Thinking back on this month, I do have a lot to be thankful for. I finished my third month of working as a NP. I think there is still plenty to learn but I'm starting to reach a point where... I almost somewhat can maybe start to feel semi competent. I did my first RN education at the quarterly inservice last week. I had a powerpoint. It wasn't long and it's not on something that's interesting to the general public but it is important to manage blood sugars immediately post-op in patients with cardiac surgery. Yes. That's what I talked about. I know. So exciting.
I think the most interesting thing that happened this month was that my family just came back from a cruise. Eleven of us were on the boat. We went over the thanksgiving holiday and even though I've had a pretty good month at work... this vacation was much needed and much appreciated. Just like the rain which began to pour on So Cal when we got back. My car needed God to wash it for me... just like California soil was aching for rain... I really appreciated our family time these past few days.
For the past few years, I've had cruise adventures with my cousins. We've cruised from NY to Boston... from Vancouver to LA... here and there. While we can't say that the cruise boat itself was amazing... what we do remember are the laughs we've shared and how being together makes us feel. We cruised during hurricane Sandy and had a blast. It's like some lady said on the boat... "the best ships are friendships".
In every family vacation, there are things that go "wrong"... but this time there were so many things that went wrong and so many unusual occurrences. I think that the side effect of having things be so unusually off... was that I began to think back to times when things were right and appreciate the good times to help me get through some situations that are harder to get through.
I wanted to write a little about manna because "manna" means "what is it" and when stuff just happens to fall from the sky... I know that God is taking care of me and providing for my needs in the midst of my "wilderness".
I always think I'm in the wilderness. There's always some kind of struggle... something that's giving me pain... something that's aching my heart. There's always a situation in my life where I feel like God is testing my faith and testing my character... and this past month has been no exception. It gets harder for me to blog when so much of what I'm struggling through right now is relational... but there have been many significant instances where I've found myself in situations where I've had to have difficult conversations with people or journey alongside people with difficult situations... and all in all, it's been a good thing. A line from a sermon I heard recently was that the key to intimacy with God was to bear with one another and in so doing, we put God's love into practice. It is so, so true.
In looking at my life at this particular moment, I am surrounded by such amazing friends and family. I feel support and encouragement encircling me and keeping me afloat... like a lifesaver... and it is a huge blessing to be resting in the middle of a lifesaver... and I know I may not always have one or have such a strong one. I feel like God knew that this time of my life would be difficult so he threw out the lifesaver to where He knew I'd find it... to help me as I wait for deliverance... as I struggle through some rough transitions. Some of the people who are closest to me right now... I've met in the past year... and some in the past few months. The ways in which God can answer the cry of my heart and bring friendships so close and so quickly... I know that it came from God... and when I call it "manna" I also know that it is what I need... and it is good and it is sweet.
I'm also thankful for my "lifesaver" because... old friends and new friends... remind me of who I am. I know this post is all over the place. It's because I'm a mess right now. My old friends remind me of who I am because they know who I was. My new friends remind me of who I am because as they get to know me and I tell the stories of my life... I am reminded anew of God's faithfulness to me and about how much I have to be thankful for... and the God who was faithful to me then, will continue to be faithful to me now.
I need to be reminded. I need to laugh... the deep kind... the ones that originate from way down in your gut. God knows. God heard. And He provided.
I don't have time to go wandering into the depths of my emotions right now but... something I want to remember from the cruise... was something a drunk girl said... while we were watching the saddest movie EVER during the Movie Under the Stars on the last day of our cruise...
"OMG she's crying. OMG they're all crying. Nobody cries on a Carnival cruise!" (we were on Princess)
and also a quote from the movie: "Pain begs to be felt".
I feel it. And I'm thankful.