Whose Plan is it Anyway?

I've been thinking a lot about plans lately, mainly my own, because let's face it, I'm a planner by nature. It's no secret that I've found the last six months of nursing incredibly difficult. The transition from nursing school to career is not an easy one, no amount of schooling could prepare me for those first few months of working in a hospital. There is no way to plan for the ranges of emotions and frustrations I have experienced as a new nurse. The 14 hour shifts, the constant alarms, interrupted breaks (if I was lucky enough to get a break), the never ending feeling of incompetence, the realization that this is not at all what I signed up for. Thankfully, I have one fantastically supportive and encouraging husband and after six months of sticking it out, I can finally say, it may be worth it. I've received an incredible opportunity to work as a wound care nurse here in Austin. It's a sweet gig--outpatient clinic, Monday through Friday, no more 13-14 hour shifts, an established routine, weekends and holidays off with my honey, good pay and PTO, and a more specialized emphasis that I am very interested in. Hooray! 

After receiving the news, Jack and I began to reflect on the past few years. I was informed in my interview that having Nordstrom on my resume was a big deciding factor in my hire. My future boss is well acquainted with Nordstrom's world renowned customer service. They are recognized as one of the foremost leaders in customer service anywhere. Funny thing is, the year I worked at Nordstrom is one I've regretted for years. I only worked at Nordstrom because I took a year off from starting school to work in Ukraine. I've regretted taking time off over and over throughout the years, often feeling like I'm behind, not quite where I should be by now. Finishing school late was particularly frustrating for me, while my husband is incredibly content to be a college lifer, I'm a bit more antsy to be out in the action. As Jack and I discussed the recent turn of events however, we realized if I hadn't taken that year off for Ukraine, if I hadn't needed a job when I came back, if I hadn't worked at Nordstrom, perhaps my application would not have stood out to my new employer.  Even the last 6 months on an Ortho unit stood out to my new employer. MedSurg was never an area I wanted to work in, and to work with GI and Ortho patients, that was about as bad as it could get for me. However those patients often come in with wounds, so despite not currently holding wound care certification, my daily interaction these patients and their wide variety of wounds and incisions qualified me for this particular opening, a job in all fairness, I should have had little chance of getting without certification. 

I realize that's a lot of maybes and what ifs, who really knows if this job was in the cards all along... I know we like to console ourselves with the phrase, "all in God's plan," and it's a good phrase, I don't doubt that God has a plan, I just never found it particularly consoling. I will say however, that I have seen time and time again how our little family has been provided for, maybe not in the way we expected and definitely not in the timing expected, but never-the-less, we have had all we've needed when needed. 

I'm not sure what lesson I'm trying to share with you, or if there is a lesson. This week has simply made me reflect on many of the choices I've made, good or bad, and how all of them have led me to this point in life. I have regrets, I have plenty of choices I wish I could go back and change and yet I continue to see how those choices, good and bad, have shaped my future. 

Maybe this post is supposed to serve as encouragement. I'm fully aware that not everything works out well in life, often times things work out but not like we envisioned and rarely on our timing. I often find myself feeling frustrated when I think things aren't going as planned and then little glimpses of hope appear-- just enough of a glimpse into the future to keep me moving forward to keep me searching for whatever is on the horizon. 

Has this job always been there waiting for me? Is this part of some grand plan? Those are questions I don't have answers to, but for now, I'm thankful for a new opportunity and hopeful for what the future holds. So, if you find yourself barely hanging on, frustrated in your current state of affairs, longing to know what's next, and where all of this is leading, I want to encourage you today to find hope in the little things, they are all around if you just keep pushing forward.