When You’re Struggling With God’s Will For Your Life

Encouragement for when you are struggling with The Lord's Plan for your life.

We’ve all been there. In between jobs. Or selecting the right school. Or going through the break up. Or considering marriage. Or choosing the right career. Or dealing with the job that you hate. Or losing everything. The overwhelming heartbreak of feeling lost and not knowing what to do. You feel like your heart is all locked up. How could a God who loves us unconditionally put us in a situation where there is hurt and confusion and an abundance of tears?

I myself have been left thinking, “God, what is your plan for me? What do you want with me because right now I feel like my prayers are just hitting the ceiling and bouncing right back to echo in my heart. Why have you chosen me for this job? Surely someone else could glorify your kingdom better?”

I’ve struggled with Gods will plenty of times. And I bet you have, too. The good news about struggling with what God wants for our life is that we aren’t alone.

In fact, Jesus, perfect Jesus, struggled with the will of His father. And if the perfect person can share that struggle with us, you know flawed humanity is not gonna have it easy.

Remember the story in Matthew 26 of Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane just before his trial and crucifixion? I love that story because it gives us perspective into Jesus’ humanity. Jesus tells the disciples about his sadness “My soul is succeeding sorrowful…” (vs. 38) as he enters the garden to speak to his father. I know I personally feel the most lonely when I’m struggling with God’s will for my own life. When I think about Jesus in the garden alone, facing the most fearful experience anyone could ever imagine, my heart breaks in two. Jesus struggled with God’s will as he faced the act that saved our souls. Jesus prayed “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt” (vs. 39)

I find myself praying in the same way when I’m struggling with the Lord’s will for my life. “God, not my will, but thine be done.”

I also love the story of Lazarus’ death and resurrection found in John 11. To me, this is a story that leaves me wondering more about Jesus as a person and how He shared similar emotions as we do. Scripture tells us that Jesus knew Lazarus was dead even before he spoke with Mary and Martha. In John 11:11-14, Jesus explains to the disciples that Lazarus is dead, and needs to be woken. However, later on in the scripture, when Jesus is led to the grave site of his friend, we are told “Jesus wept.” (vs. 35). There are two reactions from the people that observed Jesus’ tears, these reactions follow in verses 36 and 37. “Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”” (vs. 36) “But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”” (vs. 37)

As a mere mortal, I’m curious as to what it was exactly that made Jesus cry that day, too. And I can’t help but wonder if it’s because he was struggling with Gods will. Jesus knew his friend was dead, and knew that somehow it would glorify the Lord “This sickness will not end in death. No it is for God’s glory so that God’s son may be glorified through it.” (vs. 4)

I can’t help but wonder if Jesus struggled with the fact that his friend died as part of God’s will. Maybe that’s why Jesus wept.

I can’t help but wonder if Jesus questioned himself and the Lords plan when Martha said to Jesus, “If you had been here, my brother would not have died” (vs. 21) Maybe that’s why Jesus wept.

I can’t help but wonder if Jesus was certain that raising Lazarus from the dead truly was the will of the Lord. Maybe that’s why Jesus wept.

I can’t help but wonder if Jesus stood in front of his friend’s tomb and thought “if only I had turned left instead of right.” Maybe that’s why Jesus wept.

I can’t help but wonder if Jesus stood there among friends that would soon yell “crucify him” and saw Lazarus’ death and resurrection as foreshadowing to God’s will for his own life. And maybe that’s why Jesus wept.

And maybe those are questions we’ll never know the answer to on this side of Heaven. And maybe we’ll never know the reasons were struggling with the plans for our own lives. But friend, know that you aren’t alone in your struggle. Know that even the King of Kings had his moments of fear and sorrow when struggling with Gods will for his life.

How do you cope when you’re struggling with God’s will for your life? How has God shown up and shown off for you?

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6


Love,
Cassie, RN


Bamboo


A blog post about growth and change

I’ve never grown bamboo. I’m sure I’d like to; I love all types of flowers and plants. My favorite food is anything fresh from the garden. But as sure as I’m living, I can’t grow anything to save my life. I was cursed with a black thumb. Give me a pot of flowers, I can almost guarantee they won’t survive the week (I’m sorry but its true!). And I’ve only ever tried the easy stuff. But I’m positive bamboo wouldn’t even stand a chance.

Although I’m not a gardener, I would consider myself a scientist. Before I went to Nursing School, I studied Biology so I was required to take classes that were about all life forms, not just the human body. In some of those classes, we had to learn about plants. That’s how I know about bamboo.

So let me give you a general picture of the growth cycle of bamboo. In the first year, you plant the seeds and nurture them, but nothing grows. In the second year, there is still no growth. The third year, still no seedlings sprout. Guess what happens in the fourth year? Still nothing! Finally, in the fifth year, the bamboo shoots grow 90 feet!

90 feet in one year! Can you imagine being the gardener that started those seedlings? Can you imagine looking at your crop, continuing to nurture it, water it, and care for it, day in and day out, for years, without reaping the benefits? I know I’m not a patient enough person (or reliable enough gardener) for that type of commitment to a tree.

But after those four years, you start to notice something, finally. One day in the fifth year, you see that your bamboo has sprouted from the ground. And from then on, it shoots up like a rocket! 90 feet in one year, friend! After four years of developing, changing, and growing under the soil that bamboo plant is breaking ground, literally.

Aren’t we a little like bamboo? We sit quietly and comfortably deep in the dirt. It’s safe there and we’ve even made friends with the worms. But one day, one special, breathtaking day, we decide it’s time to stretch and show this world what we’ve got to offer. I think we have a lot in common with bamboo. Whether it is in our relationships, our education, our careers, or in our ministry, one day we break to the top of the soil and show the planet who we are and what we’ve been up to.

Friends, I believe this is my 90 foot growth year. I think it could be yours, too! My life is a-moving and a-shaking like I’ve never seen before. I’m bursting through the soil to see the sunshine. I hope you will, too. Let’s do this together. So let’s take a deep breath, soak up that last bit of soil, and “leaf” our fears behind. I’ll see you in 90 feet!

How are you growing in your 90 foot growth year? Were you afraid to leave the warmth of your soil? Tell me more in the comments below. Let’s encourage one another.


“For as the earth brings forth its bud, As the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth,
So the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.” Isaiah 61:11


Love,


Cassie, RN





Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me When I Was in High School

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to talk to some High Schoolers who are beginning their path to a career in Health Care. We talked about being the best version of themselves and how to pave their way through the dark and twisty road of high school and beyond. Here are a few we discussed and some I added later on. Maybe they’ll inspire you whether you’re in High School or not.

 

Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me When I Was In High School

1 – If you must impress someone, strive to impress your teachers, not your peers. Your teachers could care less about the clothes you wear, how perfect your hair is every day, and what party you went to over the weekend. However, they do care if you show up to their class and are attentive. Show up, every single day. Pay attention. Be respectful. Impress your teachers by being someone that others can count on. In the end, their opinions will matter far more than your classmates’ opinions of you will.

2 – You don’t actually have to be an orthopedic surgeon, just because you said you’re going to be an orthopedic surgeon. In high school, I was dead set on becoming an orthopedic surgeon, so I really struggled with the calling to become a nurse. If someone had sat me down in High School and told me that I didn’t have to commit to a career then and there, it would have saved me some grief down the road. (Although, I probably wouldn’t have believed anyone, anyway) No one will think less of you if you don’t go to medical school. In fact, if you start out saying you’re interested in medicine, and don’t even go down the Health Care path, no one will judge you. You can change your mind a million times before you actually have to commit to a career if you so choose. But if you’re ready to commit now, by all means, go for it!

3- One or two low grades in High School won’t jeopardize your seat in medical school, pharmacy school, dental school, nursing school, etc. Listen carefully here though. You don’t have to be Valedictorian to land the spot in your dream career program, but the habits you begin to develop in High School will follow you into college, grad school, career and beyond. Don’t slack off, but don’t panic if your GPA isn’t perfect. Your sanity is worth more than a 4.0.

4 – Don’t be funny at someone else’s expense. If you must laugh at someone, laugh at yourself. Trust me, people will like you more if the only person you make fun of is you. This world has too many bullies and bad guys. Be the light. Kindness matters more. And anyone who laughs at someone with you, will likely laugh at you as well.

5 – There is nothing in this world like your first heartbreak. But you will survive this. And sweet friend, this was not love, but love is waiting on you somewhere. Pray for your future spouse every chance you get.

6 – And on that note, Don’t ruin friendships because you think it’s love. And if you don’t take this advice, at least promise me you will really, really think about the consequences and how you’ll feel if this friendship is ruined before moving forward with it.

7 – Don’t spread yourself too thin. High School is stressful enough without having one million things on your plate. I 100 percent think you should get involved, but limit yourself to a couple things instead of every single thing your school offers. Find something you are passionate about and chase it passionately. You’ll actually have the time you want to invest in it and do everything else you need to do as well. From a chronic people pleaser, trust me on this one.

8 – Be the kind of friend you want to have. It’s as simple as treating others the way you want to be treated. Be loyal, be kind.

What do you wish someone had told you when you were in High School? Is there anything you would add to my list?

“Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth.” Proverbs 4:5

Love,

Cassie, RN

Things My Pap Taught Me

I’ve been truly blessed to grow up in tight knit family. As long as I’ve lived, I’ve always had a close relationship with my grandparents. I genuinely believe they are some of the best people to ever grace this Earth. I’ve learned a lot from my Pap over the years, but I wanted to share some of my favorite lessons.

things my pap taught me

1- Generous Tipping. My pap knows a hard worker when he sees one. He recognizes individuals who work tirelessly to better their situations. I love going out to eat with my Pap because of the respect he shows to the staff. He tips generously, with a glad heart. Rather than leave the cash on the table, my Pap takes the extra effort to shake the hand of the employee and thank them for a job well done. A true gentleman.

2- How to speak to The Lord. Since I was a little girl, I have always modeled my own prayer after how my Pap prays. I’ve watched him respectfully remove his hat before bowing his head to talk to God. I’ve heard my Pap speak to Jesus as often as I’ve heard him speak to his friends. Pap is always thankful, and in every prayer asks the Father for forgiveness where we’ve failed Him, because we fail Him daily. I find myself often praying in the same way.

3- Never be without a Bible. My Pap worked in the deep mines for the greatest part of my childhood. He recently told me about how he always carried a New Testament Bible into the mines with him. Imagine what a testimony that would carry. Pap was always prepared if a man decided to follow Jesus while deep in the ground. At our Pinning Ceremony, each graduate received a small New Testament Bible, donated by The Gideons. My Pap encouraged me to include it with my other supplies and ensure it goes with me as I care for patients.

4- To speak kind words. I have never in my life heard my Pap speak an ill word toward anyone. I’ve never heard him judge another person as long as I’ve lived. Through his example, I’ve been shown the importance of kindness. My pap is a goodhearted man, but he is also as stubborn as the day is long.
5- How to deal with disappointment. As a preschooler, my Pap took me to breakfast at Hardees every single day without fail. And every single day, I ordered French Toast Sticks. Until one day, the lady behind the counter tells me they no longer sell French Toast Sticks. My heart broke that day. I just know my eyes welled up with tears. But my Pap encouraged me to see this disappointment as an opportunity to try something new. “Try something else instead.”, he said. And I did.

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What lessons are cherished in your family? How do these lessons apply to your life?

“But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children;” Psalm 103:17

Love,

Cassie, RN