Your Will, Your Way

“You have come so far. You have learned to let go of what was not good for you. You have learned to step out of the boundaries of your worries, believing that in time, it all would be woven together beautifully. It has not been an easy road, but it has opened your eyes to all of the possibilities of what this life could be, even in your uncertainty.”
-MHN

Graduating from college, I had a plan for my life. A typical conversation between God and I consisted of me telling Him what I wanted His will to be for my life ranging from who I wanted to date and potentially marry to where I wanted Him to call me. It was His will, my way. That didn’t quite work out for me. 29 months ago, my world was turned upside down. My life plan completely changed…

Shortly after my accident, I was thankful God saved my life, but I couldn’t see how this life could possibly be good. I fought with God on how this life could possibly be His will. Those were some dark days, but GOD, in His mercy, used the messiness of my story in Ukraine. Then, looking back, I could see how He has redeemed my story for His glory.

More recently, I was amazed again by how God loves each and every one of us. (I really should stop being amazed by how God uses the worst time if my life for his glory.) One of the students at the school received a brain injury when he was little. I was giving him his medication, and I just offhandedly mentioned that I take the same medication that he does. I received a message for his mom saying that she thinks he finally realized that he’s not alone.

I was blown away by God.

God didn’t cause my accident, but He loved that boy enough to place me at the school to help him not feel alone. When I look back on the last 29 months, I can see a lot of those “coincidences” or “God moments”.

Given the multitude of “God moments” recently, I have realized that my story isn’t over.  I was ecstatic about anchoring myself to Mansfield, my family, my boyfriend, and my friends.

Then, the Dominican Republic happened.

I felt, more than once, confirmation of the fact that missions are in my life plan in some capacity. I mean, I got to stitch up a goat. Besides the fact that I got to stitch up a goat, which is a first for me, I used my right hand. My right hand is the hand I still have trouble with, but it was further confirmation that my story is far from over. My nurse life is far from over.

As I’m processing this, I don’t know that God would have moved so swiftly in getting me an opportunity for a medical/surgical fellowship at OhioHealth here if he intended me to move to the DR. Also, God is a good father, so he wouldn’t have given me confirmation of my dream of overseas missions if He didn’t intend that to be part of my story.

So here I am, learning to hold my plans loosely and trusting that the One who holds my heart has plans to honor the dreams He has instilled in my heart. Here I am, learning to anchor myself to the people that mean a lot to me right here. Here’s to me, striving and thriving, as I learn to live life with God in the drivers seat-His Will, His Way.

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Choose Joy

I lost my joy. I am not ashamed to admit it.

A couple weeks ago, I realized that I wouldn’t return to floor nursing as soon as I thought. I could push to return, but it wouldn’t be smart to rush my healing. It hit me hard.

Like really hard.

I picture floor nursing as normal. That, in my head, was the defining factor of being a nurse. That’s what everyone I graduated with is doing. However twisted or false the thought was, I thought floor nursing makes someone a nurse. I hadn’t even been a nurse, a floor nurse, for 6 months.

I lost the will to fight. I thought, “If I can’t be normal, why even try.”

The only reason I made it this far was that I was a fighter. If I couldn’t do something, I would try again until I got it. I was determined.

So when I lost the will to fight, I got more irritable and grumpy. I used the word “stuck” in reference to staying in Mansfield. I lost my joy.

I wrote things because I know I used to believe it or I should believe it, but I didn’t. I hoped by writing them, they would sink into my heart.

I keep saying I won’t be normal again. I wasn’t normal before my accident. I grew up in Africa so that makes me different. Normal is overrated anyway. I won’t be the same Sara I was before my accident, but I’m still Sara. I may have different strengths and hardships, that is inevitable, but I’m alive. I am still making progress. My rehab doctor says it takes about two years for the brain to fully heal.

I’m only 6 months into a 24 months period. I have made a ton of progress, but I still have a long way to go.  

Today, I decided to fight. I gained back my will to fight. My brother says, “Those who say they can and those who say they can’t are both right”. If I have the attitude that I won’t do it, then I won’t return to floor nursing. And maybe I won’t return, but at least I’ll go down fighting.

So I’ve decided to choose joy. Joy is not happiness. Joy is not an emotion, it’s a choice. Joy is believing that God is in control and that God is good. It is to base your joy on something that is eternal.

I choose joy. I’ve decided to get my joy back.

Especially when it’s hard, I need to choose joy. It will not always be easy to choose joy. It is easier to sit in my bed, moping about the fact that I won’t return to floor nursing as fast as I hoped. But, that is not beneficial to me or the people around me.

That doesn’t mean I’m always happy. This is definitely not how I pictured my life going. There are plenty of times where I yell at God, and wondering why me.

I choose joy because regardless of how I feel, I know that God is good. I just lost sight of that for a moment.

Even when it feels so far away, I choose joy.