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.

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