We spend much of our life working towards various goals. It begins when we are young and the goals may be simple like holding your breath underwater for a certain length of time or jumping rope 100 times without tripping. As we get older we find that reaching a goal often creates new goals and new challenges. Making the team in high school means extra time, effort and money (usually mom & dad's $$)spent to maintain and excel. Practice time means less social time, less time to get homework and studying done and we learn to prioritize, hopefully.
If there is one life lesson that has become glaringly obvious to me the past few weeks, it's that where one journey ends, another begins. Reaching a goal means new goals are birthed and there are transitions to be made.
On August 9, I completed a HUGE life goal. I graduated from nursing school. At age 37. The only career I ever remember wanting in life was to be in medicine. When I played with my dolls, I played hospital. When I gave the gift of chicken pox to my younger siblings, I made them medication charts. Somehow in high school I got an interview with a neonatologist for a career paper assignment.
I entered college as a pre-med major. My chosen school didn't have a nursing major at the time and I was pretty sure I wanted to be a doctor. However along the way God changed my path and sent me into ministry. I had perfect peace about this change and it's where my heart was. But I never lost my interest in medicine or my desire to work in that field.
Following God's path was most important, and the 10 years I spent in ministry were incredibly rewarding and fulfilling. However, for a gazillion reasons, both positive and negative (because that's just how life is)a few years ago I began to feel a shift. Ministry wasn't fitting like a glove and I began to seek God for the future. The only other career I was truly interested in was medicine and nursing was most logical as I didn't plan to try to go to Med School while raising children!
I slowly started fulfilling some pre-requisite courses. Then God surprised us with the blessing of Lilybug, baby #3 and nursing school went to the back burner. My time in ministry wasn't done. I made my plans. I wrestled and questioned as my timeline didn't quite match God's. But in His perfect time, the release from vocational ministry (i.e. getting a paycheck from a church) came and my acceptance to nursing school was in the mailbox.
And now, two years later I have achieved my lifelong goal. My nursing school journey has ended. But the journey has just begun.
I have been incredibly blessed and fortunate to get hired as a nursing assistant. This is helping provided for our family and hopefully will help me attain a full-time nursing position. I went straight from an intense, demanding summer school schedule to working full-time--and working 12-hr night shifts. A new journey to say the least! Learning how to balance family and sleeping during the day. It's not just a journey for me, but for the family as well. I have stretches of days I'm at home and can take care of a lot of stuff, but there are times I work 1-3 shifts in a row and sleep during the days which means Bean has to manage life at home and my kids have to let mama sleep.
It's a new journey. We never arrive. Where one journey ends, another begins. For me, it's a refining process. It's constantly challenging and growing my faith. It's about priorities and time management. It's a new part of me. Just like I named this blog--Embrace the Day--we also must embrace the journey we are one and realize we will always be on a journey. And each journey comes with the excitements and the challenges. It's just how life is.
Yes, I'm currently in the "challenges" portion of this journey as I figure everything out--but it is still exciting and rewarding and always, worth it.