Wednesday, June 30, 2010

adventure is out there!

i thought i had a plan for my life. acting out of obedience, i applied to nursing school, became a nurse and thought God would show me what was next down the road of nursing. the only thing about plans is that sometimes God has something better in mind...

back in mid-march, melissa from my bible study mentioned that the surgical clinic her mom worked for might be having an opening for a nurse and asked if i would be interested in a job. my first thought was, "no, i already have a job." but then the more i thought about it, the more appealing a switch sounded. i could work more normal hours with a less hectic pace. as i continued to think and pray, the more i was honest about how i felt about my current job. i loved the people that i worked with, but was lacking the passion for oncology nursing i saw in them every day at work. i felt that this was God giving me a chance to try something new and different.

so, i applied for the job and even had a good interview with them, but they didn't end up having an opening after all. i then started applying to other clinics in the area. during this search process, i had the realization that although i was unhappy in my current job, i didn't feel particularly called to clinic nursing. so then i started applying to school nursing jobs...the few that i could find.

it was during this job search that i had a conversation with my friend Molly. she was really honest with me and was the person God used to reveal his plan to me, at least for this next season. she helped me realize that it was maybe more than just this particular job i wasn't passionate about. it was nursing in general. and having lived with me for my last year of nursing school, i feel like she would know better than most people the struggle i have experienced in this area. i truly felt like God wanted me to study nursing, but never felt passionate about. there were certainly points along the way that God confirmed that i was being obedient or where i got to see the hand i had in someone's life. however, the passion that i sensed in so many of my classmates was lacking in my own heart. i assumed it would kick in, when God showed me where he wanted me to be. but instead, in the past few months, i think he showed me a completely different path.

during that conversation, Molly pointed out that what made me the happiest, the most excited and the most fulfilled in the whole 6 years she has known me was when i was doing residence life. and as soon as she said that, i knew that she was right. i felt God give me an amazing sense of peace as she spoke. it was as if God was giving me permission to dream about the thing i wanted most to do. when we hung up the phone, i started applying for resident director jobs. that week in the middle of april, i applied to a few schools on the west coast, happy that there were several schools that were hiring that i was interested in. but then a conversation with another friend made me question the geographical limitations i had put on my search. was i limiting God by only applying to schools in locations that i preferred? i felt like God was prompting me to broaden my search, so i started looking for any residence life job at a christian college within the continental u.s.

during this search, i quickly discovered that quite a few schools either preferred or required a master's degree. while i might have had undergraduate residence life experience, i didn't have any experience as a professional and i lacked education beyond my bachelor's degree. although i had said at the end of last year that i didn't see myself ever going back to school, i realized that my reluctance to return to the books was related to my strong desire to avoid more nursing school. after a little prompting and confirmation from God, i decided that i might want to return to school next year.

also during this process, a job at a children's clinic became available here in salem. while i thought i'd closed the book on nursing for this next season, the thought of a slower pace, getting to stay in salem while working with kids sounded appealing. i applied for the job and had a stellar interview. the next week i was offered the job. since i was working that day, i wasn't able to respond right away. when i did respond that night, it turned out that i had taken too long to respond and they would be giving my job away to someone else. i had a job for less than 24 hours before it was gone. i certainly was annoyed at the manner in which my job offer had been revoked, but i wasn't too disappointed at how God had shut that door. after all, i had been praying for clarity for my future!

i don't want to sound like this was an easy past few months. from what i've written so far, you wouldn't know that there have been days when i have not wanted to get out of bed to go to work and had to pray so hard even to have a good attitude about being there. yes, i have had days of excitement for how God is working, but i have also had days when i questioned if he is working at all. i think i assumed i would know something definite much sooner, since this process has been going on for over two months now, which has sometimes made me more than a little discouraged. but, God is so faithful. he continued to encourage me despite my lack of faith-through my devotionals, through my family, through my friends and even through songs on my ipod. even though i may have doubted it in moments of weakness, i know that he has my life in his hands. i am his.

so, after over 50 job applications, 4 grad school applications, a number of interviews, i flew out to philadelphia biblical university in langhorne, PA on sunday, june 27 for a final interview. i had only found out on tuesday of the week before that i was being asked to come out, so even that was a new development. the previous week i had been given a few answers by other schools, which strangely enough didn't make me feel too disappointed. i started feeling prompted by God to come to terms with my willingness to move across the country. it was if he was giving me the choice. i felt him telling me that it would be okay if i stayed in salem, working at salem hospital, staying near my family and friends. but as i read the resident director job description, continued to pray, the more i felt my heart change about the chance to move to the east coast. i knew what my answer would be if i got asked to be pbu's resident director for manor dorms.

after walking around campus, having conversations with different staff, hanging out with the student life department, my decision was easy. when they asked me if i wanted the job or if i needed time to think about it, i didn't have to think anymore. i knew my answer was yes.

so....i am moving to pennsylvania! i get to be a resident director! and i think i am going to hold off for grad school, at least for this next year. i am so excited for what is ahead. i'm still not thrilled about being so far away from so many people i love, but i know that this is God's doing. and i am fully confident that he is going to give me new people to love. but as people i currently love, i would covet your prayers during this transition! (and i would like to see as many of you as possible before i leave, please!)

"adventure is out there!" -up

ps. here is pbu's website if you want more info. on the school where i will be living in just a matter of weeks.