College Freshman – May, 1974
“He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might He increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary…” Isaiah 40:29-30
“Pam, Can you please see me after class?” announced my statistics professor. I nervously approached Professor L. who had shared at the beginning of the quarter with the class that he was a Christian. (He was the only professor in my four years of college who claimed to be a Christian.) He said, “I noticed you have been falling asleep in class. Do you have a job where you work at night?”
I explained that I worked ten hours weekly at the main library. The statistics class was from 4-5 pm Monday-Friday when I was most weary. I had also just missed a week of class because I was sick with the flu. We reviewed my midterm grades of 96% (A) on the first one and 6% (F) on the second one. I had never failed a test before and was horrified when I saw the F! I had reviewed my classmate’s notes for the week I missed, but I guess I didn’t understand the material. He kindly said, “Pam, get a tutor to review the material before the final exam. If you do well on the final exam and remaining quizzes, I will drop your F on the midterm now that I understand your circumstances”. I thanked him profusely for his consideration and advice.
In addition to working and taking classes, I was teaching the women’s Bible class weekly and children’s Bible Club every other week. It was no surprise that I became ill, because I was simply doing too much! I found someone else to teach the Bible clubs, found a tutor, and did my best on the statistics final exam. In June, I apprehensively opened my grades when they arrived in the mail. B in statistics!!! Thank You, Lord, for your grace and strength! My courses this quarter were: statistics – 5 hours, chemistry- 5 hours, violin lessons – 1 hour, logic – 5 hours, tennis – 1 hour.
So ended my freshman year of college. It still remains a constant balancing act between worshiping and serving the Lord, working, maintaining my home, and getting enough rest and relaxation. I ask the Lord daily to help me put Him first and do all things for His glory and honor while resting and delighting in Him. When people ask me to do something, I pray about it first and ask the Lord what He wants me to do. As nurses, we are used to always helping people and our automatic response is “Yes”. But I have slowly learned over the years to say “No” if God does not give me peace about going forward.
Many times in my nursing career when I have been totally exhausted, I have cried out to God to strengthen me and ask Him to do my job through Me, while leaning hard on Him. A favorite poem of mine is “Lean Hard“.
Child of My love, Lean Hard, and let Me feel the pressure of thy care;
I know thy burden, child, I shaped it; Poised it in Mine own hand, made no proportion
In its weight to thine unaided strength. For even as I laid it on, I said,
I shall be near, and while he leans on Me, This burden shall be Mine, not his;
So shall I keep My child within the circling arms of My own love.
Here lay it down, nor fear to impose it on a shoulder
Which upholds the government of worlds.
Yet closer come; Thou are not near enough; I would embrace thy care
So I might feel My child reposing on My breast. Thou lovest Me? I knew it.
Doubt not then; but loving Me, Lean Hard.
“Cast thy burden upon the Lord and He shall sustain thee.” Psalm 55:22
“Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you.” I Peter 5:7