just trying to get you to trust Him and His calling on your life.  There is always purpose. You are unfinished.  God is not done with you yet.  You are not finished yet.  You are called.  You are sent.

God performed a miracle that day, and I am forever going to worship and thank Him. I am always so in awe of Him.  Wow.  His love is so overwhelming.  His grace is so undeserved.

 

You’re Not Finished Yet – The Belonging Co

I am tethered to Your every word
My heart ever after Your heart first
I will trust You here, I will trust You here and now
My hope always set in who You are
Even when I can’t see every part
I will trust You here, I will trust You

I won’t forget the things You’ve done
For I know that this is just the beginning
And You’re not finished yet, You’re not finished yet
Until I see Your promise come
God with all I am, I’ll keep believing
That You’re not finished yet, You’re not finished yet

You don’t play games, it’s not who You are
You’re not the type to mislead my heart
I can trust You here, I can trust You here and now
I’ve only known You to keep Your word
I’ve only found love at every turn
I can trust You here, oh I can trust You

I won’t forget the things You’ve done
For I know that this is just the beginning
And You’re not finished yet, You’re not finished yet
Until I see Your promise come
God with all I am, I’ll keep believing
That You’re not finished yet, You’re not finished yet

Until the dry bones wake
Until the mountains shake
Until the darkness breaks
I will praise You, I will praise You

Obedience

Last Sunday, Jordan and I had some of our couple friends come over for breakfast and Bible study, because church was cancelled from the ice.  Jordan is the one that led the devotional, and he talked about obedience.  He talked about two different scenarios of obedience- Jonah and Jesus.  He talked about how each of these men obeyed God, but in different ways, which impacted the impact that they made.  We talked about how Jonah eventually decided to obey God and go to Nineveh, and God had told him what he was going to do after Jonah did this.  Yet, even though God did everything he said he was going to do, Jonah did it with his arms crossed.

The other side of obedience was Jesus in the wilderness, where God had led him.  There he was tested by the devil, but Jesus obeyed and fought temptation, explaining “It is written” as he cried out to God for strength.

So, both of these stories were about obedience, but the endings were different.  At the end of Jonah’s story, he was sitting alone, by a tree.  At the end of Jesus’ story, he called his disciples to follow him, and they went and spread the Word that impacted the nation.  Yes, they both obeyed and listened to God. But would you rather obey God and sit by a tree alone….or do you want to obey God and impact the world?

I thought it was funny that Jordan talked about this because I had been journaling about what I wanted to talk about in my next blog post, and straight form my notes was- “even when we feel so dry and so alone, all we have to do is open our hands towards Jesus and ask him to pour into us.”  So, I thought this was pretty cool because these things go hand and hand.  Jesus felt so alone, and was being tempted by satan, but he looked to God in this time of weakness, and God was the strength he needed to fight.

I don’t know about you, but I know that I have gone through some dry times in my life, and it wasn’t until I opened my palms towards Jesus and asked for him to really enter my life, that I truly felt him.  Sometimes we can feel so alone and so empty, but Jesus is always there, he is just waiting for us to ask for Him to intervene.   He loves us SO MUCH, that he never wants us to run dry, but we have to reach out to Him. There is a song that I love listening to, that is so fitting, and since I always mention a song in my posts, I thought this was more than appropriate.

 

“When my hands stretch out towards the sky
You never let me run dry
When I dive into the depths of You
My heart is made anew
Jesus, in You
When my hands stretch out towards the sky
You never let me run dry
When I dive into the depths of You
My heart is made anew
Jesus, in You

Your love is a flood and I’m
Caught in the current of Your living waters
It’s Your love, it’s Your love
Your presence is a flood
And I’m caught in the wonder
You have taken me over
You have won my heart

Into the deep I will go with You
Submerge my feet to my head in all of You
As Your presence falls
I am drowned in Your love
Immerse me, immerse me”

 

When I felt like I was supposed to start blogging, I was scared.  I was scared that nothing was going to happen. No impact was going to be made.  It wasn’t going to amount to anything.  But, I knew I needed to walk in obedience and say yes to Jesus.  So, I did.  I don’t know if it has helped any of the readers, but it has helped me.  So, if all I get out of this is a closer, more deep, relationship with Jesus, then I am totally okay with that.

I think we all go through these things in our lives.  Whether it is debating accepting a different job position, starting a blog, starting a Bible study, just showing Jesus in our day to day lives, etc, I believe the way we do it makes an impact on our impact.  When we say yes to Jesus, we do it knowing he has never failed to keep his promises; we do it with our arms open ready for Jesus to do everything he wants to do in us, and when we do it with intention, we leave an impact.  As we walk in obedience, the more open we are to God, the more our hands are open towards him, the bigger impact that can be made.  We are supposed to be Jesus’ hands and feet, so as we walk- are we welcoming? loving? joyful? accepting? If yes, then be ready to make a difference, because you are going to.

When we obey God, and follow his calling on our life, do we do it with our arms open and with a smile on our face, or do we do it with our arms crossed? Because I believe it makes all the difference.  Like I had mentioned earlier (the point that Jordan made), Jesus did it with faith in God, and from that obedience, he began the movement that is still impacting our world today.  Do we want to just walk through the motion, and still obey God along the way, but nothing more? Or do we want to be part of the Jesus’ movement?  I don’t know about you, but I want to impact the world, and I know that I alone cannot do that, but I know that being a part of Jesus’ movement, we can all do it together.  Christianity is supposed to be a community, and as a community, I believe we can impact the world.

 

Wonder

Many of you may know of a little boy named Tommy Gibbel.  Tommy Gibbel went to be with the Lord late tonight, and I just can feel the number of hearts that are hurting. Many of you probably know Tommy because of his incredible family.  I have no doubt in my mind that that little boy left an impact on every single person he came in contact with.  I don’t know what kind of impact he left on your guys’ life, but I want to tell you about the huge impact made in my life and my heart by that little boy.

I had the privilege to babysit for the Gibbels’ for a couple of years.  It seemed like a life time….no, not because it was a drag, but because it was the opposite.  They walked into my life so easily, it is just like they have always been there.  If you don’t know this family….you should.

Anyways…I had the opportunity to grow a close bond with their two little boys, Andrew and Tommy.  I LOVED getting to go babysit.  However, this bond I had with Tommy, is something I will never be able to fully explain in words.  I loved everything about that little boy from the very beginning.  Now, I will say, he was not the biggest fan of me at the beginning (my voice was too high pitched for his little ears)…he squinted every time I would speak.  Tommy has always had a few health complications, but to me and many others, he was just Tommy….happy, sweet Tommy.  He eventually grew to like my presence, at least I think so, because we shared nothing but smiles between each other.  We loved our time together, at least I did, and I could tell that he did too.

For a long time now, I have felt called to be a nurse.  However, I cannot lie, there was a time that I was thinking about other options.  There was even a time in high school that I was shadowing an occupational therapist because I became interested in a different area.  I also started babysitting Tommy that year.  I have not told this to many people before…but you know that impact I was talking about earlier?  This was part of it.  He reminded me of my purpose. He reminded me why I was called to be a nurse.  I have felt called to be a pediatric nurse for a while now, and I am beyond stoked to do so.  Why? Because I am going to be able to come in contact with little boys and girls, like Tommy, on a daily basis.  I am going to have the opportunity to be impacted on a daily basis.  I feel like no one fails to remind me about the tough times that are going to come with being a pediatric nurse…a pediatric oncology nurse at that.  Which I definitely know…but I feel like they forget about the impact and the reward I am going to get from doing so.

I do not think my heart has ever been so broken. So broken for the family.  So broken for the friends.  Just so broken. Even in the midst of all the heartbreak, it is so rewarding to of had the time I did with Tommy.  He is no longer rolling around on the floor, he is dancing with Jesus.

Tommy taught me how to love more, how to laugh more, how to smile more and for no reason, how to have so much joy just because, and just how to be content with life.  I am so glad I captured on video and in pictures the times I spent with Tommy, because they are some of my greatest memories.  I have talked about Tommy, and cried about Tommy to every single one of my professors in the past, and in all my work interviews.  Every time I talk about him to someone, I cry….I cry because of the joy it brought me to think about him and thinking about the impact he made on me.  It is something I will forever treasure.

I am sure a lot of you have also seen the movie “Wonder”.  Amazing! Well, the little boy in the movie had all of his hospital bands on a board to remind him what made him…him.  Tommy’s mom decided to do this with his hospital bands, and I loved it! All of this being said…I found it ironic that she decided to do this because Tommy is so special, just like the little boy in the movie. Tommy is a wonder.  A wonderful wonder.

I am not good at communicating my feelings very well, which is why I write them.  I feel like I cannot stop crying, but I am so happy that Tommy is all better now.  Never underestimate the power of a little one…sometimes they leave the biggest impacts.

I love you, Tommy.  More than you could ever know.

 

When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the rock that is higher than I

New Beginnings

The Holidays have come to an end, and the new year has begun, which I cannot believe that it is 2018! This means people are beginning their new year resolutions.  For a lot of people this means trying to be healthier.  Following this starts the diet and exercise.  Following this is where people normally give up at like day 5- at least that is what always happens to me.  And then we continue to repeat this year, after year, after year, and it somehow never ends as we say, “Oh well, I will try again next year.”  But what if we don’t have to try again next year? What if we accomplish our goal, and we get to make a new one?  I am not even saying we don’t fail at some point at our goal, but instead of just saying “oh well”, we try again the next week.  I just read in a devotion that every Sunday is the time for a new beginning.  So, who cares if you mess up on your 2018 goal, start again.  Be who you want to be this year, and do what you want to do this year without just giving up after one fail, or maybe even 17 fails.  Try again.  Our lives are centered around new beginnings we were willing to take on and do.  Everything we have done is because we were willing to begin the process of getting to the point of ability to take the first step.  It is the beginning.  So, what are your new year resolutions? What are you going to do this year to try and make it different from the previous years? What are you going to do to pursue your goal? We all deserve to make our goals and dreams come true, and to be who we want to be, so why not do it?

As I said before, a lot of peoples new year resolutions are to be healthy physically- eating right and exercising.  But how about spiritually? Are you spiritually healthy? At the beginning of each day, are you striving to be more like Jesus? If not, maybe this year your new years goal can be to get spiritually healthy.  For some, being spiritually healthy comes along side being physically healthy; I know it does for me.  I feel the most healthy when everything is healthy; when I am mentally healthy, physically healthy, and spiritually healthy.  Maybe this year we can strive to be all of those things.  Not just give part of us in it, but give everything we are to become these things.

For me, this means balance.  I need balance in my life.  My goal this year is to balance nursing school and make sure it is a priority, but also make sure I am making time for myself, my relationship with God, and my relationship with my husband.  When I find balance- I feel healthy.  Wholly healthy.  I fully recognize that I was not good at this last semester.  I was really depressed and felt very alone- but I also wasn’t reading my Bible everyday, I wasn’t exercising daily, I wasn’t resting, I wasn’t eating well, I was just not giving myself time for anything outside of studying.  I had zero balance.  So, I am shooting for balance this year.

If you guys would like to know what my plans/goals are…..here they are.

  1. Jordan and I are reading the whole Bible this year. We are doing a 365 day reading plan, and I am super pumped about it, because I do well with plans, and I do not like failing to accomplish something I have planned.  So, this will allow me to spend time with Jesus daily.  No excuses.
  2. Meal prepping. During school, it is really hard for me to find time to make things, and I often go without eating lunch.  Jordan does as well, because we don’t have lunches for him to bring to work, and sometimes he doesn’t take a lunch break because he has too much to do. So, this will help with both of our schedules to make sure we are both eating, and we are eating healthy. (We are only meal prepping for lunch and breakfast)
  3. Planning. I am a huge planner, and planning decreases anxiety for me by a ton.  If I have a plan, I stick to it.  So, I am writing everything I want to do weekly down, so it is available for me to look at and remind myself.  As I said above, we are meal prepping for lunch and breakfast, no dinner.  So, I will be making a meal schedule for the week ahead of time, which will also help with finances! (planning meals that use most of the same ingredients)
  4. Spend time with my hubby!! I am pretty bad at making time to do this, especially when both of our schedules are insane! I am in nursing school, and he travels a lot for work, and with all the stress involved, I am pretty bad at taking time to relax with him.
  5. Being wholly healthy. 🙂

 

New year resolutions are really hard to stick to, especially when all you have in your head is that you can’t fail, and if you do, then you’re done.  If we remind ourselves that each week, or even day, is a new beginning, then I truly believe we can accomplish our goals.  Accomplishing our goals doesn’t mean we can’t mess up at all, if you never cheat on a diet, or never make a mistake for an ENTIRE YEAR, then you’re crazy (in a good way, but crazy- and it isn’t possible to go mistake-less for an entire year).  Accomplishing our goals means to be and become who we want to be.

 

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.  (Lamentations 3:22-24)

 

New mornings.  New days.  New weeks.  New years.  New beginnings.

What are your goals for this year? I would love to hear about them and partner with you in praying for these things to take place.  Let me know!!

Happy New Year!!!

Give me Faith

Isaiah 54:17

“…no weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed, and you shall refute every tongue that rises against you in judgement…”

There is a song I came across about a week ago, right before finals week, and it spoke great volume to me.  Before the song even began, the artist was talking about things he is walking through and struggling with right now, and then he goes on to talk about how he had been praying and asking God to change the things he was going through, and came to the realization that he was asking the wrong thing — “The question is not “Jesus can you change these things around me”, but “Jesus can you change me, so that I can handle these things that you’re walking me through?””

So, rewind to moments before this song came on, I had just gotten done studying for the night.  I was sitting on our guest room floor, which is where I study at home, eating chips and salsa, and I was very overwhelmed with the amount I still needed to do to pass these finals.  I started reading the Bible because I was overwhelmed, and what better to do than read about His peace? I normally don’t read into the verses of the day on the app that I have on my phone, but I read it this time, and I felt like it was exactly what I needed to hear, with all of this fear and doubt I had built up inside of me.

“…no weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed, and you shall refute every tongue that rises against you in judgement…”

After I finished reading, I turned on some worship music and began to pray.

Asking God why I am having to deal with all of this stuff I am going through this semester.  One of these things being to pass my class that I wrote about in a different blog.  The only thing between me and passing my class was the final exam.  Asking God “why me?” Not understanding why I am having to go through this.  What did I do wrong?  I have worked so hard.  Praying that God would take this all away from me– fear, anxiety, worry..so many emotions I was feeling. I found myself CONSTANTLY asking others around me how they were feeling about the exam, and I was even asking people in semesters above me, trying to do everything I could to try and grasp onto the smallest amount of hope and faith possible.

Now, I know I have talked about this before, but this is how reminded I need to be sometimes.  I go through my highs of really leaning on Jesus, but I also go through my lows and moments of asking God, “why?” So, honestly, I write these blogs as a reminder to myself that it is okay to need a reminder every once and a while, or maybe even a lot.  I have found that I find my greatest relief of fear when I write it down.  When I write it down, I feel like I am giving it to Jesus, which is what I need to do.  While I write these blogs as a reminder to myself, I also write them because I know I am not the only that needs these reminders.  Sometimes we look like we got it going on and have everything put together, but inside we just need a reminder that God has got us.

Back to the story…

As I was praying (mostly questioning God), the song “Different” came on, which is the one I mentioned earlier, and I heard, “The question is not “Jesus can you change these things around me”, but “Jesus can you change me, so that I can handle these things that you’re walking me through?”  I have heard in a sermon before, by Louie Giglio, that fear is faith in the enemy.  All of this started rushing over me as I was praying on the floor, and I just began to cry.  Crying because I was instantly reminded of His grace and faithfulness, but also because I didn’t know how to not be scared.

I do not think anything that happened that night was just by chance.  God knew exactly what I needed in my moment of doubting him.  I needed to hear that since I had Jesus on my side, no weapon was going to succeed over me.  I needed to hear that I was praying in the wrong way– not Jesus change this, but Jesus change me, make me stronger, carry me through what I am struggling with.  From this day on and up until the final was over, I asked Jordan to pray over me every night about this fear I had, because again, I did not know how to not be scared.  This fear seemed as though it was taking over me, and I let it.

I am happy to say that I passed my classes this semester!  The class I was struggling with specifically, the one that I have been writing about, and the one that my passing was dependent on my final exam grade included.  I am so blessed to say that I passed my class, after getting the EXACT grade I needed on my final exam.  Don’t tell me God isn’t good.  I was doing my part- I was doing everything I could, and I was studying what felt like non-stop for this final exam.  However, I know I would not have been able to do it without God being there with me.  The fact that I got the exact grade I needed, just proves that it was totally God.

I also know that it isn’t always like this in life. What if I didn’t pass my class? Before I got my grade back, I was nervous that I didn’t pass, and I really felt like my world was going to crash down on me.  However, it would have been okay, eventually.  I have done everything I could, and that has to be good enough.  God is taking me on this path of becoming a nurse, and as long as I do everything I can do, He is going to do the rest, even if it isn’t how I imagined it happening.  God is still good even when things don’t go as planned.  I know a lot of people go through a lot harder things than I have ever had to, and I know the outcome probably has not always been what they were expecting or wanting to happen, but isn’t it so good that it isn’t our job to be strong enough sometimes? Isn’t is so good that we have a God to turn to and lean on in these moments of hurt?  Isn’t it so good that He is the one writing our story and not us?  I am a strong believer in that those who have done their part, the Lord is going to come through- always.  However, I think sometimes the ways he comes through are different than what we were wanting, but it doesn’t mean that He didn’t come through.  I believe you will be rewarded for what you have done, as long as you have turned to God in these moments of doubt and frustration, and not turned away.  He is always there.  He is always good.  He is always worthy.

In life, we are going to go through the good times and the rough times, but they all lead us into the direction and the path the Lord has placed before us.  In these different times of life, turn to Him.  Trust him.  Don’t be worried about being strong enough, because you can lean on him.

 

Give me Faith

I need you to soften my heart
And break me apart
I need you to open my eyes
To see that You’re shaping my life

All I am, I surrender

Give me faith to trust what you say
That you’re good and your love is great
I’m broken inside, I give you my life
I need you to soften my heart
And break me apart
I need you to pierce through the dark
And cleanse every part of me
All I am, I surrender
Give me faith to trust what you say
That you’re good and your love is great
I’m broken inside, I give you my life
I may be weak
But Your spirit strong in me
My flesh may fail
My God you never will

Hills and Valleys

Alright, so I am about to be super real with you guys…

I have been and am currently struggling in one of my nursing classes.  Now…my frustration comes from the fact that I feel like I study every free moment I have.  I have no social life.  I wake up and study. I go to class.  I come home and study.  I wake up. I go to work.  I study on my lunch breaks.  I get off work and go straight to a coffee shop to study.  I study and study and study.

I find myself constantly asking myself why I am in nursing school.  Did God really call me to do this? I am miserable, why would God place me somewhere that I feel miserable at? Am I really sure this is of God? Because you know, sometimes it just really doesn’t feel like it.  At all.  I feel depressed all the time because of the lack of time I have to do anything fun, and I am working towards something that, at times, I wonder if it is even worth it.  Not only do those thoughts stink to have…they are scary to have.  It is scary to question the calling you felt God had originally placed on your heart, and begin to wonder if it is really what you are supposed to do.

Today in class, we were asked why we wanted to be a nurse, and what made us want to.  At first, my response in my head was, “I have no idea.  I ask myself this daily.”  As I continued to sit there and wait for it to be my turn to share, I was instantly reminded why.  Why am I in nursing school? I am in nursing school because I have been called to be in the healthcare system since I was only twelve years old.  I remember watching the St. Jude’s commercials on TV as a little girl and thinking to myself how I wanted to help them one day.  Now, my family, us girls, are very emotional human beings and we would cry about these things, but this was different.  Every time those commercials would come on, I had a burning passion and desire to help them some day.  A passion and desire that never went away.  A calling.

This never left me.  Ever.  The closer it got to me going to college the more I was reminded of those moments as a little girl, and the more I was sure I was going to school to be a nurse, and I was going to be a pediatric oncology nurse.  Now, that I am in nursing school and trying to pursue this passion and calling, it seems like I’m continually getting knocked down, which can be so discouraging- especially when a lot of people around you can study two nights prior, and do better than you, who’s been studying for weeks.  I don’t know that I have ever been as discouraged in my life as much as I am trying to pursue this.  However, I have never been so touched by people in my life as I am working with the patients that I have gotten to work with.  It is definitely a load of hills and valley’s.

The only constant I have through these hills and valley’s is my God.  I cannot count the number of times I have cried because of school and the discouragement I feel at times.  However, I cannot count the number of times Jesus has come through.  Even when its just listening to music and all of a sudden a worship song comes on that speaks so much volume into my life.  I have the song “Hills and Valleys” playing on repeat as I write this because it is SO powerful over my life.  Funny thing is, normally when I listen to this song- I am singing it to Jordan and laughing at myself not being able to do the amazing runs that Tauren Wells does.  AMAZING!  However, this time it was so much more.  I sat down to study and it is the song that came on, and I began to cry.  Just sitting here in a coffee shop.  Crying.

This song- it says “When I am standing on the mountain, I didn’t get there on my own.  When I’m walking through the Valley, know I am not alone. You’re the God of the Hills and Valleys, and I am not alone.”

This reminds me of how I would be nothing without Jesus.  In my best moments, I have a constant, Jesus.  But even in my worst moments and worst points, I have a constant, Jesus.  I am continually reminded why God placed the calling of nursing on my life, and sometimes I still forget.  I forget how gracious God has been to me because I get caught up in one bad test grade and feel like my life is ending.  But this is my CALLING we are talking about.  It is no longer about it being a passion or desire, it is a calling God has given me, and that He gave me at the age of twelve. I am going to make it!! It is because of Jesus I have even made it as far as I have, and I have to remind myself He always comes through.  I am not alone.  I know I am not strong enough to get through this on my own, but it’s a good thing I don’t have to.

“No matter where I am, I am standing in your love.”

I am so thankful for a God who cares.  A God who is always with me no matter what.  In the midst of my anger of feeling like a failure, and my frustration that God placed me somewhere that I am not good at, he sticks by me.  He stays with me in my anger, and He celebrates with me in my happiness.  How great is it that God loves us so much that even when we are mad at Him, his only wish is to stick with us and push us forward.  There is not a moment that we aren’t standing in His love.  Sometimes, I feel very alone in the fact that I feel like I am never going to make it through nursing school, but here comes Jesus, grabbing my hand and walking me through it.  Whether He sends people, speaks through scripture, or just uses a worship song- He always lets me know- He is here, and He is not leaving me.

“On the mountains, I will bow my life to the one who set me there. In the valley, I will lift my eyes to the one who sees me there.”

I know, if I promise to lift my eyes to Him, even while I’m in my valley’s and I work my absolute hardest, then He is going to come through.  I know this because He always does.  I can’t sit around and feel sorry for myself in my moments of weakness.  I need to turn to Him.  There is so much to look forward to when you follow a good God, and I am thankful that I do.  He is so good and so gracious.  It is okay to need a reminder every now and again, it doesn’t make you a horrible person to question things sometimes.  I am so thankful to be reminded of my purpose and why I am in nursing school in these moments.

 

Hills and Valleys

“I’ve walked among the shadows
You wiped my tears away
And I’ve felt the pain of heartbreak
And I’ve seen the brighter days
And I’ve prayed prayers to heaven from my lowestplace
And I have held the blessings
God, you give and take away
No matter what I have, Your grace is enough
No matter where I am, I’m standing in Your love
On the mountains, I will bow my life
To the one who set me there
In the valley, I will lift my eyes to the one who sees me there
When I’m standing on the mountain aft, didn’t get there on my own
When I’m walking through the valley end, no I am not alone!
You’re God of the hills and valleys!
Hills and Valleys!
God of the hills and valleys
And I am not alone!
I’ve watched my dreams get broken
In you I hope again!
No matter what I know
Know I’m safe inside Your hand
God of the hills and valleys
And I am not alone!
Father, you give and take away
Every joy and every pain
Through it all you will remain
Over it all!