I am relieved to have my interview for graduate school behind me. I will learn next week whether or not I am accepted, so the waiting which began last September is almost over. I hope my good grades in my first two courses at the State University help with my admission, but the competition is fierce with hundreds of nurses applying for only 15 positions.
Sadly, I received my rejection letter today. The Director of the graduate nursing program invited me to apply again next year because they currently have no room for more students. I feel like a total failure. It’s like preparing for the big game for nine months and then being thrown off the team or having the game canceled. Since I will probably never marry, I thought that I could develop my career, but that door appears closed. I haven’t had the courage to tell my parents or sister yet. I cried all day yesterday and today. I asked God to comfort me and show me what He wants me to do now.
“Make haste, O God, to deliver me; make haste to help me, O Lord.” Psalm 70:1 (KJV)
I attended a Bible seminar with ladies from church a few days after I received my rejection letter. One lady suggested I search for other MSN programs that offer the Nurse Practitioner track. I discovered a small private college starting a new Family Nurse Practitioner program closer to my home than the State University. I have not had any pediatric experience since I received my BSN other than volunteer camp nursing, but I could learn about it again. I decided to apply and I should learn in August whether or not they accept me. If they do, they will allow me to transfer the two courses I completed at the State University, so those courses would not be wasted. I should be able to complete my Master of Science in Nursing degree (MSN) in three years by taking two courses in the evening each semester while continuing to work full-time as a visiting nurse. My employer will continue to reimburse me for my tuition for two courses a semester as long as I receive an A or B grade. The price per course hour is the same as the State University. All my ambition for school has disappeared, so I really don’t care one way or the other.
Dear Lord, Please make my heart right concerning school if You want me to continue to study for my MSN. Amen.
I also finished an intense Spanish course at the local community college with an emphasis in medical Spanish. Some friends at church are fluent in Spanish, so they let me practice talking with them.
September 30, 1995
So much has happened since July. I was accepted at the College into the Family Nurse Practitioner program. My mother’s cancer spread to her liver last January, but her dying wish was to attend my brother’s August 20 wedding. His wedding was bittersweet since she barely could sit up in her wheelchair. My parents flew back to Florida where she died at home on August 28. I flew to her funeral and then started school as soon as I returned to New England. Some nights I can’t sleep and cry for hours. These feelings are so strange with the sorrow of missing her and yet joy in knowing that she is home with the Lord, rejoicing in Him and free of her old broken body. I miss hearing her voice and talking with her on the phone.
I started school the week after Mom died. I wasn’t sure I could concentrate enough because of my grief, but somehow, God is giving me strength and concentration. I like it much better than the State University. My wonderful statistics instructor makes this complex course crystal clear. Hopefully, I won’t fall asleep in statistics class this time like I did 22 years ago when I took it for my BSN. We solve problems on the computer with a 5-inch floppy disc that corresponds to our textbook. I thank the Lord for providing my personal computer at home so I don’t have to do all my homework on campus.
January 1, 1996
“That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death…I follow after.” Philippians 3: 10, 12. “Man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.” Isaiah 53:3. “The Lord is near unto those who are of a broken heart…None of them who trust in Him shall be desolate.” Psalm 34:18, 22
As I reflect on 1995, I believe it was my year to become acquainted with sorrow. It was one year ago yesterday that Mom found out her cancer had spread to her liver. I thank God for the work He has done in my heart this past year through my new friend, Sorrow. It is an acquaintance I would not have chosen voluntarily, but God chose this friend to press me closer to His heart and make me more sensitive to others who are sorrowing.
I thank God for helping me complete my two courses in graduate school with good grades. I was amazed that I received one of the highest grades in Statistics, my old foe. How I praise God for His help in this challenging class.
I also met with the Dean and found out it will take me four more years of attending school part-time before I can complete my MSN degree. I have now completed three semesters. I’m not sure I have the strength and ambition to attend eight more semesters, so I will take it one day at a time and trust the Lord.
“No good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly.” Psalm 84:11 (KJV)
Dear Lord, I commit this New Year to You. Cause me to know You better and follow You. Amen.
So ended my year of rejection, acceptance, and sorrow, a most challenging year. Since then I have learned God always uses the most difficult times in my life to cause me to lean harder on Him and grow in His grace as I experience His loving kindness and strength in a new and more profound way. I pray you may be encouraged to draw near to Him if you are going through such a time as this today.