Today's my birthday and it's been pretty okay... This year for my birthday I celebrated by taking myself on a cruise to the Bahamas. I think everyone is sick of me talking about the Bahamas, but no one really understands the significance of this vacation....
When I was in college I had a vacation package that I bought my Junior year, and included in the package was a cruise to the Bahamas. So I saved that particular vacation to use as my graduation gift to celebrate getting my degree and as a way of relaxation from having been in school non-stop since I was 5years old. Well...unfortunately I didn't pass my last nursing class, so I didn't obtain my nursing degree. Some things happened with my bank account and all my money was wiped out of my account. I was left degreeless, penniless and my vacation expired. I was in a very bad place because I had no idea what I was going to do with my life. There was a lot more going on that I could not control, but the things I felt I could control were all failing . Everything I had planned flopped. I didn't know where or how to pick up the pieces. I slipped into a depressed state. There are months of my life that I honestly have no recollection of. I was in bed for 3 months and angry at God for stripping me of all my hard work. I couldn't understand for the life of me what I had done to be dozens of steps backwards. I lost my car, had no degree, no money, was back at home with my parents for support, and I desperately wanted independence and something to show for all my hard work.
I, finally, decided to just wait for God to tell me what to do with my life. I prayed and trusted God that everything would be okay. I worked and trusted. I had no clue what was to become of me, but I had to do keep myself going until God said otherwise. As I continued to trust him and focus more on him, things started to turn around. After a couple of years, I was in a totally different place. I obtained my Bachelor's degree in nursing, which was a miracle in itself because I was dismissed from the Kent State's nursing program when I failed. 2 years later I was accepted back into their nursing program, after being told that never happens, which allowed me to take that one class over and be done. Two years after that, I had my nursing license. And a year after that, I was living in a place of my own, with another vehicle, had a job making more than I dreamed of making in my first nursing job, and more than most of the people I knew. Though my life is not perfect, the things I didn't see happening are happening and better than I originally envisioned. I figured it was the perfect time to finally take that trip to celebrate.
The entire time I was in the Bahamas, I just kept thanking God for eveything. The last day on the island I laid on the beach, under a palm tree (I have an obsession with palm trees), and I just started crying. I couldn't believe that God had turned my life around so. I just was in awe that in continuing to trust him I was reaping the rewards of obedience and faithfulness. It was a feeling I can't quite explain. I still get chills thinking about where I am right now, and where I was just a couple of years ago. God is truly amazing! Without him I am absolutely nothing. I owe my entire existance to him!
So yes, I am still talking about my Bahamian vacation..but understand in doing so, I'm talking about more than just a vacation. I'm talking about God's grace!