In sociology I’m learning about all of the social aspects that make us human. Words like “status symbol” and “master status” come up in the textbook. I read these things and make connections to my own life. It’s crazy to me that over the past 5 years I’ve been a traditional college student, a professional in my career field, labelled a criminal and treated as such for 6 days, a broke single mom without a clue where she was headed next, a single mom in college and returned to being a professional in my career field again. Wow! What a ride. And sociological terms can paint my very adventure. But I really don’t care to talk terminology. I want to talk about faith. And mercy. Textbooks don’t teach people how to recognize those things.
In the midst of Jay’s absence, I found my faith. Throughout the months that he’s been away it has only deepened. I’m still a baby in my faith, with lots of experiences still to be had. I do know for sure, though, that God leads us to where we need to be.
I took a break from nursing when I moved home in 2010. I was searching for a job in my hometown to continue to practice, but things just weren’t adding up. Being pregnant and living in my aunt and uncle’s guest bedroom, I became desperate for an income. I called the Arby’s where I’d worked during high school and was basically guaranteed a job. After Jude was born I was promoted to Assistant Manager. Did I like that I was college prepared in the medical field and working at Arby’s? No. But it meant that I had a paycheck, and holidays to spend with my son in his earliest months of life. God provided for me, even though it wasn’t what *I* had in mind.
When I started toying with the idea of returning to school, it was like the Universe picked up on it. I was getting junk mail flyers from nursing schools in the Midwest that I’ve never heard of. But you know what? They kept that idea current and fresh in my brain and before I knew it, I was driving to Des Moines four days after talking with an academic advisor, interviewing to secure my spot in the ADN (RN) program at Kaplan University. God planted a seed and sat back to watch it blossom.
Here we are now, 15 weeks into my RN program. I’m working at a long-term care facility again, signing LPN after my name. When I started chewing on the idea of searching for a nursing job I printed off six copies of my resume. I had been fixated on this one facility in my mind, though, and was sure to make it my first stop. It turned out to be my only stop. I had an on-the-spot interview with the Director of Nursing and the next day was interviewing with she and the Administrator. It is without doubt that I say that God directed me to that facility, that DON, that Administrator.
It was a drawn-out process to be hired. Paperwork and checks and balances were starting to look ominous. I was afraid I had been silly to get my hopes up and dream of being a nurse again. I had to keep reminding myself that God put me there for a reason. I requested prayer for my faith to stay strong. Everyone has been so patient with me throughout this process– a true blessing.
There is beauty in struggle. The beauty comes when you can look retrospectively and understand that you toiled for months and months so you could grow and learn and evolve into a better you. I’m grateful for second chances and even more for God knowing just when to push me to do things. It’s been a crazy road to get back on my feet but I made it! With the mercy and prayers and help of some very special people, I have arrived. I am, to date, the best version of me that I’ve ever been. I’m grateful for the life experience it took to shape me, because, by God, it didn’t kill me– it made me stronger.
Full circle is the best term I can use to summarize my journey. I’m continuing my education, able to work in a field about which I’m passionate, have a healthy son and am expanding my family. I’ve met an incredible mate and my faith is solid. Here I sit, in the middle of my full circle with a big, grateful smile on my face. God is so, so good, all the time.