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 KJV).
“Pam, Can you please see me after class?” asked 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 on night shift?”
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 recently 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 reviewed my classmate’s notes for the week I missed, but 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 taught the women’s Bible class weekly and children’s Bible Club every other week. I became ill because I did too much outside of schoolwork. 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. Throughout my career, I struggled with balancing worship and serving the Lord, working, maintaining my home, and getting enough rest and relaxation. As nurses, we are used to helping people. My automatic response is “yes”, but I slowly learned to say “no” if God did not give me peace about going forward.
Many times in my nursing career when I was totally exhausted, I cried out to God to strengthen me and asked Him to do my job through me, while leaning hard on Him. A favorite poem 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 My 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 (KJV)
“Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you.” I Peter 5:7 (KJV)