“This Hays county morning is glowing like a Carolina rose// and it’s warming all the station trains and cars, but I’m as cold as any stone…”
-Blue Water Highway Band, Hard Time Train
Two years of working towards nursing school finally culminated in a denial letter. And a 3-year-old-style temper tantrum.
My advisor and I pored over my transcripts. Everything was right, and the only duck that was slightly out of place was my science GPA: a 2.9 out of the necessary 3.0. So. Frustratingly. Close. He told me, “Everything looks great. But there’s something holding you back just a bit. The timing just isn’t right for you this year, Jessica.”
So what to do when your well-laid, hard-worked-for plans come undone?
Even as a cradle Catholic, discerning God’s will purely and completely is something that I’m just beginning to practice, and in all 20 of my years I am nowhere even close to calling myself wise or well-versed in the heart of the Lord. He’s a big, fat mystery, that guy, and He has a knack for taking our well-made plans and tearing them apart. But that’s because He has something more in store for us. I’m reminded now of Mary, the Blessed Mother. At age 15, the angel Gabriel came to her and told her that if she said yes, she would become pregnant with God’s only son before she was married. This baby would go on to save the entire world. It’s hard for many of us to imagine how terrified she must have been, particularly at the expense of potentially being left by her fiance and shunned by her community. But she gave her yes to God in Luke 1:38 (aka my FAVORITE). And He handed over to her the fate of every one of our lives. Jeremiah 29:11 tells us that even if we have thoughts of terror and failure, He has thoughts of peace- not of evil. So no matter how much He tears our plans up, He’s going to rearrange the pieces into something so much more fulfilling than we can imagine-all it takes is our yes, and His perfect timing.
This is so much easier said than typed. Quite frankly, trust is a difficult thing, particularly in society today. As humans, we have the ability to be emotionally and spiritually broken because we are promised things that are never fulfilled. In the human anatomy, whenever something a bone is broken or a muscle is torn, the cells that help it to heal, heal it much stronger than before. But it doesn’t necessarily heal correctly, and it’s not exactly perfect like it was before. Our spirits aren’t metaphorically that different from bones or muscles. We heal, and we heal tough, but not always correctly. Often, after so much healing and so much toughness, we forget how to trust in anything except ourselves. This can be detrimental to having faith in God because not only is He outside of ourselves; we need to trust in His timing. By trusting in Him, giving Him our yes and doing His will for us, He heals us in the most wonderful way and fulfills every desire that lies in our hearts. Because of that reason, we can hand things over to Him and be more than okay. Control freaks, go ahead and re-read that.
I could go into so much detail about all the things that have happened to reassure me that I’m meant to stay in San Marcos for another year. Quite honestly, I’m very excited to pursue a minor next year. I’ll have one more year with my friends and sorority sisters, one more year to prepare myself for the grind of nursing school, and one more summer to be an orientation leader. I have no worries that next year, when I reapply to Texas State’s nursing program for Fall 2016, I will be accepted. There are still doubts in my heart for me to work through, but I’m doing my absolute best to not be a control freak and give God my purest yes.
I’m sure that down the road, I’ll see why I had to put off nursing school. Perhaps my minor will advance my career in a way that wouldn’t be available to me until later. Maybe God needs me to touch the heart of a specific peer, coworker, or patient. Or maybe He’s just teaching me how to grow in faith, patience, and trust. Whatever it is, I’m treating everything with a healthy dose of prayer.
“But those Carolina roses, oh they’re growing up the tracks of my despair…”
-Blue Water Highway Band, Hard Time Train
Thanks for reading, Sizzlers 🙂