At some point, we’re all going to come to a crossroads in our lives; it’s inevitable. How we handle these crossroads, however, is up to us. I’ve asked two people to share their stories of times when they were at a crossroads, and how they got through them.
SaraBeth, 19: Diabetes
When I was eight I was like, "OK, it’s just a little problem, I got this." I leaned on my parents a lot, I figured it out, I got a pump, figured out some new ways to take care of myself. When I was about 10 or 11 I was like “OK, this isn’t cool anymore, I don’t like it. I wanna get rid of it. This is a problem, why can’t I fix it? Why does this happen to me?” I started to hate God, a whole lot. I blamed him for everything wrong that happened in my life, which obviously is not a good way to live with a disease. I just got really, really angry and really distraught and lost and I hated everything, probably until I was about 16. Well, when I was 14 I “decided” I didn’t have diabetes anymore, I had an OmniPod, a pump without tubing, and so I could have my daily insulin without taking insulin for carbs or sugar and just go on through my day and forget I had diabetes. I did that for about six months until my doctor threatened to take me off the pump and put me in the hospital because my blood sugar was about 250, which starts leading towards kidney failure. That conversation made me wake up and realize this isn’t the only way to live with this, you can choose a different way to live with this. When I was 16 I decided to live with this as a position to share; I was saved at 16 and I realized that God didn’t just give me this disease so my life was horrible, he gave it to me so I had more of a position for open dialog [with people]. And I can eat what I want, I can do what I want, I just have to do it in a different way. Making that switch in your mind makes the disease a whole lot easier to live with.
Jean, 54: Going back to Grad School
Getting my Master’s degree has always been on my back-burner, it’s always been on my to-do list. I really wanted to wait until [Rachel and Robyn] were old enough; it was really hard to be in school when [they] were little, and I wanted to be the mom that did stuff. I didn’t want to be working full time and take away from [them]. I had just been doing a lot of praying over the past six-nine months. As I would drive to work I would just say, “let me do what you want me to be, and guide me where you want me to go, and if there’s a job you want me to have just open the door to make it happen.” Nothing was really happening but then I really just felt like God was saying to me that it was time to go back to school. I was thinking, “yeah, I don’t know about that. It’s just a huge time commitment and financial burden.” Then I tossed around if I wanted to be a Nurse Practitioner or do I want to be an Educator for a really long time. This past winter when I had people that I was orienting at work I just realized how much I really liked doing that. I came home and said to [Bob], “I think I want to do education.” And he said, “Well, why don’t you start looking into that?” I looked at Indiana Weslyan and Ohio University; and one day on Facebook I looked over on the sidebar and see “Want to be a nurse educator? Click here for government loans”. It was talking about the Nurse Educator Loan and how nursing schools are in dire need of faculty. I thought “well, that’s kinda funny.” So I contacted Indiana Weslyan and asked if they had the Nurse Educator Loan and they said they did, but all the money was spent for the next year, and they weren’t sure if they would get another grant. So, then I called Ohio University and they had never heard of the loan. I looked online and Xavier didn’t have it, University of Cincinnati didn’t have it either. Bob and I figured we would just have to suck it up and take out loans. Fast forward to mid May, and that’s when [Rachel] said, “well, Samford has an online nurse educator program.” I looked at it online and thought it seemed do-able, and they had the Nurse Faculty Loan money. I had just applied and Samford got 1.7 Million dollars in Nurse Faculty Loan grant. Everything just fell into place to go to Samford [with the Nurse Faculty Loan] and I just felt like it was God-driven. It’s been amazing to me how faithful God is. There were just too many coincidences for it just to be coincidence. It’s definitely God-driven.
These two people faced tough crossroads in their life, but were able to walk through them, and come out better on the other side. There’s always a choice to make when faced with difficult decisions, we can either drag our heels and have a bad attitude, or we can look at in in a positive manner, and know that everything will be OK on the other side.