Twenty years ago if I had painted a picture of what I thought my life would look like now; it would be completely unrecognizable from where I actually am.
I wasn’t a college girl who floated through school and hoped she would figure out the rest of her life. I had known since 4th grade that I was supposed to be in the medical field. I planned my life around becoming a medical missionary – using a medical degree in foreign countries as a way to open the door to sharing the Gospel of Jesus with others. A medical degree became a nursing degree. Foreign missions were exchanged for living in the United States and supporting other missionaries. But there was no question in my mind that God was going to use me to help others find optimum physical health. After all, not everyone can handle blood and guts and gore without flinching, right?!
I excelled in nursing. Graduating summa cum laude was only a glimpse into the way God gifted me to learn and grow. The hospital where I did my college preceptorship hired me straight out of college, and within 3 months I was a charge nurse in the neurosurgical step down unit. I loved my job. I loved helping people. I loved every bit of the direction of my life.
When my husband and I moved to Georgia, I quickly found a new hospital to partner with. The next 11 years of my life were filled with everything cardiac. I went from working for the hospital to working for a private group of physicians who allowed nurses to have heavy responsibility for their hospital patients. It was an incredible season.
So it’s understandable that I was shocked when God told me to quit my job. Just like that. He impressed on my heart that I was so involved with my job that I had forgotten about the people who surrounded me. People like my own children, my neighbors, and the people I served with at church in the kid’s ministry.
So I did.
I quit my job.
And I started investing in the lives of those around me. I asked acquaintances to have coffee with me. Some of those acquaintances became close friends. I invited other moms to the park with their kids. Some of those kids remain close friends of my own children. I asked other volunteers to lunch. Some of those volunteers make up my leadership team today.
What leadership team? The leadership team who now oversees the preschool ministries at our church’s two locations. You see, God told me to quit my job as a nurse when our church was barely one year old. We were very small, but growing. God had plans for me all along. He allowed me to become part of something when it was just in its infancy, to grow me along with His plan. I wasn’t ready to see His full plan right away. There were about 150 people attending our church when I started volunteering. I now oversee over 150 volunteers.
It took me years to stop saying “I’m a nurse” (though I will always consider myself one). It wasn’t until about 6 months ago that I started acknowledging that God called me to lead people. My identity is no longer tied into being a registered nurse. My identity is reflecting God to those around me.
Gently, persistently, God has grown me from who I thought I was supposed to be into who He desires for me to be. The current version of me is the right me for this moment. This moment may not last forever, but that’s ok, because I have learned that the picture I have of my life may be far different from what God’s picture looks like.
I guarantee His is more beautiful.
Hi! I’m Heather. I’m a low-maintenance, generally happy kind of gal who likes a new challenge. I’m a wife, a mom, and a leader of a spectacular team of volunteers. If you see a situation that calls for action, you probably won’t see me on the sidelines watching.