Wednesday, March 21, 2012

I've Been Here Before

If you have followed my blog for very long, or have known me for awhile, you may remember that last spring was a very difficult semester for me. Between a teacher that attacked me for my beliefs, being afraid of nursing school and its challenges, and never wanting to grow up, I had chosen to let all the pressures get to me and make me depressed and angry for a good portion of 2011. Well, after I realized my mistakes and was sweetly broken by my Savior, I made a promise to myself in my journal that I would never let myself get to that point of desperation, exhaustion, and anger again.

I would like to say that I’ve been 100% successful – but I haven’t.

These last months have been hard, and I’ve wanted to give up and forget nursing altogether. Once more, I’ve told myself that I can never be worth anything, and that I shouldn’t bother because it is just too hard.

I’ve been here before.

I’m at a point where all I can see is the bad in everything. I might have a good day at school, but all I can focus on is the one subject that I simply don’t like. I might have a good day at work, but I let myself remain angry at a person for some small reason. I might look outside and see the beautiful sunshine, and all I can think about is how much homework I have.

I’ve been here before.

When everything turns into a complaint or a source of anger, they why do I bother getting up in the morning? It would be better for me to keep to myself than to be horrible and burdensome to my family and friends. If I don’t allow myself to hope and see the future, then why should I go to college, become a nurse, work hard?

I’m telling you today, that without hope, life is extremely painful.

I haven’t let myself be happy in a very long time. I complain as I get up, I complain as I go to sleep. I haven’t allowed myself to except the joys, no matter how small, that God gives me each and every day. I don’t want to be an unhappy, angry, grudge-holding person – I don’t! And yet, this is exactly what I have become.

And I hate it.

I hate my attitude, I hate my actions, I hate the words that flow so easily from my mouth.

So I should just give up, right? I should realize that no matter what, I’m not perfect, and I should move on to something else.

I may have been here before, but I’m going to turn this around and change myself. I’m not going to give up, no matter how hard my life is right now.

Being a senior is so weird sometimes – it feels like you’re on the edge of a cliff almost ready to be pushed off, but you can’t quite leave and you can’t quite stay. It’s an in-between, it’s a transition. And it is so, so hard. Some days, I just want to move on to college, and other days I just want to be a little girl. No matter what, though, I’m going to tackle whatever it is that God has in store for me.

If I was to be completely open and honest, I would tell you that I do not like school. (Please understand that this does not include homeschooling – I only dread going to my community college classes.) I love to learn, but I do not like feeling like I am wasting my time on silly pre-requisites that have absolutely nothing to do with nursing. God has called me to be a nurse, and in my heart, I know it is what I want to do. I know I will love it, and yet I can’t seem to wrap my mind around the fact that I may have to take ridiculous classes that frustrate me to no end in order to get to the point where I can serve people in a hospital setting or on the mission field. In my mind, the excuse is always, “Why would God make me suffer through all the horrible things at college for FOUR YEARS? How could God possibly want me to do this?”

And yet I know. It’s for a bigger purpose. Did Jesus want to die on the cross? No. But did He obey because He trusted His Father? Yes. I want to be like that. I want to have that kind of faith. I can’t bear to keep going at this steady, downhill pattern that always ends up with tears and pain.

I’ve been here before.

But I’m not going to stay here.

Tonight, Lord, I give myself over to you once more. As the tears flow, I know God that you are here. Maybe I’ve lost my way for awhile. Maybe I’ve been forgetting to turn to you with my problems. I know I’ve been a complaining, grumpy jerk for the last months.

And I don’t want to be this way anymore.

You created me – and this person that is so unhappy? That is not me, Lord. That is only Satan trying to persuade me that I’m worthless, that I’m nothing, that I’m hopeless.

You’re picking me up, God, and I can feel you reassuring me. It’s so hard, Lord. So hard. I don’t like growing up, and I don’t always know why I have to do the things I have to do. But I want to listen to you always. I want you to be my hope and my future.

Take me where you will, Jesus. I lay myself once more at your feet, tears streaming down my face.

I have two more months of high school. Two more months until another journey begins.

I want to end it with joy, not pain and anger. I want to end it by bringing glory to your name.

I’m not worthless. I’m not a quitter. I’m here, Lord, come near to me. Be my guiding light and give me the wisdom to always turn back to you when I’ve lost my way.

I don’t like school, God, but that’s okay. I’ll survive as long as you are there. I want to be a nurse, God, I know I do! I’ve just lost my way and can’t remember the passion I used to have for helping people.

Break me, Father. I need you. Bring back to me the gentle and quiet spirit that I have so long tried to achieve.

Tonight, I promise to find the joys of life again.

Tonight, I promise to smile genuinely and to realize the many blessings I have been given. Oh, I am so selfish! How could I ever forget what God has done for me?

I’ve been here before.

But this time, I’m going to change.

Joy. Peace. Patience.

And most of all, resting in the arms of my Beloved Savior.

“Know also that wisdom is like honey for you:
If you find it, there is a future hope for you,
and your hope will not be cut off.” Proverbs 24:14

““Yet if you devote your heart to him
and stretch out your hands to him,
if you put away the sin that is in your hand
and allow no evil to dwell in your tent,
then, free of fault, you will lift up your face;
you will stand firm and without fear.
You will surely forget your trouble,
recalling it only as waters gone by.
Life will be brighter than noonday,
and darkness will become like morning.
You will be secure, because there is hope;
you will look about you and take your rest in safety.
You will lie down, with no one to make you afraid,
and many will court your favor.” Job 11:13-19