{My Next Big Adventure}

Friday, February 09, 2018

Many of you have asked lately what inspired me to pursue nursing school at age 37 so I thought I'd write a brief post about my reasons here. It truly has been an unexpected calling, but when God makes something clear I try and listen. 

This story actually begins with fly fishing. Many of you know my love for trout has taken me all over the country and world these past six years. My love for being on the river only deepened when I became an Orvis ambassador and was able to connect with other women who were (and still are) more experienced anglers than myself. I can truthfully say that fly fishing has always filled me with an unexplainable peace and joy. Being someone who struggles with anxiety, this has in many ways been a therapeutic experience for me. Up until last November, fly fishing was one of the few outlets I had to re-center my mind and experience inner quiet from all of life's noises. That was until I saw the birth of my best friend's second baby. 

Before you think I'm crazy, know that I'm fully aware that casting to rising trout and witnessing a baby take its first breath are two incredibly different experiences. I had watched Molls labor once before, delivering Rowan via an emergency C-section four years ago. I had also experienced the birth of my own daughter, Brave, so I knew firsthand the sounds, smells, and intensity of labor. This time, however, things were different. I remember there was a moment when Molls was in labor and she reached up mid-contraction, grabbed me by my vest and screamed, “Em, please help me!” To my surprise, this moment made me feel like I was knee deep in one of my favorite trout streams. A deep peace came over me despite knowing Molls was progressing too quickly to get an epidural for her VBAC. I responded to her plea with words of encouragement and sincere compassion, and from that moment on I knew I wanted be a labor and delivery nurse.

When I shared this with my husband a few days later he was so supportive. I had been processing going back to school in the spring to get my master's in counseling, but he helped me see that being a nurse in many ways would be like being a therapist, especially in the delivery room and working with postpartum moms. All that to say, within two weeks I had applied to nursing school and registered for five pre-req classes. Now six weeks in and two classes down, I never imagined going back to school after graduating from college 15 years ago would be this challenging and rewarding.

I'll bring this post to a close by saying I’ve grown to understand that rarely do I get to see what’s around the next bend in the river from where I'm currently standing. Life is filled with unexpected turns and often requires steps taken in faith. Pursuing nursing school has been one of those steps of faith for me. But just like combing a river for feeding trout, I'm trying to take this next adventure one step at a time. It's an uncomfortable one for me, but I don't grow much when I'm comfortable.

Here's to being stronger than our fears!
Happy Weekend, y'all.


EB said...

Well done, you. Following unknown pathways because He leads you there is a beautiful testament of your faith. In God and in yourself!

Heather Counsellor said...

So proud of you!!! As an anxiety frequent flyer, I can understand the blessing of that peace that comes rarely. I think you will be an amazing nurse and bless so many new mommies searching for that same peace in the midst of their hardest and best moments. Here's to having courage to do school as an adult and the challenges that brings. You have a whole online community cheering you on!! Praying for you and your family as you walk through this together!

Hannah said...

Way to go on taking that first step after Molly's labor. I had my first baby in November and the nurse I had by my side through the thick of labor and then delivery will forever be in my heart. She was everything and I will forever be grateful for such a kind human to be placed in my life for that time. So thank you for listening to your call and taking action!

Hazel said...

Hi Em,

I've discovered your site some years ago and have especially enjoyed your posts about gratitude. The "five questions" got my husband and me talking through a lot of sunday nights during our first year of marriage. :-)

I am a midwife, though not in the U.S. and within a different system than your's, but I am so happy to see you pursuing this path. I can totally relate to what you said about the feeling of peace right in the middle of your friend reaching out to you in such an intense way. Birth is so special, and being able to give encouragement and compassion to other women is something I will always be so grateful for ("midwife"- women helping women, the true sense of the word).

I don't know if this encourages you at all, but I also wanted to share that midwifery has been a way for me to connect with the Lord. There have been countless moments where I had certain feelings about things that where about to happen, which makes me realize, that I never have to do this alone. He will provide.

(I hope this makes sense to you, I'm not a native speaker.)


Davis - K said...

Prayers and good luck as you continue on this journey in nursing. I am a second career nurse and it has been the biggest blessing in my life. I only hope and pray that I have touched half the lives of my patients in the ways they have shaped by life and helped me grow. Good luck.

Laura said...

Best wishes on your new adventure! The world needs nurses who are kind and compassionate and feel peace in the midst of chaos.

Anonymous said...

Reading this is such an inspiration for me. I have felt God's calling for me to go back to school to be a nurse. Life's circumstances right now do not allow for it, with a fulltime job and a toddler that needs me. I am hoping to pursue it once he starts preschool. I will be around 35 when that comes around, but if you can do it at 37, I can do it at 35. Can't wait to continue reading about your journey. Best of luck.

Jennifer Gaither said...

Congrats to taking the leap and having the courage to follow your passion, even if you are in your 30s (same here)!! I too am going to be going to school for nursing in a few years depending on where my US Navy husband gets stationed next. I am at least a year out from starting the journey but it's one I very much look forward to starting. I have been a stay at home mom and doing schooling and jobs on the side for the past 11 years and will finally have a goal/purpose of my own after this crazy military chapter is closed! So congrats and good luck on your new journey!!

Sarah Barker said...

You don't know me but I have loved watching your heart and journey this past year or so since I was blessed to follow your account. My last 2 kids were delivered vbac and my nurses were direct blessings from heaven. They loved me and cared for me and fought with me through some of the scariest times of my life. You will be such a light to those mama's and littles. Congratulations on such a beautiful purpose in life!

Anonymous said...

Way to go Em! Never too old or young to pursue your dreams and goals!
I am a Midwife and a Nurse in Australia and love love love my job!
It really is such a special job, such a privilege to be a part of some of the most important moments in peoples lives.
I sit here pregnant with my third baby and am excited to be cared for when I deliver this little one <3
Life sure is an adventure
kristel :)

Lander Cooney said...

Hi Emily,
The experience and compassion of my L&D nurse with baby #2 made it possible for my VBAC. You will make a difference in so many families’ lives. Good work!

Patty said...

So proud of you for stepping out of your comfort zone and being obedient to God's calling on your life. The CNMs who were with me during the births of my first two babies made a difference for me and enabled me to have natural births. I'm certain labor and delivery nurses are angels and I'll never forget how much their support meant to me. You can do this!

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness! This is really special! Just having had my first child this past January 1st (complete with emergency C-section and 24 hours of other difficult labor that led up to it), I now understand first hand why people commend the nurses. Good nurses are healing balm for the soul. I’ve followed your blog for a few years now, and enjoyed reflecting on family and parenthood through your posts; you are going to be one amazing nurse! Cheers to you! And prayers for perseverance, health and balance as you walk this path. Peace be with you!

Today's Letters said...

I can't thank you all enough for your kind words and encouragement! I've ready each of your comments (2-3 times lets be honest). Want you to know how thankful I am for your wisdom and obvious impact you are having on your patients and loved ones. I can't thank you enough! Seriously. You all have put a gentle wind in my sail. xoxo, Em

Eva A said...

Dear Emily--continue to be strong and of good courage. I went to nursing school at 55 years of age--oldest one in the class. God called me into that place and ended up giving me a desire so buried in my heart that it took me a couple of years to realize He had done so. I became a newborn nursery nurse, and as such, went to deliveries to care for the babies. For me there was an absolutely indescribable sense of awe and wonder as I watched babies being birthed and taking their first breaths. It was as if I were on stage with God, watching His finest miracle. I've never gotten over the joy of it all.

While in nursing school I read this on a daily calendar: Nursing school is cruel and unusual punishment. You will understand and you will persevere. Much love to you!

Today's Letters said...

Sweet Eva, your comment came through late last night at just the right time. I was so touched by your story and courage to go back to school at 55! The quote you shared at the end of your message made me laugh and also feel encouraged at the same time. Here's to persevering and taking each work day one hour at a time. Much love to you! xo, em

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