Fair warning–this is more of a journal entry, piece-of-my-heart post. ;)
College has been an aspiration of mine for forever. My junior-high and high-school years were filled with the anticipation of being almost done. Almost ready to start working on the degree and get into the career I’ve wanted for so long.
I graduated right on time. Started college classes a few days later. Studied ten months straight and earned more than 20 credits. That whole time, I was slowly burning out. Very slowly.
I didn’t realize how physically sick I was becoming.
To be honest, the workload I had was nothing spectacular. Nothing crazy. I didn’t feel like I was pushing myself. But what I didn’t realize is that my chronic illness were playing a huge part in my abilities (or lack thereof).
I ignored the fact that I was getting tired. I pulled a lot of late nights, early mornings, and super long study sessions. Not even because I wanted a good grade. I’m pretty much the worst example ever of a ‘perfect student’ ever (“C’s get degrees” is my mantra ;-) ) . But school was intense, and I did what I had to to get it done.
Without realizing it, I was getting sicker and sicker. I struggled with a bit of depression, physical challenges, and more health issues and I thought I would ever have to deal with. My parents encouraged me to take a break after my winter semester. (January-March), which I did.
All the while feeling like a horrible lazy bum that I couldn’t even finish out my freshman year. (Which was a lie … I did finish credit-wise, but not mentally.)
But as soon as I stopped pushing myself, I realize just how sick I was. My body was just done. Since it’s already fighting every day, the extra strain of college eventually tipped me over the edge. My body was in a constant struggle against sickness.
So I rested. I slept, a lot. Read, wrote, enjoyed life.
During that time, I continually prayed for God’s guidance. That He would tell me what I needed to do. That He would give me the physical endurance to make it through another year of school. That He would help me figure out a way to cash-flow nursing school.
With a lot of prayer, talking to parents, and seeking wisdom from a variety of people, a few things became clear:
1. Cash-flowing nursing school is pretty much impossible, especially at my age with minimal work experience/savings.
2. I’m not physically capable of going to school and doing clinicals at this time.
3. Maybe nursing school isn’t what I’m supposed to be doing right now.
I’ll be honest, all of these are hard to swallow. Hard to think of. It’s frustrating that my body isn’t cooperating well enough for me to do what I’ve been looking forward to for years.
For months, I’ve wondered why. Why is this happening? I had everything completely planned. Completely ready. The timeline was perfect. It was all going to work.
But God said no.
Maybe He isn’t saying “no” forever, but He’s saying it now. Yes, it’s hard to stomach. It’s hard putting hopes, dreams, and desires on hold. I cried. I was mad. And that’s okay. Trust me, it’s a lot better to deal with emotions in the moment rather than stuff them down. (Speaking from experience here. ;) )
What I didn’t expect was the opportunities that came along. Pausing one element of my life made me a lot more open to other options.
Getting healthy is my first priority. And guess what? It’s a lot easier to rest and recuperate without school deadlines looming over my head. (Imagine that… XD )
But it’s hard to realize that this would be my sophomore year of college. It’s easy to feel guilty, like I’m just being lazy.
It’s hard to realize that maybe what I want to do isn’t what God wants me to do.
But isn’t it always? Won’t there always be things in our life that don’t go like we think it will?
God never promises an easy, straightforward life. What He does promise, however, is that He’ll be there every step of the way. (Isaiah 41:13)
For the next few months, I get to put my energy into writing, working, and enjoying my family. I have time to explore new ideas, time to improve on the things I already do, and time to have fun. My second leg surgery will also get thrown in somewhere in these next few months.
I’m enjoying putting most of my focus on my current writing project and some exciting prospects with it. (like an agent who may be interested…. *cheesy grin*)
I’m enjoying living life. Watching movies with my siblings. Hanging out with friends. Attacking my TBR pile
before it falls on me.
Most of all, I’m enjoying not having much of a plan.
Do I want to go back to school? Absolutely. Most definitely. Do I have a definitive timeline? Nope. I’m hoping for January, but not promising myself.
For now, I’m choosing to enjoy this downtime God has given me. I’ll ask for His direction in the next phase of life. And I’ll enjoy pursuing the opportunities He’s placed before me with a whole new level of joy.