I want to give an update on my nurse practitioner program and the preceptor situation. First of all, I want to thank all of you for your prayers and encouragement! It means so much to Jason and I to know that we have such a big family of supporters to stand with and to lean on when things get rough.
In addition to stretching my faith and trust, this experience has taught me hope. I’m a realist, and I don’t like to be disappointed. So, I tend to guard my heart in situations in which I think I may be let down. This often prevents me from truly hoping. Instead, I hope that it will happen, but I consciously prepare for a let-down.
My post on Saturday was me working through my thoughts and feelings with God related to the disappointment of losing my preceptor. I wrote it in my journal and then decided to share it, word for word. I often can’t verbalize what I’m feeling in a situation, but if I begin to write it out, it just flows. After writing it all out, I felt a sense of relief. God and I both knew how I truly felt. I knew I had to make a choice, then, to choose to have hope and choose to have faith. I wasn’t sure if a feeling of hopefulness would come, but it did. By Saturday afternoon, I had a renewed sense of hope. Even though I didn’t know how it would turn out, I knew that it would work out.
My school was very gracious and encouraged me to keep trying to find a preceptor. I sent out a plea to everyone I know on the island that may have a connection with a doctor. I chased several leads, but nothing came to fruition. A woman I volunteer with at the YWAM Health Clinic had told me that she was going to see a new doctor on Monday. I asked her to ask this doctor if he would accept me for clinicals. I had already called this office several times, but they said they weren’t accepting students. I gave her a copy of my resume anyway, along with a letter explaining what I needed. I didn’t hear anything back, so I figured it was another dead end.
On Tuesday, I went on an outreach with a group of people from a clinic in town, along with a police officer and an EMT. We went around to areas that the homeless frequently stay, and we gave out hygiene kits and offered wound care. I had already been communicating with an office manager at this clinic about doing clinicals there. The ladies that I went on outreach said that they would talk to the appropriate people to get me in for a clinical experience. I was so encouraged! I thought this was the ‘in’ I needed to finally find a preceptor!
I talked to an administrator from the clinic later on that day, and she informed me that they already had a student doing clinicals there, and they had just hired several new staff members, so they would not be able to accommodate me at least until mid-October.
My sense of hopefulness quickly faded. Even though my university was being gracious, I knew I had to have a preceptor at least before my first clinical assignment was due, which is this coming Monday. Jason and I were in the kitchen on Tuesday evening, cleaning our dinner dishes. I asked him, “At what point do I give up? Every single door that I thought would open has been slammed in my face. When do I stop trying?”. He said, “Well, I guess when God tells you to stop”. Not the answer I wanted to hear. God hadn’t told me to stop trying, but I felt that it was useless.
Five to 10 minutes later, my phone rang. It was a doctor from the office that my friend had taken my resume to! He said that he hasn’t taken a student in a couple of years, but he would like to help me, since I’m doing it for missions! I got all the information from him I needed and hung up. I ran to Jason, yelling that he’d said he would do it, and then I cried tears of joy. I laughed at God’s timing in the phone call right after questioning if I should give up.
I still don’t understand God’s timing, and I probably never will. But, I know that it is for His glory and for my good and the good of all His people. I don’t understand why, when you pray for something, it could happen instantly, or it could take a few days, months, years, decades, or a lifetime. But I do know that prayer changes things. It does something in the heavenly realms that we can’t understand. Sometimes it feels pointless to pray, especially if we’ve been praying for something for a long time and nothing has happened, or if you’ve prayed for a loved one to be healed, but they end up passing away.
I can’t tell you why it seems that some prayers are answered easily and others take years of crying out to God, and some are answered with a “no”. The Bible tells us to pray relentlessly. There is a parable in Luke 11:5-10 that Jesus told about the persistent friend. He instructs us to pray so much that it almost gets annoying! Persistence is key. God wants to help us, but there is so much going on in the spiritual realm that we don’t understand. Not to mention that Satan is trying to wreck everything. So, we must stand strong in our faith and “pray without ceasing”. I have seen prayer do incredible things right before my eyes. You just have to take a step of faith and have hope. God will ALWAYS meet you there, even if it doesn’t turn out like you expected.
Thanks for your part in this breakthrough of finding a preceptor! I hope it will encourage you to keep praying and hold onto the hope that God offers us!
Love and blessings,
Jason and Monica