What Happens on Wednesdays…

01Jul09

Eight years ago in June I began an adventure that has twisted and turned around all sorts of unexpected bends-in-the-road – literally and figuratively.  I had just finished my junior year in high school and had been offered what I thought was the opportunity of a lifetime.  I did not yet have my driver’s license (too scared of the 15-passenger van we had at the time!), but had a dad who was willing to drive me an hour each way to “test” the opportunity.  I fell in love with what I did (and by the end of the summer had passed my driver’s test, so was able to drive myself).  I’d been “caught.”  :-)

Fast-forward six months.  In the midst of a very busy senior year, my parents sat me down to reevaluate the commitments I had outside the home – Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays I was out of the house.  Everything I was doing was good, but perhaps it was not all best. The plug was pulled on Wednesdays.  At the time, it was like watching my biggest dream run down the drain in a vortex.  I remember a few of those last rides home – in the dark, crying and praying that the Lord would somehow show me what He meant by taking away what I thought was a very good thing. I was 17, and the Lord slowly began revealing to me that He’d heard my prayer.  I read the book of Lamentations – listening for His voice like never before.

I gave up my Wednesday commitment, but I hung onto the memories.  I made a file folder of checklists and journals that I’d kept during those six months, and every now and then I’d pull out the folder and wistfully look over each page.  I graduated high school and watched as the Lord set His path in front of me, one step at a time.  I worked for a year, then went to college to pursue a degree in nursing.  After graduating college (in three years) and passing my nursing boards, I started working at the hospital where I was born.  Eventually, I landed my “dream job” as a labor and delivery nurse.  But the old dream was still there, never far from the surface.

Occasionally I’d have dreams about going back… the clip-clop of horse’s hooves, the smell of freshly turned soil, and the sight of clean laundry flapping in the breeze.  But I turned aside from those dreams and took another road – one that I thought would bring me to the same place, eventually.  I struggled under the pressure of a full-time job, the time required to study, and the normal demands of day-to-day family life.  I thought I could fix one wrong turn by taking another turn, so I took a different job – outside the hospital.  That “worked” for about a month.  After seven months of struggling to go down a path I thought had always been my *real dream,* I found myself faced with the failure.  I wasn’t living up to my own expectations for myself, and I was shorter and sharper than ever before at home.  I was miserable.

On a cold, rainy Saturday in October 2008, the Lord began peeling my fingers off my life (again). :-)  I went into free-fall mode as the plans I’d made for my life disintegrated before my eyes.  Six months later, in March of this year, I finally had enough distance to begin thinking and praying seriously about what window God would open after the very closed door of 2008.  And that’s when my world really began to spin.

When my dad was laid off in March, I knew I had to go back.  As a whole, the year 2008 left me asking the Lord, “Okay, if this is not it, than what on earth is?”  2009 has been sooooo different.  I applied for a job back as a labor and delivery nurse – planning to put my life on hold for at least a year while we as a family recovered from my dad’s job loss.  God had other plans. :-)  In April, I was offered a part-time job at the hospital.  I had been hoping for full-time, but was glad to have a job offer at all.  I accepted, and, as you may know, have been loving the hospital since I started back in May.  And part-time has turned out to be marvelous… in more ways than one. :-)

When I shared an email with my prayer “supporters” that I would be going back to the hospital, one reply in particular stood out to me.  It was another job offer.  I was ecstatic.  I asked my parents what they thought of the offer, and shared how I thought it fit into the greater scheme of things.  With their approval, I set up a time to go “feel out” the offer.  That was June 10.

Every Wednesday since then I’ve been out of the house by 7am, driving west.  First highways, then state roads, then county roads, then finally narrow roads that wind through fields planted with corn, wheat, and tobacco… I drive for almost an hour.  The hills and the valleys – plowed and smelling like manure, the laundry hung out to dry, the dark dresses and broad-brimmed hats, the horses clip-clopping along the roads or plodding in the fields – eventually I find myself in the heart of Lancaster County.  When I reach my destination, I park, cross the street, and walk across the grass to the gate in the picket fence.  I step onto the flagstones and then onto the wide porch of a farmhouse.  I push the door open and am greeted by the smell of hundreds of dried herbs.  I spend my day talking about nutrition and exercise and hospitals and babies and birth.  When it’s time to go home, I’m exhausted but exhilarated, sad that another Wednesday has come to a close and I’ll have to wait another six days for this to happen again.  But it will.  And I’ll be here.

It’s like coming home.  I’m learning to be a midwife.

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2 Responses to “What Happens on Wednesdays…”

  1. 1 Erin

    That’s awesome! And well written! I look forward to what God has planned for you with this!

  2. 2 Skip

    Why don’t you try writing a book? It was a real “page-turner” (if that can be said about a blog post!!)!

    P.S. Take me with you sometime :)


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