Tonight, I decided to take a little break from studying for my finals while I eat my dinner. I’m curled up on the couch with my favorite blanket and a bowl of chili, perfect for this cold rainy night. Earlier today while I was sorting through some notes I came across four little pieces of paper from an exercise one of my professors had us complete earlier in the semester. We were to write our greatest accomplishment, biggest dream, prized possession, and a loved one. One at a time we were to crumple up the piece of paper representing the loss of that dream, accomplishment, object, or person in the order of which we would want to lose them.
Nursing school was my greatest accomplishment and the first paper I crumpled. While I love nursing school and very much feel that this is where the Lord has led me and is sustaining me, it’s not the end all. While some days I feel like this is where my identity is found because of how demanding it is, I try to daily remind myself that my identity is not found in being a nursing student. It’s an easy go to answer when people ask how I am or how my life is going. It’s easy to get caught up in the stress and chaos of studying, going from clinical to clinical, and in maintaining grades. It’s easy to isolate yourself because your friends and family outside of the program don’t quite understanding how physically and emotionally demanding this whole process is. That’s why I’m giving it up.
In reality this career choice is not for myself. It’s not for my parents. It’s not even for my patients. It’s for my King.
The Lord is the one who has placed this desire in my heart and if He asked me to give it up, I would. While that probably sounds crazy, even to me, I at no point want to be outside of His will for my life. If this isn’t for me, my identity shouldn’t be found in it. My identity should be found in the one who is it for, my King.
So, if you want to know what’s really going on in my life, here it is. I’m a daughter of the King. Loved and cherished by Jesus. I’m growing spiritually. My favorite part of my day is my daily morning quiet time. I’m learning and falling more in love with Jesus daily. I have good and bad days. I have days where I cry and I have days where I dance around my living room while singing to the top of my lungs. I have days where I eat grilled chicken and days where I eat cookies and queso. I have days where I see improvements in my patients and days where I hold their hand while they are dying. I have days where I trust and days where I try to take over.
This semester has changed me. It’s impossible to go through this and not change. It’s changed the way I look at people. It’s changed the way I view life and death. It’s forced me to prioritize family, friends, and school, and sometimes I don’t choose right. It’s teaching me that self care is so important. I’ve gained 10 pounds this semester, yikes. I’m learning to take time for myself, to cook healthy meals, and to take some time away from my books to clear my head. It’s taught me to delight in and stay surrendered to Jesus.
While I’m not dropping out of nursing school (even though I claim I am on a weekly basis), I’m dropping the identity of nursing student. I’m refocusing my mind to my dream, that other’s see Jesus in me. What an incredible opportunity the Lord has given me to be able to show Him to others through nursing; every day being able to be the hands and feet of Jesus to the sick and hurting.
I’m not Sarah, a nursing student.
I’m Sarah, chosen daughter of the King, brought to fullness in Christ. (Colossians 2:10)
I encourage you to give up whatever you’re tempted to find your identity in, too. To refocus your heart to live out the calling He has placed on your life, not because that’s where your identity is found, but because that’s where He has placed you to best glorify Himself through you.
“Christ is most glorified in me when I am most satisfied in Him.” -John Piper