When I was little, I apparently had very klutzy dolls, because I was always bandaging up their “boo boos.”
When anyone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I said, without hesitation, I wanted to be a nurse.
I entered nursing school in the fall of 1966.
I had visions of floating into each injured or sick person’s life and doing something magical (that “something” I expected to learn about in nursing school) that would fix everything.
However, right away I discovered that there were some illnesses far worse than the ones I knew about. There were pains that went beyond agony and did not stop.
There were people who died, some not peacefully.
I almost quit in my first year. I was making good grades, but my heart was being broken over and over again.
I remembered giving an impassioned speech in my senior high school career class. I ended with the statement, “To be a nurse is to walk with God!” I wondered where He was.
I did stay in college for four years and graduated on June 4, 1970 with a BSN. This picture was taken on that day.
I had not learned anything magical about how to fix people, but I had learned a tremendous amount about God’s Presence in the midst of suffering. I had learned how some people were able to suffer and still be witnesses of God’s Love.
And I had seen the nurses who never quit. They never gave up. They stayed in the trenches, so some could get out.
Graduation Day was only the beginning of the nursing journey. Life after that day took me to many places as a nurse. I would have to write a book to share it all (and who knows, maybe I will!).
The one thing that sums it all up is still “to be a nurse is to walk with God.” But remember God goes all kinds of places you might not choose.
I taught nursing after a long career of working in hospitals. A student asked me if I had it to do over again, if I would still want to be a nurse.
I had to do some serious thinking before I answered.
My answer is yes. When God taps you to go on a Mission with Him, it’s an honor. Accept it with humility.
Happy Memories to the 1970 Nursing Class of Medical University of South Carolina!