Destination: Clemson University
Total Miles: 36.5 (one-way)
Total Cost: approximately $23,500
Ten years ago on May 9, 2004, I wrote a letter for my high school senior English class...a letter to myself. Five years to the day, I graduated with my Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Bob Jones University.
Trust me. No where in my high school letter was any mention of graduate school. Anywhere.
It's a long story that is filled with tears and much prayer.
|(Joel and I, friends since |
the undergrad days and
still friends as we pursue
graduate degrees in
nursing~CRNA and FNP)
some of the lowest passing grades in undergrad among my class. I have a very healthy dislike for science (and a VERY healthy respect for it!), and it was a miracle that I graduated five years ago...and I very distinctly remember as I walked out of the FMA that I was never going back for grad school. Ever.
Yet, five years later...the Lord has a sense of humor.
A little over three years ago (has it really been that long?!), I began to seek where the Lord would place me next. I will be very open and candid with you: I had never expected to be turning 25 and be single and in the States. In fact, it was one of the last places I wanted to be. As the official middle-of-my-twenties approached, I began to question the path I was on.
I prayed and sought the Lord's will for the future. And while I cannot say at what exact moment I realized that He was directing me back to school, I do know that when I discussed the possibility with my parents, my dad was literally speechless and my mom fell out of her chair.
After some personal struggling, I sought out a school for midwifery and applied. During the application process, it was made clear that I would not be accepted into their graduate program because I had not graduated from an ''accredited'' BSN program. I was a little taken aback...I knew the Lord wanted me to pursue a degree that would further my abilities to work in foreign countries. This school had seemed the perfect fit. Yet, a rejection was not what I had planned.
After talking with several friends, I decided to apply at Clemson University. I usually procrastinate on everything, but I finished my application and had everything turned in almost a month before it was due.
And they lost my paperwork. Twice. (and people wonder why I procrastinate!)
After waiting for almost 7 months with almost no communication, I gave up hope that this was really the path God wanted me to follow. I applied for some traveling companies and started pursuing that path.
One week later, I received an acceptance email from Clemson which was quickly followed by a letter of acceptance.
From there, life became a little more crazy...I suddenly went from a life of travel and living debt-free to juggling a night shift schedule with classes and a huge bill every semester.
There were many ups and downs...trying to remember how to study, meeting a whole new group of people, writing papers out the wadzu, buying books...trying to flip from nights to days and back again several times a week...and trying to maintain a semblance of a social life and some sanity.
Many people have asked how I did it. Honestly...with the Lord's help one day at a time.
In spite of the craziness, I have never once regretted following this path. The journey, though long and winding (and expensive!), has been one of faith.
I have cried. I have laughed. I have made new friends. I have learned
so much. And I am looking forward to where the Lord puts me next.
As I was hooded during nursing convocation and then later received my diploma, I was reminded of a song that I have sung in choir:
"We walk by faith and not by sight, led by God's pure and holy Light.
Prepare us for the journey, Lord, and may we know Your power and might as we walk by faith and not by sight."
|Clemson Lampost Moment|
|Chenille and I|
|Thomas and I after graduation! We made it!!!!|
|Thomas and I during graduation|
-Got to love alphabetical order!
|Can't believe it's done!|
|My beautiful sister, Charity, who has supported me through it all!|
|A true fortune!|
|The Diploma (that's one expensive paper!)|
|Chenille and I...|
we made it!
|Baby Lizzie's bib: |
"My Aunt is the Best!"