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Trusting, you led me thus far.

I was a highly sensitive child. Not the crybaby type but in the clinical sense. My surrounding affected me because of limited filters, touch, sight, and smell were all acute. It was exhausting so I would often seek the quiet of my room to withdraw and retank. This wasn‘t easily done in a family of ten.

To put it into perspective, I remember a day long gone, when I sat at the end of our sidewalk, looking across the field at a tree-lined street, thinking how beautiful it was, the lighting, the color, the warmth, how lovely. And I began to weep. Not because of the beauty but because I was overwhelmed by a sadness of impending change. The march of time would remove this perfect spot. Ten years or less, and it would be gone. I was eight.

He will direct your paths.

Just as sensitive to my surroundings, I was aware of my name and its meaning. From the masculine root defender, and helper of mankind. My resolve was to live up to that namesake.
At the age of ten, I knew about the disease cancer, how difficult, diverse and deadly it was. I wanted to do something about it. I wanted to help people with cancer, to live, to ease the suffering, or to die with dignity. And so began my first recollection of the journey on this path.

In Highschool I did well, graduating in the top 10 of my class. I was eager to go to the State University. I applied for a new (at the time) degree and began my studies to become a Physicians Assistant. My sights were set high, my ambitions too, but I didn‘t heed my parent‘s warning about taking on too many classes my first semester, and I failed miserably. This proved to be a downfall for any future plans as a PA. My grades weren‘t up to par.

A New Path

After speaking with my career advisor about changing my direction I continued working toward my Bachelor of Science degree. My option was to apply for the School of Nursing. I had mixed feelings. Call it pride, call it selfishness or my foolishness. I couldn‘t backtrack. Was it the loss of prestige? Was it my shame for not listening to my parent‘s sage advice? Whatever it was, it was foolishness in the end. My application for Nursing School was returned with a rejection letter. The school was full.

Two years! I spent two years at the university and had signed a contract with some friends to live off campus for the coming semester. What was I to do? Now, I no longer had a school to go to. I could continue to take classes toward my degree, but without a school, it would only be a bachelor’s degree. Crying out to the Lord, I asked what direction he wanted me to go. Then, I had a long talk with my parents. It was summer vacation and my father advised me to apply to other Nursing Schools so I wouldn‘t lose time. It would mean change. I didn‘t like change. But I knew he was right. I prayed again, trusting God would lead me. And so I began searching for other Nursing programs.

A Summer of Change

At the end of the second term, I was asked by the director to return as a counselor at a Baptist Bible Camp. When I was young, I had attended and drawn closer to God, later becoming a Christian at the University. I said yes. I knew this was a path the Lord wanted me to take, even though I was no longer sure about my career future.

The camp was the last week of summer vacation. I had to pack all my school belongings to take with me and return to what I thought would be my last term at the university. I also would have to find someone to replace me in our house, and I still had to send out my school applications. It all was too much. I packed my car with a heavy heart.

The day before I left, I got a phone call. It was the School of Nursing from the University. They had several cancellations and wondered if I still wanted to apply. With a resounding yes, and an extremely grateful heart, I wrote down all the information I needed. I would have to send my application in while I was at the camp, but no matter. I was so happy. What a joy it was to share with the kids and the other counselors at camp about God‘s faithfulness, his guidance, and provision. It made a profound impact on my career. I went on to become a cancer nurse.

‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. ‘

Proverbs 3:5-6

Sandra Lynn Kern
6 Jan 2018

I am writing this as part of a 31 Day writing challenge by Jeff Goins. You can read my previous blog post Killing the Author Of Life