I was driving home from work last night and listening to my favorite Highland Park Writers Collective CD (Tearing Down. Buy it. Listen to it. Love it.) when the song “Watch” came on. My mind’s eye ripped me from December 2013 to December 2012. I’m still in my car, but it’s day time and I’m whizzing around the corner headed home from school, not work. The same song is playing.
Silently my soul will wait/For you alone to come and save/Though I cannot see the end/I know you’re working out your plan./You’re my stronghold/You’re my only hope/I lift my prayer to you/my God who’s near to me.
Class is done for the semester. I’m not signed up for the next semester because I’m dead broke and I don’t have a job. I don’t know how I’m going to even pay my cell phone bill and car insurance, much less pay my parents back for my car. The only way I can describe the feelings I felt that day is complete and utter hopelessness.
The song reminded me that God is in control even when it’s hopeless. That God takes care of His children. God fulfills His promises.
So I bawled my eyes out.
New Years eve 2012 I had no idea how many blessings God was waiting to pour out on me or how faithful He would be in the storms. This list is by no means comprehensive, but here are ten things that happened in 2013:
1. I got a job.
January 15th, 2013 I started working at WCC. I could go on forever about how this job has been God’s blessing in my life. I learn so much there. I have made wonderful relationships with people. I’ve grown as an individual and as a worker because frankly, it’s hard. WCC opened the door for a second job. I earned my medication aide certification through WCC. I was able to watch the changing of a wound vac. If that isn’t the coolest thing I’ve ever observed I really don’t know what is. I’ve met a lot of wonderful people, but I’ve said goodbye to just as many. I felt complete joy when I watched a stroke patient walk again and I felt utter sorrow when months later that same person walked for the last time. You live and die a million times in a year at a nursing home.
2. I read nine non-fiction books.
I know all y’all had high hopes for me to get to twelve. I had high hopes for me as well, but alas. Here I’ll list the books I read and give one word to describe my reaction to them.
January: Francis Chan Forgotten God: Revolutionary
February: C.S. Lewis Surprised by Joy: The Shape of my Early Life: Interesting
March: Max Lucado When God Whispers Your Name: Over-simplified
April: C.S. Lewis The Problem of Pain: Hard
May: C.S. Lewis The Great Divorce: Provocative
June: C.S. Lewis The Four Loves: Challenging
July: Paul Tournier Guilt and Grace: Mindf- (Seriously. Read it.)
August: Paul Tournier To Understand Each Other: Extraneous (But truly genius.)
September: Walter A. Henrichson Disciples are Made, Not Born: Educational
Needless to say, the textbooks didn’t teach me a fraction of what those other books did.
3. I found a church
In December 2012 I felt God leading me to find a new church to attend as an adult. I had thought I’d found a good place to be in January, but after getting into my routine at work I found that only going to church every other week wasn’t good for my spiritual health. One Saturday night after work I texted a good friend of mine asking if his church had an evening service. His response: “It just started, if you hurry you can make it in time for the sermon!” I’ve been going there ever since.
4. I went on a date
For most people this really isn’t a big deal, but yes. It was kind of a significant moment in my life for one reason only: I started to question what I want. I started to seriously think about the type of person I want to spend my life with. I also started to seriously question the institution of marriage. A year ago I was sold on the whole happily ever after thing, but a today I couldn’t be in a more different spot. Marriage is great, but it’s probably not in my near future. I like being single. A lot. A lot a lot a lot.
5. I scheduled an appointment with my dream school
After two years of dreaming and wishing and hoping I finally gritted my teeth and set up an appointment to get information about admissions to my dream nursing school. The result? Two weeks later I signed a contract saying that if I fulfilled a list of parameters(primary of which is that I keep my cumulative GPA above 3.8) then I would have guaranteed admissions at my choice of campus fall 2015. I missed the first appointment. I almost didn’t reschedule. I almost didn’t go to the appointment. I almost didn’t check my high school GPA to see if I qualified for the honors admissions program because I doubted it was good enough. I almost lost it after one semester because of the ridiculously high GPA requirement. But God is faithful.
6. I went out of my comfort zone with my personal ministry
When Kim Havenstein called me and asked if I wanted to lead a freshman women’s bible study my first thought was “I can’t. I really just can’t.” I had just gotten in my car after work. Kim called at the beginning of the 20 minute drive. I told her I’d pray about it. By the time I reached home God had given me His answer. I’m pretty sure I’ve learned more from that study than my girls.
7. God reminded me of who I am
and as a result I’m filling out an intimidating 13 page trip application.
8. God loaded my bank account
At the beginning of the semester I was resigning myself to either another semester off or a small loan for Spring 2014. My agreement with dream nursing school took the semester off out of the picture. Yet somehow I have a month and a half to come up with roughly the amount I’m expecting on my tax return. How? I would say I’m working my butt off, but I know it’s bigger than that. Yes I’m working my butt off, but God definitely had his hand on even that because even though I was taking roughly the equivalent of 20 credit hours as well as working 15-20 hours a week while maintaining a piano student
9. I only got sick one day out of the whole semester
If this isn’t a miracle I don’t know what is.
But this semester hasn’t been completely healthy. If I’m being completely honest, dear readers, you should know
10. I relapsed
And I’m going to lay down my pride here and say I need help. I’m crabby and hungry and stuffed and annoyed and fat and thin and nauseated and dizzy and I can’t do it by myself anymore. Help.