The gift of memory and the ability to remember is truly amazing. I recently wrote an article on how the mind, as the most magnificent of computers, goes to work when it hears a “lost” name or event, pulling a lifetime of memories, one at a time, from the hidden depths of our brain. You can read that article here. One word triggers an enormous overflow of memories. Perhaps you are hearing over and over a negativity to all your dreams and plans. Ask God to open doors for you, to sustain you, to guide you in fulfilling your calling or living your dreams. Please don’t stress. When all the doors seem to close in your face, choose Hope.
A Door Closing on a Dream
One of those incidents flooded my own mind this weekend. An incident from 72 years ago came alive upon hearing of a young man’s questionable health preventing his nomination to a coveted position. Suddenly, my mind returned to a physical exam clearance required of me upon entering the professional School of Nursing that I had chosen. We had already moved into the dorm, and were attending all the required sessions and tours. One by one we were called out for a physical clearance. In retrospect, this requirement was probably in order to prevent the hospital from investing too much time and money into a student who might not be able to handle the strenuous demands, both physically and mentally.
At this point, let me point out that I graduated with honors from high school at age 15. I immediately went to work in the small hospital in my hometown, and lived in a room on the second floor of the rather large clinic. Many single nurses of all ages lived there, took their meals in the hospital dining room, and embraced a life of their own choice. It was a rather daunting environment for me. My meals and laundry were furnished, as well as the room and board. I saved every dime I made those 15 months and was able to pay my way through my freshman year at Hardin-Simmons University the following year. At 16, I was still too young to be accepted into the nursing program. The following year, after again working every day off and in the summer, excelling, and by now feeling like an experienced woman of the world at 17, I entered the nursing school program. I was ebullient.
It was then that the aforementioned physical exam was required. The first doctor, listening with his stethoscope, shook his head and interrogated me regarding past health Yes, I had been subject to frequent tonsillitis as a child. This was before penicillin. Dad would get the local druggist, Mr. Shipp (my dad’s doctor, LOL) to treat me – mostly mopping my throat twice a day with iodine. I recall several bouts of high fever accompanying a painful sore throat. However, by my teens, I no longer hosted these events, instead enjoyed exceptionally good health and an abundance of energy.
The cardiologist then entered the exam room, and soon told me that I had a heart murmur, and that I would likely be subject to complications from any and all illnesses, etc. etc. etc. It would be wise for the hospital to reject my admission. After all that I had done to get this far, just like that – were my dreams going to be vanquished? I had dreamed of medical school, but that was far out of the question financially with no backing in 1950. Hope sustained me.
Suddenly, I was a verbal and assertive 17-year-old, desperate to be admitted. I boldly presented my past history of daily hard work on hospital floors, of very rarely having even a cold, of a strong work ethic and determination. They left the exam room slowly, and I waited, terrified that I would be rejected. When they returned, I was given the go ahead for full admission, “In spite of our concerns.” I rejoiced as I praised God for this reprieve. The doors were again open.
Fast forward three years. A certain number of clinical hours on active hospital duty, rotating through the various disciplines, was required before the title of “Graduate Nurse” could be conferred. This was prior to the State Board Exams conferring Registered Nurse titles. Theoretically, one could finish all requirements prior to graduation, and it was a race to the end for several, pushing to finish first, to wear the graduate uniform and cap, and win the honor. It was I who finished first in our class, because of a stellar work attendance. Not a really big deal in the long run; however, to me with the challenge, it was an exclamation point to my school career. I did, however, also have the highest GPA in the graduating class that year. Just saying.
Never give up a dream without giving it all you have.
Determination, prayer, hard work and just hitting the floor running can reveal the parted waters that God has made for you. Inner strength, conferred by a loving Lord, leads us to be caring, productive, and recognized in our calling. God wants you to flourish, to succeed in your calling, to be his hands and feet to the best of your ability.
Now, recall the stories of your past.
You were successful. You won some races. Draw upon those memories to bolster and sustain you when a challenge appears. No matter what the subject or how high the mark, remember your History, your History with God, your history of a work ethic, your gift of determination. And help someone else along the way with an extended arm, a shared Christian faith, and a smile of encouragement.
It’s a challenging world out there.
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10.
With that promise from God, let us put on our armor, and with great energy move toward our goals. Our strength comes from the Lord God. Let us not be defeated or stressed as we run our race.
Watch the video Great News on this page. Hope is offered. Help is near. We can depend on our living Lord and Savior through it all. The Door to forgiveness, salvation, and eternal life is open wide. The price for our forgiveness has been paid by the Lord Jesus Christ.