Honesty in stories. Truth in words.

Why I’m Not Starting School Now (and why I’m okay with it)




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.



What’s the most difficult thing you’ve had to set aside for a time?


19 comments so far.

19 responses to “Why I’m Not Starting School Now (and why I’m okay with it)”

  1. Megs says:

    Aw, I hope you get your health/strength back soon. I admire your resolve. You can make it through this! :)
    Here’s a favorite verse of mine I’d like to share:
    “And He said unto me,
    “My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”
    Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
    I’ll continue to pray for you, Ivy! <3

  2. Thanks for sharing, Ivy. I know it can be hard to find out that our “timing” and God’s aren’t always the same. And sometimes it’s hard to see why His timing is different. Enjoy where you are right now. He has you right where you need to be. :)

    I had plans once. (Don’t we all?) I was going to China to work with orphans. Or I thought I was. That didn’t happen. And I was going to be married by the time I was 20-22. If either of those things had happened, I would never had written, much less published a book. Was it hard to set those dreams aside? You bet! Do I still struggle? Yep. Though not as much because God is so faithful to lead me in ways I never, ever dreamed of. He’s got a plan, Ivy, and it’s a good one. I just want to read ahead at times. :)

    • Ivy says:

      Timing is definitely a struggle for me, because I want what I want NOW, not later. ;) I think God is using this to help ease me out of this habit… :)

      I didn’t know that you wanted to go to China to work with orphans. That’s so cool! (Now I better understand why you enjoy Left to Die :) ) It’s so awesome that you are now able to look back with positivity and see how God used you in a way you didn’t expect. I hope someday, I will be able to do the same. :)

  3. I’m glad you decided to share this on your blog. I can relate to a certain degree. No medical crisis, of course, but like I talked to you about: I always assumed I’d do school and then … I wasn’t supposed to.

    Most recently I thought I was supposed to be writing the sequel to Martin Hospitality. But apparently not? #mindblown o.o God has me doing things I didn’t expect either. But so far I’m liking the way His plans work out. Like having no school and no regular job ;) The list of “oh, well I guess nots” just keeps growing!!

    • Ivy says:

      Yes, it was so good to talk to you about it. I think the core issue is the same, even though our circumstances are different. :)

      I love the “oh well I guess not” thought process!!! That’s awesome! I need to think more like that and not be so upset and frustrated when things don’t go like I planned. ;)

  4. Kellyn Roth says:

    Ah, sorry about that, Ivy! Brave of you to share! I might not have.

    I understand, to a certain extent (I’m not battling my own body at the moment; just myself, which I’m sure is much easier), what you mean. I am sooo bad about waiting for God to be ready for me to do things. I’d much rather just run ahead and not worry too much about what might happen … and even the slightest delays drive me wild!

    Anyway, I’m impressed with you, and I look up to you. You’re pretty awesome, college or no college! God has you in this world for a reason. :)

    • Ivy says:

      Battling oneself is never easy, whether mentally or physically. And yeah…delays, are miserable. Patience isn’t a virtue of mine, either. ;)

      Awww, thank you so much. You’re so encouraging! I’m so glad to know you!

  5. Pam says:

    My Rosebud, You are exactly where your God wants you to be. You are in the center of His will. Where He leads you, is where you will follow. “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, declares the LORD. As the heavens are higher than earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than yours. Isaiah 55: 8-9.
    Psalm 46: Be ye still and know that I am God.
    Psalm 139 is my go to Psalm when I need to be reminded of who my God is to me.
    I see daily how God is using you in the lives of others. How He is molding you into the fearfully and wonderfully made women He created you to be. Listen to the still small voice of your God, be obedient to His leading and continue to be in His Word, (I call His word His love letter to me) daily. You are valuable to me and a blessing to your family and sibs. Love you, Ya-Yah

  6. Very proud of you writing this post. :) I am so proud of you and honored to call you my friend, and watching you grow and see where the Lord is taking you is awesome. <3 Love ya, girl!

  7. Ivy, have you been peeking into my life somehow? =)

    This post was very encouraging for me. I’m in a similar position (except smaller in size) where I had to set something aside that was close to me. I know it’s incredibly hard – but so worth it. How exciting to see how He moves through these plot twists in life!! If it’s okay with you, can I share a link to your post on my blog? This was too cool how God lined it up with this time of my life. =)

    So proud of you, Ivy!

    • Ivy says:

      Hehe…no… ;)

      I’m glad that my post encouraged you, and you can absolutely share it. :)

      I’m so grateful for you!

  8. Mikayla says:

    Ivy, you are amazing. Your story is so inspiring, it would make an amazing book. Thank you so much for sharing.

  9. Sarah Holman says:


    From the time I was 12 until I was almost 18, I knew I wanted to be a nurse. I had to come face to face with the fact that I wasn’t physically up to that kind of school. I became an author, but it was hard when I had to tell my grandparents and other people, as I knew they would be disappointed.
    I have to admit, even at 27, it is still hard sometimes to explain why I don’t have a degree. Yet, I know that God has used my physical limitations for His glory.

    May God bless you in your next step.

    • Ivy says:

      Wow, thank you for sharing this, Sarah. I love the amazing outreach you have through your books, and it’s so wonderful that you haven’t let physical limitations keep you from serving the Lord, even if it isn’t in the way you initially imagined.

      Thank you. <3

  10. Katja L. says:

    Thanks for posting this, Ivy! You are such a good example to me!! I hope God helps you to achieve your dream soon. If Hs doesn’t, He has something infinitely better for you. Hugs and prayers for your health. <3

    P.S. This reminds me of Lindy!

    • Ivy says:

      Thank you for being so encouraging, Katja! And yes, I was reminding myself of Lindy the other day…like “oh, I already wrote a book about this…” ;)

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