By Macy Freeman
I have been called to the ministry of nursing. I cannot explain the mix of emotions I am feeling as I prepare to enter ETBU’s professional nursing program in the fall. I am ecstatic and jittery to experience the intense focus, spot-on time management, and even saying no to social events with my friends…yes, it’s all worth it for the cause of Christ. I know He will be glorified.
I believe God has equipped me in very specific ways to enhance His kingdom through healthcare. What an incredible, humbling privilege it is to be trained at such a place as ETBU to do some of the very things Jesus did. He healed the diseased, restored sight to the blind, cared for those who could not care for themselves and most importantly, loved the unloved. I cannot wait to do all of these things.
One of the themes of the gospel of Luke is Jesus’ emphasis on the family circle. Many times throughout this book, Luke records encounters of Jesus in homes interacting with men, women and children. I love the idea of speaking encouragement and Truth to hurting families desperate for hope as times of illness often breed bewilderment and utter desperation. I cannot wait to see salvation in the same ways Jesus and the disciples did as they restored the people of God by the power of the Holy Spirit and authority of the Father.
The Lord led me along this dust-beaten road in a mysterious way. It was not always clear or easy to discern. God is always calling us to do something, whether it’s making a big life decision or speaking a small word of encouragement to a stranger in the coffee shop. Sometimes He posts these callings in bold, red print on a flag waving in front of our faces and other times we first must walk in faith. In this moment, God was calling me to walk.
I came to ETBU as a university studies major, not knowing what career path I should pursue. Like all other life decisions I’ve made, this one took lots of time, researching, pondering and prayer. I am not one to make quick decisions nor have I ever been. Basically I coasted through my freshman year playing volleyball and taking general education classes. I remember seeing the nursing majors once in a blue moon in the caf. It was like bears coming out of hibernation. I thought to myself, “Whoa…the nursing majors.” It was kind of fascinating to me. They seemed so accomplished, confident in where they were headed and willing to put in the work to get there. As the spring of my sophomore year neared, I had taken all of my gen. ed. courses and had no earthly idea what to do next. Obviously I’m hitting my knees at this point with things such as wasting time and money taking unnecessary classes and the overall direction of my life running through my head. My sweet family has always fought for my best interest and began encouraging me toward favorable majors and jobs. I pondered and prayed over it all, time still passing and my steps still shaky and unsure. My precious MiMi found out about a test called the Aptitude Inventory Measurement Service or AIMS test given in Dallas. She was generously ready and willing to pay my way through this two-day adventure and I really had no other options. I guess when life gives yah lemons, yah make lemonade, right? Well, I was tested on things I didn’t even know should or could be tested. I felt like a lab rat. But, low and behold, at the end of the two days, my consultant learned more about me than I ever knew about myself. She presented me with a packet of career paths well suited for me and explained each one of them in detail. I was genuinely blown away by the helpfulness of this crazy test, realizing the potential God had given me. My mom and I walked out of the building and cried together in the parking lot, scales removed from our eyes, seeing God’s goodness and faithfulness. Before this day, I was drowning in assumptions that I would continue running in endless circles, never discovering my calling. The whole time, God was there, guiding my wandering feet. No, there was not an immediate sense of direction, no big, red flag. But God showed me that HE fashioned me so intricately and intentionally, built for a specific purpose for which He would reveal to me in His boundless time.
Mrs. Tatum, my AIMS counselor, mentioned nursing, specifically disaster relief, as she reviewed my results with me. This suggestion stuck out in my mind as I returned to school. I decided to check out ETBU’s professional nursing program just to see where things might go. I met with our dean, Dr. EFO, multiple times as well as Tommy Young, our Director of Finances. I found out about ETBU Nursing’s stellar passing rate of students entering the work field and the program’s incredible, personable professors and staff. Dr. EFO gave me time to think and pray about nursing and sort myself out financially as I would potentially graduate a year later than expected. Nothing seemed to be standing between me and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing within the next four years of my life, so I took the next step and changed my major.
My desire and passion to care for the human body, mind and soul grew as I advanced through pre-professional courses successfully. Thus, the Lord has confirmed this career path for me with each step I’ve taken, but not before the journey began. This isn’t the way we selfish people like it. We want to know and see beforehand and then walk comfortably, just like the Israelites wanted as they followed Moses. God says, “Nope. Trust me. Wander with me.” So wander I did.
Today, I truly feel called specifically to disaster relief. God has continued to pour into me a desire for and vision of all nations united in His kingdom. He is at work to bring that kingdom-vision to this earth now and is doing that in a big way through natural disasters. The gospel of Christ is not always rainbows and butterflies. It very much includes suffering and heartache. Anthony Moore says, "If we run from suffering, we paint a picture of a Savior who ran from the cross." God used the humiliation and agony of His perfect Son to offer ultimate freedom and healing to man. Sometimes God bruises us to heal us. He is willing to sacrifice our momentary prosperity if that means we will come to a place of desperation and surrender to Him. This is why I love seeing God move and work through natural disasters. I want to be a part of how the Lord draws His people all across the world to Himself when havoc strikes. Yes, everything they have ever known may be gone, but there is a God who wants to restore their lives for His glory, just as He restored His Son now seated at the right hand of His throne. My heart flutters at the thought of this. Whether I'm in my hometown or overseas, I will serve the Lord whenever He asks me to join Him in restoring His people.