Having been almost two years since my last blog post, it feels like a lot has happened. But in many ways I still feel like the girl who, back on American soil, got emotional about African dirt on her Chacos and wondered “what am I supposed to do now?”
I’m a few months away from finishing my education as a nurse-midwife. What a relief it will be – but terrifying almost at the same time! Almost like catching my first baby – you want so much for the experience to arrive and pass but you’re also terrified of doing something wrong or for something to go not quite as expected. For so long (really, it’s only 3 years) I have been working towards this goal of becoming a midwife. Now I’m faced with the question: “And then what?”
That question, of course, brings up all sorts of other questions. Where will I work? Will I actually go? …to Africa? Or some other continent? Or will my life end up looking completely different than I thought? For right now, these questions end with me taking a big sigh and resolving to have peace in the not knowing. For right now, I have peace that none of these questions need to be answered, and especially not by me, thank goodness.
Life lately seems like a lesson in patience, in taking the small and big things of life and releasing my grip on them, reminding myself that God is in control, and turning my palms open back to Him. The bigger challenge for me, though, is to not release these things like a child begrudgingly, wishing I could hold on instead and resenting that I cannot. There is joy in the giving over of all these things and I have been trying to find it and keep it!
Today I faced yet another delay in getting my Georgia nursing license, which will allow me to move to my next clinical site. After 4 and 1/2 months in Waynesboro, TN where I was blessed to learn under amazing midwives in a birth center, my next stop is Athens, GA. In Athens, I’m looking forward to helping catch lots of babies at a busy hospital midwifery practice. (Of course, I’m also a little terrified, too, to go to a big fancy hospital with a much faster pace than the birth center. Terrified seems to be a recurring theme… :))
I’ve basically been in a holding pattern here in Olive Branch, Mississippi thinking that each day is going to be the day I get this Georgia license and can pack my car up, move there, and get started. So, each day when that does not happen, I have to relearn patience and joy. But I am blessed to be able to be here with family and enjoy time with them. And I’m blessed to have a flexible job that has plenty of work for me to do to keep busy (and earn a living) while I’m in town!
I am also blessed to serve a God who has “unlimited patience” (1 Timothy 1:16) and continues to forgive, strengthen, and encourage. I would be so lost without Him. So, tomorrow, when I wake up and I’m still waiting, I’ll practice turning my palms back up towards Him, learn (again) that I’m not in control and trust that He knows best. And I’ll look for the joy that is in Him and through Him.