A few weeks ago, I went out to dessert with one of my best friends in all the world. We used to be roommates but then she met the love of her life, got engaged, then married, and I moved back home with my parents. We were sitting in a delightful restaurant, savoring our tasty treats, sipping on coffee, and doing what ladies do best-chatting the night away. As we caught up on life, I had the opportunity to share with her what God had been teaching me lately: “Water your own grass.”
Before you write me off as a weirdo, hear me out. Perhaps I’ll start at the beginning …
In June of this year, I graduated from nursing school. My friends and family remember how I would agonize over applications, spent countless hours studying for my prerequisites, pursued a different degree in the meanwhile. However, I kept returning to this dream of mine. Over the span of 6 years, I applied to 15 programs in hopes of getting into one. In the spring of 2010, I was working at the Paper Zone, happened to check my email on the back computer, and saw a strange email from OHSU. I had gotten in! It was the first of many moments I felt one step closer to attaining my goal of becoming a nurse. Most nursing programs are 2-2.5 years long; OHSU was 3. So I stepped out in faith, told God I knew His timing was good. I had waited 6 years to get into school, what was another 3? I soaked up every moment of nursing school and rejoiced over every milestone: I gave my first shot! I put in an IV! I relished in my opportunities, and for the first time in my life, I saw God’s plan start to unfold. Every class I had taken in nursing school resembled some sort of class I had taken in my previous degrees. I balanced school, work, church, friends, travel. I rarely felt stressed or burdened. It was exactly the type of program God knew I could flourish in. The years flew by, as they often do, and I wore my cap and gown proudly as I walked across the stage and accepted my diploma holder (the real deal was mailed a few weeks later). I made some wonderful friends, I saw myself turn 28, and felt no longer like I was a girl, but a young woman, with a sense of accomplishment. I was eager to begin my career.
It is now November. I am a Registered Nurse. I passed my NCLEX (national nursing boards) 3 weeks after I signed up for the test, in the least amount of questions possible. I thought surely God would reward my patience with a full-time nursing job. Boy, oh boy, was I mistaken. I worked for a few weeks giving immunizations to patients. That ended. I have applied to many, many jobs. I have been interviewed 7 times. Each time, I gain more confidence. I no longer fear rejection. In some ways, I expect it. I am becoming resilient. Soon enough, I will find employment. It’s coming, I know it is.
I provided this background with a purpose. In my waiting upon employment, God has been fiercely pursing my heart. He has affirmed my identity not in being a student, or even now a nurse. He has defined me as His. How crazy, wonderful, and beautiful! I have faced anxiety, fear, and rejection head-on, and instead of curling up in a ball, crying my eyes out, I fixate on the fact that God has been doing all of this with a greater plan in mind. I am sure of it. So sure, in fact, that I wanted to share how good God has been, and is being in my life, in my waiting upon Him.
I know He is telling me to water my own grass (because the grass is NOT always greener somewhere else- it’s green where it is watered and cultivated). He has provided me the opportunity to babysit on quite a few occasions now for friends on a budget. He knew my Mum would be having an extensive back surgery, and would require extra help at home during recovery. He knew my brother and sister-in-law needed a familiar face in New Jersey, where they are strangers in a new state, with few friends. He knew that I needed time with Him to dig into His word and bury it in my heart. Do you sense a pattern here? He KNEW.
It says in the Bible, Psalm 139:17 “How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!” God is thinking about me all the time. Even when I feel like His voice is quiet, and there seems to be no direction from the Holy Spirit, He is thinking about me.
So as I am watering my own grass, cultivating my thoughts, hopes, and dreams, I am encouraged to press on, seek God, and rest in the peace that there is Someone thinking about me, loving me even when I’m unworthy of that kind of love.
I hope you find this encouraging, especially if you happen to be in a time of waiting. God loves you dearly, and wants you to use your time of uncertainty devoting yourself to Him, serving His people, and finding joy in the little things.