And Some Days You Want to Quit Nursing School...

Monday, June 22, 2015

Last week one of my classmates was having a rough day. She wasn't her normal bubbly self. She wasn't jumping in to class discussion. I could sense she was stressed. I just wasn't.

Tonight it all hit me. Yesterday, as I realized I have done homework every day for 4 weeks (maybe save 1 or 2 days that first week of class), I got so overwhelmed. Overwhelmed because there is no end in sight. Yes, the summer ends in about 4 weeks, but that is far far too far to think about right now.

Tomorrow I have a midterm, a presentation, and clinical prep paperwork. The paperwork should take about 4 hours. I'll be on campus from about 8a-7p.

I know lots and lots of other people have it worse and harder than I do.

But right now it is overwhelming.

I keep thinking about the long days I had as a missionary.

I keep thinking about the long long days I had in Slovakia. The days when we were on the bus at 6:30a. When a night of sleep on a mattress from Communist Czechoslovakia just didn't seem enough. Days when I didn't like breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Days when I longed for home. Days when I missed my teammates. Days when I missed my students. Days when I just wanted to go to mass in English. And maybe eat a salad.

I knew the only way out was through. There wasn't a solution through the hard days that didn't involve getting up and bracing them head-on.

And I don't think nursing school will be any different.

So I'll study another 30 minutes. I'll get up early and study some more. I'll make a big breakfast and bribe myself through the long day with coffee. I'll pray my scrubs miraculously dry overnight tonight.

I'll put one foot in front of the other.

The only way out is through.

How I Failed a Pharmacology Test and Remembered What is Means to be a Disciple

Saturday, June 6, 2015

I just completed my second week of nursing school.

It was kind of awful.

I was feeling okay about everything until we had our first pharmacology class and I became completely overwhelmed.

Today I took my first pharmacology test online. And I failed it. Like bombed it.

I cried. I emailed my instructor. I texted some friends. I questioned my decision to go back to school.

I went to noon mass. I was reading This Tremendous Lover beforehand and learning about how Christ is our food and supplement. The author explained that Jesus completes us in whatever way we need, but that the saints asked for more-they gave themselves entirely, good, bad, or in between-hoping to have the Eucharist in place of themselves. Instead of holding on to what was "good" and asking Jesus to fill the rest, they saw that only Jesus mattered, and in their "nothingness" they asked Jesus to be theirs totally.

I thought about my pharm test. I prayed an honest, genuine prayer. "I can't do this." This is probably the prayer I prayed most frequently as a missionary. "Jesus, I can't do this, but You can."

When I was fundraising my salary, it was extremely evident that I could not do it. I knew there was no way that I, on my own, could convince people to financially support the biggest adventure of my life. But the Holy Spirit could work in their hearts as I spoke in their living rooms. When I met with students from before breakfast until after night prayer, it was clear that I had nothing to give. I needed Jesus to do it. And the full days when I knelt before the Tabernacle before bed, empty, with nothing left to give were the most satisfying.

Working at Panda didn't really make me realize how much I needed Jesus. I have been blessed with a hunger for learning and the desire to succeed my whole life, so school has always been my thing. It is easy for me to think about how I have things under control and know what to do.

So today when I went to mass, I put everything on the altar. That pharm test that I failed. The lab quiz that I aced. The girls I'm friends with. The girls I'm not friends with yet. When I was a missionary, I didn't want to do anything that didn't belong to Jesus. And I'm learning that nursing is going to be the same way.

At the end of the day, whether I'm a student or an RN, I hope to be empty because I have given everything to Jesus. At the end of the days, all that matters is that being a disciple means union with Christ-doing everything with Him and for Him.