One Week Left

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Just 6 more days until I walk across the stage to get my diploma....
What? Really? Where did the time go?
I honestly don't feel like I have finished Nursing School nor does it seem real that in about 2 months or less I will have hopefully (crossing my fingers and studying hard for the next month or so) pass my NCLEX so that I will officially be an RN. 

I feel super nostalgic this week as I am getting myself ready for a great weekend with lots of family and friends to celebrate. I remember thinking to myself last year this time when I should have been walking "it's never gonna get here."
I'm 6 days away.
The time has flown so fast.
In thinking back as I have had some time to myself, I honestly am overwhelmed at all that has happened in my life in the last 5 years. 
I had no idea what God had in store for me when I left high school and started my first year at Southeastern University. I have written about the uncertainty in my life at that point often, but it's amazing to me to see just how much each piece of the puzzle has fit together. The last 4 years that I have had at Trevecca, and my time spent in Nursing school at Belmont have been unbelievable in their own ways. 
I never thought I would be in nursing but God has continued to direct me down this path and has given me peace to know that I am walking where He wants me. I still cannot believe that I am going to be starting graduate school in August. It's amazing to me how much in myself I feel that I have changed in the past 4 years and while I expected to grow up, mature (somewhat at least) and learn how to be more on my own, I never had any idea what God would have in store for me as I have walked through different seasons these past 4 years.

I'm thankful I started writing more and more on my blog over the past few years. It's encouraging to look back and see where I've come from but in my own life recently, I have been challenging myself and asking the Lord to remind me of His faithfulness in my life as I struggle with the uncertainties of tomorrow. 

While I often times find myself feeling guilty, embarrassed and almost ashamed at times for my lack of 'faith' I also realize that this is a season of growth and a time to strengthen the faith that I do have. I guess it's humbling to realize just how much work I need to do but also to know that it isn't about reaching an "end" point or a finish line but to keep continually running the race and taking each day as it comes, trusting the Lord for what I will need in that day alone. 

I feel that I have so many thoughts running through my mind, it's one thing after another right now, but through all of this and as I am getting ready to close one chapter of my life, regardless of the unanswered questions of what's ahead, I am certain of God's faithfulness.

I have been more blessed the past 5 years of my life that I ever thought imaginable.

 God knew exactly what He was doing when I started my freshman year of college heart broken, away from home, and alone.
 He then lead me to Nashville where I got to discover what I'm truly passionate about and gave me the chance to lead others in worship and build relationships with teens and great people for 3 years.
 He knew what He was doing when I felt lead to switch majors even though it cost me an extra year in school.
He knew what He was doing even though I wasn't listening and being disobedient and He gave me grace and showed me that through my best friend & the man of my dreams.
He knew what He was doing when I didn't get into Vanderbilt's Residency Program.
He knew what He was doing when I was impatient and waiting for 2 months to know if I got into graduate school.
He knows what He's doing right now in this very moment, in my heart and all around me, even though I can't see it.

I guess more than anything, I want it to be known how thankful and blessed I am to have spent my last 4 years here at Trevecca and in Nashville. I am so grateful for all the love and support I have received along the way and as we celebrate this weekend, I just want it to be known how much I appreciate my parents, my incredible boyfriend, my friends, my mentors, and those back at home who have played such a huge part in my success here.  

Here are a few photos I took that will be sent out to announce my graduation. Rebekah, one of my friends I traveled with did an incredible job! Thank you Rebekah!! 
Check out her stuff! 535 Photography

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
James 1:7

So, What's Next?!

Friday, April 20, 2012

"Commit your way to the Lord, trust in Him, and He will do this."
Psalm 37:5
This has been a season of excitement, anticipation, feeling accomplished and anxious to walk across the stage to get my diploma in 16 days, and yet bittersweet all at the same time knowing that one chapter of my life is ending and a new one beginning.
While there are still many unknowns and details yet to be put into place in my journey, I am excited that certain pieces of the puzzle are coming together.
While I never really announced this officially, back in December, I applied for the residency program at Vanderbilt with hopes to get into their pediatric program and work there after I graduated.
In February, I found out that this would not be an open door for me.
Rejection is never easy, but that door closed and I felt like I had no idea what was ahead for me.
The more and more I prayed about it and began to think of the best choices for me as I move ahead, moving back home seemed like the best option, however in being honest about that decision, while it smart financially and a chance for me to get on my feet, I wanted to feel like I really had purpose in going back home.
I began to look into different programs in Florida, never truly had I considered going to grad school. I randomly decided to check into a program at UCF, I went to a meeting there, spent 3 weeks studying for the GRE, creating a resume, and gathering all I needed to apply and sent it in.
A month had never felt so long.
Waiting to see if I would get in was a thought that probably crossed my mind for the past 45 days. 
I found every reason why someone else would be a better candidate for me. 
Believing lies that I could never pursue this and in all honesty not living in the truth I should.
The decision to go home was  official, I decided it would best and just had a peace about it and my goal at the time: save money, start paying off loans, and get experience as a new nurse.
Admissions said their decisions would be made by mid-april. 
Yesterday was a long day for me. One filled with doubt, fear, and just struggle to believe in myself and what's ahead for me.
As I spent the last 20 minutes before I went to bed spilling my heart out to the Lord almost about how desperate I feel at this moment, little did I know He would answer my prayers.
At 7:45 in the morning I received an email from UCF.
The moment I was anxiously awaiting and dreading all at the same time.
and what did I see?!

Wait. Really? Could this be the answer!
I sighed and continued to read the email only to see that I had been accepted into UCF's Doctoral Program! 
I am going to be going to school part time, specifically in the Family Nurse Practitioner Track and working the rest of the time. 
As I have shared the good news with my family, wonderful boyfriend, and friends I have felt overwhelmed today by the encouragement and prayers and mostly at the opportunity that is in front of me. While I still am not sure all the details about a job and how everything else in my life is going to work out, I am thankful that the Lord answered my prayer and is giving me this chance to further my education and live out one of my dreams.

This has been a season of testing for me and my faith. 
It's moments like these where God's faithfulness blows me away.

For everyone who has supported, encouraged, and prayed for me and been a part of my journey to get here, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.

Please continue to pray for me during this season of change and new beginnings. 
I look forward to updating you as I know more, but for now....
Here's to being a Knight

"I Want to Be Just Like Her"

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

"She is clothed with strength and honor, and can laugh at the days to come."
Proverbs 31: 25

As I was reading through the bible I happened to come across a Proverb I have only heard bits and pieces of, but after reading this verse that captured my attention, I was intrigued to explore where this came from, and to really understand the meaning of the chapter as a whole.

The whole essence of this chapter is about the "virtuous woman."
Somewhat intimidating to read, or like reading something that you feel you'll never measure up to is honestly what I thought when I began to read.
However, in reading this description of the "virtuous woman" this is exactly the kind of person I want to be.

As I read through this chapter that described a woman of character, who is rare and hard to find, valuable and beautiful, and then it described everything she is for her husband and her family, I found myself smiling and praying that one day I can be all of these things.
Verse 25 captured my attention.

"She is clothed with strength and dignity"
This means she is covered with clothes that are not bought, but instead the Lord himself provides these to  the one with the believing heart. 
Beauty is also used in this context in place of the word honor.
Taking away all of the old (past mistakes, sins, regrets, everything we wish we could do all over again) and covering her in beauty and with confidence and strength.

& she can laugh at the days to come...
Another word used in place of laugh in this verse is 'rejoice'
throughout this chapter there is clear reference to the future or the time to come and this verse boldly states that this woman will be able to "laugh at the days to come" because she realizes that the future cannot hurt her and that the Lord has gone before her and she can have confidence in this.

This was a lot to take in.
But something that truly captured my attention, got me thinking, searching, and studying.

I am sitting at a place in life right now where all my previous blogs about waiting, wondering, and trying to live in confidence not fear, are things I struggle with everyday.
I am waiting for big answers right now.
To know the next move and all the details that will happen as I get ready to graduate in 18 short days.
I've never done this before.
The beauty of this verse is that, the bible depicts a woman of the Lord who's heart is searching for all that God has for her, knowing that it isn't easy and the world has given a completely different picture of who she should be, what's valuable, and often times looks past the beauty of who God truly created us as ladies to be. 

While I am in this "waiting" mode, that feels as though it will never end, I have never been more scared of the unknown, the change, and the details, but my desire and prayer is that I will walk in confidence knowing that I am clothed with "strength and dignity" and that I will smile, laugh, and rejoice at the days to come because I know the Lord is already ahead of me and knows every decision to be made and every detail of the next season of my life.

I have a challenge specifically for the ladies and for myself, if you have never read Proverbs 31, I challenge you to dig in, to pick it a part- piece by piece and to ask the Lord to reveal himself to you through this chapter. My prayer is that I daily will become more like the woman described in this chapter and that my heart will want the same things the Lord does.

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