Life can be so cruel yet I’ve come to realize that I am the cruelest one in it; my own expectations are unrealistic and completely unreachable yet I still gruesomely strain to attain these very things—but why? I fight against God even though I know for a fact His plans are far beyond my own feeble comprehension—why? The only person on this earth I can trust is the very One I most often neglect and fight against—why? Because debilitating fear has overtaken me—heartlessly wringing my neck out like a dish rag and leaving me helplessly gasping for breath. No, this most certainly does not sound pleasant and indeed, it is not—yet its reality. As I face two seemingly insurmountable mountains, exposing to the world the abominable wounds inflicted upon my fragile soul, I ask God why He would ask such a thing of me. Battling through the pain once was enough to incapacitate me but now I have to face head on the past I NEVER want to relive, nonetheless share—yet God has called me to do this very thing. Anger and resentment overtake me even though I hate their volatile presence, yet it reminds me of the pain that was real and in fact withstood. The hardest battle I’ve been facing is the battle to forgive myself and accept the overflowing grace momentarily bestowed upon my imperfect being. I know the unthinkable things I’ve done—the pain I once inflicted upon myself—and no amount of grace seems big enough to cover these abysmal scars. What frustrates me most is seeing the emotional and psychological abuse of which undoubtedly wounded me most still being inflicted upon those absolutely undeserving; the pain I put myself through was merely done in attempts to numb the heartless wounds inflicted upon me.
A part of me has been resisting God, as well, because of a big old B overtaking my GPA I’ve strained so hard to maintain; behind this B, however, I envision the dying girl hopelessly lying in a hospital bed, hooked up to countless wires and tubes keeping her alive: I was once this very girl and the past mercilessly haunts me as I now approach the other end—the one hooking up the dying to countless wires and tubes keeping them alive. I recall all too well the innumerable student nurses who remained in charge of my care, despite the fact I hated every minute of it. Now the tables have turned, leaving me at the distributing rather than receiving end, which scares me to death.
This morning, as I put on my whiter than snow (literally) Kent State scrubs, it all seemed like a dream (although my vanishing bank account knew elsewise): too good to be true. Why would God love me, an undeniably imperfect being, enough to distribute such blessings? My life literally seems to be a blur, both past and present, and sometimes I have to pinch myself to bring me back to the reality staring me straight in the face. As I prepared last night for my very first patient, flashbacks came racing into my mind, mercilessly piercing each delicate crevice; I remember all too well the feeling from the patient’s end and my mind cannot and very well may never fully wrap itself around the reality of a past I have survived with relentless determination. I am so humbled yet exceedingly grateful to call this story my own. As I put the finishing touches on my outfit at six o’ clock this morning, envisioning the absolutely dying teenager desperately grasping onto what was left of life, the passion within me was revived—a passion and confidence not my own. Upon arriving at the hospital this snowy morning, I realized that no longer was I the patient but instead the one responsible—the professional (weird, right?!). The lobby was filled with crisp white uniforms and stethoscopes both bright and dull, disguising the anxiety churning within each student nurse. As we journeyed through the foreign hospital, eliciting stares everywhere we went, a glimpse of the future was within sight—a lifetime committed to nursing. After receiving the “low down” on my patient, I knew God had something great in store—a predestined future awaiting me. After receiving devastating news merely hours before I arrived, my assigned patient was low in spirits, so to speak, and in need of a glimpse of hope, no matter how small. When introducing myself to her, I instantly knew our paths crossed for a reason and I only hope I left her with even but a speck of hope. As I allowed her to unload the fresh wounds bottling up within, God took over and undeniable optimism transformed her once lifeless face; my heart has never been happier and more satisfied than when it is doing what it was made for: to serve. Getting the patients needed supplies; dragging the IV pump behind the patient as she merely tried to walk (I remember this all too well amidst my countless hospital admissions) to the bathroom; holding her gown as she lost control, so to speak; assessing her from head to toe and removing a bothersome bandage left on for weeks too many; comforting her to the best of my incompetent ability and willingly doing anything else I could, was the exact remedy my wounded heart required, absolutely satisfying my soul. Nursing is nothing like I envisioned and I cannot even begin to put into words the incomprehensible experience; truly no words can do justice the feeling of saving lives and advocating life. My day may have been exhausting as well as undeniably intimidating (reporting off to a licensed professional nurse is not exactly right up my alley), but it was far beyond beautiful, leaving me on pins and needles to do it again next week! The day has finally arrived to step foot onto the hospital floor as a professional rather than helpless patient and I could never be more grateful! God specializes in miracles, that’s for sure!