When I was on my third year of my nursing training, I came home very exhausted from a long shift one night because I needed to stay in the hospital until half past midnight. My rotation was in the Delivery Room that time and the baby decided to come out at ten to twelve, which means I had to stay for the next thirty minutes to experience the joy of doing the aftercare, the fancy name for the set of tasks including (but not limited to) washing the instruments, scrubbing the sink, mopping the floor, disinfecting the boots and slippers. If you are (or were) a nursing student in the Philippines I’m sure you know how it feels. To make things more exciting, my group mates were already gone for some reason. So I was alone doing the thing, very delighted and walking round like a bear with a sore head.
It was half past midnight and I was sitting in front those three thick nursing books and a pile of notes and photocopies. I closed my eyes for a few seconds, taking slow deep breaths and doing my best to calm down.
I shouldn’t be panicking. I only had to do a few things:
1.) Study for a long exam in Maternal and Child Health Nursing. I just had to read five chapters and memorize all the terms in there.
2.) Study for another test on Medical-Surgical Nursing. I needed to read a few chapters as well.
3.) Study another exam in Psychiatric Nursing, and try to understand the concepts I’ve encountered for the first time and were a little bit complicated.
4.) Prepare for a test in Pharmacology. I needed to read two chapters which weren’t discussed yet and have to get my brains working to understand everything. Otherwise I could not write those short essays my teacher wanted to have as answer for his “just a few” questions.
5.) Finish the first draft of our research proposal. I already got a research problem but I still need to look for references and compose the first chapter. It needed at least five hours to do it.
I never felt so overwhelmed that night. I was so tired and sleepy and had to wake up at six in the morning (if I decide to sleep) because the first exam starts at seven thirty. All exams will happen on the same day and I wasn’t ready even if I have done my best.
It was 1:00AM and I was still on the second chapter of my Maternal and Child Health Nursing book. Then I asked myself: Kris, are you going to sleep?
I know I should be saying yes but I wanted to say no.
I never felt so helpless. So I decided to hold a pity party because I somehow failed my expectations on myself. I was supposed to be a good student. But how could I be a good student if I go to school totally unprepared? I was trying hard. Well, not hard enough. I was no longer gentle on myself.
Five minutes later, my eyes were brimming with tears.
I couldn’t help it.
Then I closed my book and started praying.
I said to God:
“I have given my best Lord but I haven’t even done half of the job I needed to finish. Even if I don’t sleep I still won’t have enough time to do everything. Have mercy on me! I don’t know how you are going to do it but please help me. I’m surrendering to you everything in me. I am anxious and worried about what will happen in the morning but I lay down all my worries at the foot of your cross. Lord, I’m crying out to you right now. I know you are listening to me.”
I went to bed feeling much better. I woke up at six and spent a few minutes of reading then went straight to school.
I do not know how to explain it but there was peace in my heart. I had this reassurance from the Lord that whatever may happen He will remain in me and sustain me. If I fail I was confident I could rise above all my failures and emerge victorious in the end.
It was a day full of tests. Literally, full of tests including my faith on Him. I studied every second I had, even during our meal break. After all, I could only study as much as I can. I couldn’t believe I survived that day.
My reasons for sharing to you this story is to demonstrate that when we have given our best, God can take care of whatever is left. He will do the very things that are beyond our strength and abilities if we come to Him and surrender everything to Him. He cares for us so deeply that He is willing to carry us when we are no longer able to stand. He will lift us up and bring to completion the good plans that He has started in us.
Isaiah 40:31 says:
“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
I passed the exam in Maternal and Child Health Nursing (not with a perfect score but good enough). The Pharmacology exam was moved the next day. The submission of research proposal was postponed. The test in Psychiatric Nursing didn’t happen because our teacher was unable to come to class for health reasons. I passed the Medical Surgical Nursing exam. I didn’t fall apart as I initially thought I would. I was strengthened instead. And saw the miracles take place right before my eyes.
How could I not praise the Lord for that?
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