I am so excited to be back! You have no clue! As you may or may not know I have been trying to finish up school which would sometimes take me away from so much. When I get focused on a goal I have to finish it, and this was the last lap so I wanted to finish strong! This has been a 6 year long journey, with MAJOR twist and turns, but we made it, thank you God! I say we because it took a village…my whole family to be exact. They provided encouragement, prayers, love, support, a stern voice, a kind hug, and not to mention a WHOLE BUNCH OF MONEY! Even with all the highs, semi-highs and extreme lows I thank God for how much it has grown me up in maturity and well as in spirit. I have no doubt that my time in school drew me nearer to God, because let’s face it…I NEEDED HIM!
I just wanted to simply come on and give a small snippet of my journey through college, mainly while I was in graduate school (that’s where I REALLY met Jesus), in hopes that you will somehow and in someway be encouraged to hang on!
This is a picture of me in undergrad having a study session for Physics (Hey Kendra! Hey Cayla! lol) This was the beginning of the battle against my struggle with depression. Although, I was attending church regularly at this time I was also partying and drinking a whole lot more (which we will discuss in a different blog). I’m by no means glorifying what I was doing but, I said that to say I hadn’t surrendered my heart to God, let alone my life. Even though, I felt him tugging on my heart, I couldn’t understand. I was tore up y’all…but at this point I didn’t know to what extent.
This is after “undergrad” when I applied and was accepted into Occupational Therapy School. THIS IS WHERE THE STRUGGLE BEGAN! I remember it so vividly! I know i’m kind of smiling in this picture but behind those glasses and that button up shirt, child I was going through it. I was still going out every now and then but this is when I really felt God calling me strong but this is also when I started fighting it. I didn’t want to change my life. I was excelling in school but it was really really tough. I remember calling my my mom and dad telling them I didn’t want to live anymore. There was a huge void in my heart, and instead of running towards Jesus, I continued to run from him, because I didn’t want my “friends” to think I had changed or didn’t want to hang out with them anymore. I would call my grandma, my parents, and siblings telling them I wanted to change my major because it was hard and it was! OT school stretched me ways, unimaginable. It made me study, whereas all my life I never really had to, it forced me to become okay with public speaking and trusting my knowledge. It showed me how we NEED PEOPLE to be great or to just stay sane. God gave us each other for a reason! You can not do life alone!
Fast forward a year later and I was in my last year of OT school, as far as being in the classroom goes anyway ( we still had clinicals to complete) and my grandma died in February 2016, suddenly. My whole world stopped. My Department head was so gracious, as she experienced the same thing while she was in OT school. She let me go home in the middle of the school year for 2 weeks. I struggled to get it together, but was determined to finish FOR MY MEME! I came back and had the opportunity to present my research at a local symposium hosted by my college and university, with my sister Kendra and my OT classmate Renae! Hey girls!
And then….SCHOOL WAS OVER!!! I passed all my classes! All I would have to do is finish my clinical rotations over the next 6 months and I would be an certified Occupational Therapist, right?? WRONG!
So I completed my Clinical Rotations and I passed them both! I did one in an outpatient Pediatric clinic (which by the way is my passion. I LOVE KIDS!) and I did my second one in a Long Term Acute Care setting. I met so many great people and patients! Now this is where the fun happens…but not really. I get back to school to sit for an exit exam to be released to take my board exam. Mind you I had been studying and figured I can pass this on the first try and go on about my life because did I mention I was knee deep in WEDDING PLANNING. Lord Jesus! So of course I failed my exam in November 2016. This was a major blow but it was okay! I had one more shot in December before I would have to take a remediation course. I didn’t have to time for this! I was getting married! I wanted to go on a honeymoon! lol But do y’all know I failed that test AGAIN…by 3 points. I WAS SICK, and VERY upset with God. How could he do me like this? I mean by this time I had given my life to Jesus! I was serious about him! How could he not have my back? I threatened to be done with it all and him! I was so heartbroken. But SOMEHOW I managed to pick up the pieces of my life…AGAIN, swallow my pride and put my head back in the books. I mean I buckled down real hard! And the 3rd time I PASSED! AND WITH FLYING COLORS! Even in the pain I couldn’t help but believe God had a plan for me. I couldn’t help but remember Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” This is what God’s word is for! Yes we love it when everything is pretty, but what about when things are REAL UGLY. Will you put your pride aside and trust him? Will you trust him enough to declare his word over your life and your situation? The bible says that God is not a man that he should lie! There isn’t a lying bone in God’s body! What he said will happen! So A few weeks ago I sat for my board exam with the joy of Lord as my strength, believing what his word says! I can truly say that I had never had that much faith in my life! I fasted a prayed and as my good friend Kendra’s Mother told me to do I held God accountable to what he promised me. I recalled the failures and how he brought me through and used his people along the way to help. Even so far as letting me stay with them for 2 months so I could study close to school (Thanks Tia!!) It was the struggle and the pain that gave me the courage to believe and have faith in God! It was the upset, the roadblock, and the memories of how God brought me through that gave me the confidence to stand boldly and declare that if he did it for me THAT time, he HAS to do it for me this time! So now I can say BECAUSE OF THE GRACE OF GOD, I am a Certified Occupational Therapist.
GLORY TO GOD! The process didn’t FEEL good, but it was good FOR me. It taught me how to seek God, and have a strong relationship with him! It humbled me and made me more compassionate towards others. It showed me the HARD WORK AND DEDICATION PAYS OFF! It gave me confidence to believe that even when we think God isn’t listening he has a plan. It taught me that with God all things are possible! It showed me that in my weakness HE IS STRONG! It let me know that he is my BEST friend, and above all he loves me more than I can comprehend, and he wants the best for me! This isn’t the end for me, I still have goals I want to achieve and through God I will. But I can say to you now confidently, TRUST GOD! The bible says in Ephesians 6:13 “Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.” The enemy is a DEFEATED FOE! Don’t give him the satisfaction of even thinking he has won. In the battle STAND, after the battle STAND. If you are facing something or you feel like you are in a situation that can’t be fixed. IT CAN BE. Give it to God and let him take care of you. “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” Philippians 1:6 Don’t give up, as long as there is work left to be done, as there is, God will continue to work with us, until it is finally finished!