I believe all of us can recall a time we wept. Now, I’m not talking about that slightly teary-eyed, tear trickling down here and there kind of thing, I mean the full on show. I’m talking about the smeared makeup, uncontrollable sobbing where people are like would someone please give this girl a tissue cause she clearly has more than an issue. Yep, that kind.
Let’s rewind here to May 2015. I had been struggling so much with the direction to go with my life/my career, just about everything. I had this gut-wrenching feeling that Nursing was not my calling, I felt like I was living out someone else’s dream and let me tell you, it felt awful. I tried to shake the feeling, to keep smiling, and to try and not let anyone down. I had so many expectations from others to succeed and become a great Nurse, the last thing I wanted was to let others down. I continued to ignore the gentle nudge of the Holy Spirit trying to redirect me and kept creating MY plan. I lined up an internship with a reputable hospital and continued to keep on keeping on until GOD’s plan for me overrode all the plans I had made and flipped my world upside down.
I had gotten news that I didn’t pass one of my nursing program classes by 2% (now anyone who knows someone in Nursing school knows the brutality in the grading scale, yes, a no pass was 79% and below, how?!) Not only that, but I would have to repeat EVERY class I had gotten an “A” in that semester as well because that’s just how it was going to work since they were bringing in new curriculum. Now, how ironic that for the first time in years I would be the first group of students in this predicament. Coincidence? I think not. I so desperately needed that final last straw to give me the courage to walk away, and that’s what that gift of rejection and failure gave me. An open door.
I walked away from the program without the slightest clue of what I was going to do. I was so deep into my Nursing career and no one around me understood what I was doing, and to be honest, in that moment neither did I. All I knew was that God was up to something.
I was on my way home when I got the call. The phone rang from my summer internship, and I eagerly answered expecting news about when I would begin. Instead, I was faced with more rejection. Since I had dropped my Nursing major, I wasn’t what they were looking for. What have I done?! I asked myself. I’m sure you can guess what happened next my friends, I wept. I wept like I had never wept before. I remember feeling so useless, helpless and upset in that moment. I repeatedly through my tears kept yelling out “Jesus, please help me, please help me God.” I was desperate, vulnerable and was unsure of why I was going through all of this.
But you know what’s great? We can open up our bibles to John 11:35 and read this short, sweet little verse, “Jesus wept.” Don’t you guys love that?! I mean that gives me so much comfort! Now, you are all probably thinking Nicole, seriously? Out of all the verses in the bible you are going to resort to the shortest one there is? My dear friends, let me explain how I think we can all find astounding comfort in this short verse.
Jesus was the word made flesh, He came to our broken world and He lived among us in the form of man. He was flawless in all His ways. He knew just what to say to whom, and how to say it. He was perfectly polished. He helped those in need, healed the blind, and raised the dead to life. He knew what was to come in Him paying the ultimate sacrifice by dying on the cross to save us from our sins to grant us eternal life, and yet He still lived out His ministry fearlessly. That is why it makes this verse all the more powerful.
In John 11 we read about the death of Lazarus. Mary and Martha had told Jesus that Lazarus was sick. “When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.” v 4-5. Jesus knew that was not going to be the end for Lazarus, He knew God was going to work through Him but still, we read on and see in verse 32-35 “When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”
“When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. “Where have you laid him?” he asked. “Come and see, Lord,” they replied. Jesus wept.”
Do you get it? Do you see the beauty in this?! He sees our weeping hearts, He sees our losses as His own and He is for us. Not only is He for us, but when He sees us hurting we can see that it deeply moves Him, He doesn’t wish trouble upon those He loves. He is a God of compassion, and spoiler alert: He raised Lazarus from the dead! So you best believe He has the power to make something beautiful out of our trials. “Jesus wept” leads us to all these beautiful truths about Him but it also makes Him that much more relatable and real to us. He KNOWS what it’s like to be brought to the point of weeping. The perfect Son of God wept. Now doesn’t that just give you a sense of hope?
It’s ok to not always be ok.
God saw me that day, He heard my cries, He dried my tears, and He spoke life into me.
The following Sunday I was at church, my mind racing from all that I was facing and what to do next when this repetitive, beautifully nagging phrase kept going through my mind. It gave me goose bumps, and rendered me speechless. “You weren’t meant to save lives, you were meant to save spirits.” I knew this was a message from the Lord and it helped to catapult me forward in my journey, to get me back on my feet, and to finally surrender to His plan and let go of my own.
Sweetly broken, Holy surrender.