18 March 2013

Gain My Soul




"In my distress I called upon the LORD, Yes, I cried to my God; and from His temple He heard my voice, and my cry for help came into His ears.” 2 Samuel 22:7
Life is a battle field and I am in the center of it, surrounded by my enemies as they gruesomely fight for my soul. I’ve come to realize the devil absolutely hates me—in fact, this does not even begin to do justice what he truly thinks of me: a Beloved Daughter of Christ. His lies convince me I have nothing to offer, which in its truest essence is reality—but he’s forgotten the One who dwells within me, sustaining my feeble legs from absolute destruction. With Him by my side, I shall not be shaken but will run the race with unceasing and relentless determination because the world needs His love; I will not give up until my last breath has left my lungs because I was made, indeed created, to love—the most fulfilling duty of all. I know without a doubt the devil will relentlessly try to knock me down and annihilate my innocence but this does not stop me—I am not afraid when the God of Creation walks by my side 24/7. Time and time again the enemy has tried to kill me—to steal the very breath from my lungs—but has fallen short each and every time. Anorexia nervosa came close to stealing my life countless times, but God had other plans; a negligent semi driver nearly took the life from my hands merely weeks ago but I left the scene with only but a small abrasion—just as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were delivered from the fiery furnace with not even a scar. God’s plans are beautiful, no matter how dark they may appear on the outside because the darkness is only but a glimpse. I know without a doubt that the enemy is terrified of God’s story in me; as I write what God has brought me through, never in my life did I expect him (the devil) to attack me with such annihilating daggers—daggers too gruesome for this world to ever know, which is why I need God to fight for me—to shield my heart from absolute destruction. 

As I’ve already mentioned, several weeks ago I became the na├»ve victim of a gruesome car crash and was forced to say goodbye to my faithful car of five years, Duke. I’d been praying for a paint job for Duke, as over half of the paint had already effortlessly peeled off due to the scorching Florida heat we’d bought it from. Not only did I get a new paint job, but also a new car—one far superior to what I will ever deserve. For weeks, I searched hour upon hour for the right car within my limited price range but each time we viewed the internet images in person, reality hit—they were not in nearly as good of shape as previously claimed by the retailers, which brings to light the absolute deception of this fallen world. After giving up hope, God literally laid into my hands a car better than my greatest expectations—a deal that really was too good to be true. It took a lot of patience on all of our parts—my entire family and I—since we only had 2 vehicles to drive so subsequently had to rent a car I couldn’t even drive (no matter how much I begged) because I’m not yet 25. The wait and inconvenience was well worth the wait and I would gladly take being hit by a semi once again if it means drawing me back to God and experiencing His miracle-providing presence. This is proof that nothing—not even a semi—shall separate me from His perfect love. 

Nursing school has been as hectic as ever but lately my body has been to immunosuppressed to handle the all-consuming stress, which was most likely the initiating factor of my illness. For weeks on end my body has struggled to fight off disease, whether obtained from the clinical environment or my own home, and I am finally remembering what it feels like to be healthy again from the inside out. The flu has been deadly this year, but had I not been so sick, I probably wouldn’t have been able to receive the rest my body so desperately needed, which I fought against even then since taking it easy is absolutely foreign to me and what my stubborn adrenaline-filled soul hates most. This winter has been one of the most difficult ones yet, but through it I have learned countless lessons and received unending blessings. I recently applied for the Accelerated Nursing Program which would enable me to receive a Bachelor’s degree in three rather than four years but there was a catch—only a maximum of ten students could be accepted. My class, being the over-achievers that we are, set a record of the most applicants to the program, leaving me absolutely discouraged and hopeless—assured there was no chance of me getting in. After surrendering my selfish desires to God and accepting that this program wasn’t for me, I received a letter yesterday from the head nursing professor, congratulating me on acceptance as one of the top ten students into the Accelerated Nursing Program. It all seemed too good to be true: graduating nine months earlier than originally planned and spending next year working as a registered nurse—it all sounded intriguing but ultimately scary. In order to make this “dream” come true, I’d have to sacrifice everything: a job, friends, time, sanity, exercise, camp, summers, and ultimately…God. Nonstop stress and studying would leave little if any time for God, which I am not willing to sacrifice. Even though ultimately I would love to graduate nine months earlier, it’s not worth risking my life which ultimately is the case—risking the life of my soul destined for eternity. This decision to decline the opportunity is a beautiful story I want to share with you, so please read on! 

After telling God He could have everything—even my very dream of finishing school early—I was given a choice which tore me to pieces. Honestly, I had no idea what to do.
I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it (Romans 7:15-20).”
Sunday morning, after hours of attempting to hear the still small voice within my heart, I requested prayer for my dilemma; immediately after my friend asked God to show me what to do, I heard a still voice saying, “Don’t do it, my child; you are too fragile—the unceasing stress will overtake you. Anyway, what is the rush—why are you always in such a hurry? Take time to enjoy life and to do what you love—to take time for you. When is the last time you’ve done that?” I was convicted—everything He’d just said was undeniably true: I have become a victim to the tight grips of speed, seeking its ever-present adrenaline rush rather than that of God. I am still young, no matter how much I try to convince myself otherwise, and have my whole life as a nurse ahead of me—why rush into it? I want to be the absolute best nurse possible and cannot risk losing my soul—my sanity. As the world flies by around me at an absurd pace with stress overtaking, I am choosing to stay separate—to take my time and drench myself in knowledge because I’m only given one life to live, which has already been spared countless times. Rather than spending the summer with my nose in my nursing books, I am going to spend it at God’s feet, serving humbly in missions & strengthening my inner character—ultimately gaining my soul.