17 September 2011

The Gift of Life

One of my goals in life was to be able to donate blood for the sake of others; with Anorexia that’s not possible because of decreased levels, malnutrition, dehydration, etc. As a way to celebrate my healthy body, I decided to donate my own blood at the blood drive at college; I NO longer have to be stabbed multiple times due to severe dehydration & shrunken veins!!! Recovery is BEAUTIFUL!!!
On Tuesday after college I headed over to the Campus Center where Lifeshare had around ten beds set up in front of the cafeteria- right in the OPEN!!!(intimidating!) While waiting for my turn in line to have my iron levels tested, I was reminded of the first time I’d ever given blood; it was NOT out of excitement but obligation. The first time I entered the Red Cross building, I was “shaking like a leaf”; I’d never had blood taken prior. I sat in the private testing room at 16 years old, holding in all anxiety and other foreign emotions; I tried to act like nothing fazed me. My mom as well as the phlebotomist tried to tell me not to watch, but I of course didn’t listen; well, to my horror, after watching her squeeze my blood into a tiny tube, I started getting sweaty, lightheaded, blurry eyed, white as snow; I could hear people talking to me but couldn’t see a thing & all of a sudden I lost consciousness. To my horror & embarrassment I was wheeled out of the room into the PUBLIC after a stupid finger prick; I was HORRIFIED & beyond humbled & sent home.
Several days later it was time for attempt #2; this time I didn’t look! This needle was “slightly” bigger than the one used for finger-pricking! Lol Well, all went “well”- giving blood isn’t exactly “fun” but it IS possible; I got up quickly & tried to get OUT of there & ran down the steps & to the car with my mom freaking out behind me- I don’t know why but I love taking chances & don’t exactly always follow the rules! ;) Normally to donate the second pint a minimum of 56 day wait is required; for me that was not possible due to the rapidly approaching surgery date. A week after my first pint donation, I was back in the chair for my second pint; I now know why the wait requirement is so long- giving that much blood in such a short amount of time takes a toll on the body; God once again got me through it! Once it was over, the short countdown to my surgery- the day that forever changed my life- rapidly approached.
Well, three years later I am a changed person; life is truly a gift and not my own. I am alive by God’s grace, so I thought it only right to follow HIS calling; I do not LIKE the  process of giving blood, however I am reminded that this life is not my own and I only have one life here on earth. Here are some statistics by the American Red Cross on the lack of blood donations; I want to save lives & hope you do the same! For me it’s a motivation to stay healthy- I’m NOT about to lose sight of this BEAUTIFUL life!!
  • Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood.
  • More than 38,000 blood donations are needed every day.
  • A total of 30 million blood components are transfused each year in the U.S. (2006).
  • The average red blood cell transfusion is approximately 3 pints.
  • The blood used in an emergency is already on the shelves before the event occurs.
  • Sickle cell disease affects more than 80,000 people in the U.S., 98 percent of whom are African American. Sickle cell patients can require frequent blood transfusions throughout their lives.
  • More than 1 million new people are diagnosed with cancer each year. Many of them will need blood, sometimes daily, during their chemotherapy treatment.
  • A single car accident victim can require as many as 100 pints of blood.

09 September 2011

OMG- Life, could you get any more beautiful?! I don’t know where to begin!! I’ll start with today & then back track.  Today I volunteered at the one & only ACH; I was just excited to be at one of my many temporary “homes” here on earth – I was oblivious to the excitement about to happen!! Well, a couple of weeks ago one of my fellow volunteers told me that Miss America was coming to the hospital; I did NOT believe him & thought he was just trying to “pull my leg”. It turns out he wasn’t lying- I got to shake her hand & talk to her!! I was privileged to be called “the sunshine of the hospital”- maybe it’s because I can’t stop smiling when I’m there! She even remembered my name when she was leaving & we chatted; once again God has shown me that we’re all the same in HIS eyes contradicting the world’s opinion!
That’s not all folks; guess who also came to visit the patients (& me!): the Akron Zips!! Let’s just say I was on “cloud 9”! lol These guys are HUGE; another fellow volunteer whom I LOVE to tease decided to put me on the spot. He told them I’m a Kent State fan; they booed at the name of their rival!! I said, “I am NOT a Kent State football fan, I just go there for my degree.” We joked for a little; I never told them I’m actually an Ohio State fan- they would’ve beat me up! ;) Ohio State totally demolished Akron last week!! Go Bucks!! How ironic is it, though, that Miss America & a pro sports team, my two former “dreams” for my life appeared to me on the same day. God, you are SO mysterious & crazy; He showed me that I would be NO better had I gone into one or both of those careers. Once again, my life is in the hands of God & I’m FREE!!
Well, I have started college- INSANITY! I love it; I’m just taking a lot at once! I’ve already made a bff- I love her to death & thank God every day for putting her into my life. On the first day of Chemistry the teacher told us most people flunk his class; way to motivate us! Lol It IS an intense class, but it’s NOT impossible with my God! I’m also taking Biological Structure & Function w/ a lab- I LOVE this class; I can’t tell you how thankful I am for past experiences because the knowledge I’ve gained through experience is irreplaceable & unforgettable! I never realized how sick I really was; severe dehydration, dangerously low potassium, irregular electrolytes & heartbeat can be fatal; God SPARED my life! From a medical standpoint, I’ve learned that health is a scary thing; something I should NOT mess around with- it’s like playing with death! I also find the bone section fascinating- especially the spine. I NOW understand what the terms on my records, x-rays, & doctor’s descriptions mean! We’re learning “Medical terms”, body parts, bones, cells, etc. I’ve also realized how fortunate I am that my spine now looks like the image on the left; it’s perfect! I went from 60 degrees to around 20!!! After all I’ve put my body through, I am one LUCKY girl; I thought I was “cool” or “strong” for testing, ignoring, overdoing/overworking my body, etc- I now realize I was STUPID & na├»ve! Oh how I take everything for granted!
Well, next week my best friend & I are going to give blood at college; it’s been over three years since I’ve done that & it WASN’T for voluntary reasons! Lol It was to save my OWN life! I’m so excited to be able to give back; I DON’T want my life to be about me! This “home” is only temporary- HEAVEN is my true home & I’m living for my KING- I am merely a servant but am the HAPPIEST I’ve ever been! Life is not about me!
Tomorrow we have a Selah reunion- I am literally going to jump out of my skin in anticipation & excitement! How can life get any more beautiful?! I believe it CAN- in fact I KNOW it can!

02 September 2011

Live with PASSION
God has put passion into my life in many different forms; my dreams are ever-changing. With college having started, I’ve been faced with the question of “what do I want to do with my life?” & “where do I go from here”? It’s scary how fast time flies by; it seems like just yesterday I was a carefree, innocent, & energetic little child; now I’m an adult in college….scary!!
I’ve always been the kind of person who wants to go “BIG”; if you’re going to something, why not do your best?! My heart, however, was in the wrong place; I wanted to be KNOWN,. When I dream, I dream BIG; I wanted a career that was IMPORTANT, WELL-THOUGHT of, & most of all EXCITING! I had many ideas of what this looked like; I wanted to be the next Usain Bolt, Miss America, etc. but I wanted these things for my OWN glory.
When I heard God calling me into the medical field, I’ll admit: I like Jonah, ran. When He called me into nursing I ran even harder; I’d do anything BUT nursing – it was too common & boring, let alone humbling to me. I asked God, “if you want me to go into the medical field, why settle for the lowest degree? I want to be the next Dr. Oz. Everyone’s a nurse; how is that special?! I don’t want to be JUST ANOTHER nurse- I wanna go BIG!!” Well, God alone COMPLETELY turned my heart around; when I let go of MY desires He was able to work. God indeed performed more than a miracle – He gave me “new eyes” & EXCITEMENT for His plan. I now see the medical field & nursing in a new light. ANYTHING can be exciting- excitement is a choice made within yourself. 
In college I’m taking an Intro to Nursing class- I realize I totally minimized the duties, impact, 
& values of a nurse; God has showed me that no job is "better" or more valuable than another;
 the same is true for people. I wanted to be the BEST- my heart is evil & deceives me.
 Perfectionism can drive me to extreme measures as NOTHING I DO will ever be good
 enough until I accept myself & my value in CHRIST!
 “"Who am I, that the Lord of all the earth
Would care to know my name
Would care to feel my hurt
Who am I, that the Bright and Morning Star
Would choose to light the way
For my ever wandering heart

Not because of who I am
But because of what You've done
Not because of what I've done
But because of who You are

I am a flower quickly fading
Here today and gone tomorrow
A wave tossed in the ocean
Vapor in the wind
Still You hear me when I'm calling
Lord, You catch me when I'm falling
And You've told me who I am
I am Yours, I am Yours

Who am I, that the eyes that see my sin
Would look on me with love and watch me rise again
Who am I, that the voice that calmed the sea
Would call out through the rain
And calm the storm in me

I am Yours
Whom shall I fear
Whom shall I fear
'Cause I am Yours
I am Yours
     “Who Am I” by Casting Crowns

 I always thought that once you “gave everything to God once”, it was gone for good – it was a one shot deal & didn’t need to be renewed. I gave my dreams for my future, my game plan, over to God; why did I still feel a longing for this plan; better yet, why did I still REMEMBER what was wiped clean?! Once again, I was reminded that I am merely human; I have to give everything over to God, in the words of Leigh Ann Brisbin “moment by moment”- it’s not a onetime deal! Wouldn’t it be awesome if I wasn’t human; if I never sinned; Oh how I long for Heaven!!
I have once again submitted my future, dreams & goals into God’s hands; I hate that I have to do it so often, but once again I am a fallen human being! I don’t know what the future holds; I THOUGHT I wanted to be a nurse @ ACH, but now my heart is fully open to whatever God’s plan is; maybe that’s part of His plan, I don’t know; I believe that life is filled with uncertainty. I am going to do my human best to choose “moment by moment” to submit to God & to live with PASSION & EXCITEMENT, even if I don’t know why I’m excited; I want to be EXCITED & PASSIONATE about the unknown because I know that God is in control & the outcome will be beautiful.
College is a challenge, but what would life be without challenges- BORING!!! So many new friendships have been formed & new experiences explored. It’s scary, at times to be “on my own”- this world is a scary place but God always seems to come through, even when I can’t see or feel it.