Never would I have thought that I would start blogging, especially about my faith. If you would’ve asked me four years ago you would’ve gotten a much different response, most likely a pshh ya right! But, my friends, how time and God’s grace can change you. You see, I grew up going to a private Catholic School grades k-8, I was taught of God’s love, mercy, and how to keep the holy spirit between you at the school dances, while being notably fashionable in my plaid jumper. Cute.
High school, now that was a different story. I was the new girl. I knew 2 single souls my first day, and yes, I was that girl sitting on the bench alone eating her lunch. Rejection, the first time I felt like a complete outcast. This lead to my high school years being one of chasing the acceptance of my peers more than the acceptance of my Father. I drifted. Graduation was approaching and I was so eager to be free and to experience the college life, and anyone who told me I was staying local better have stayed clear. (*insert teenage angst*).
I knew I wanted to help people so the first thing that came to my mind was a Nurse. I applied to the university and to my surprise got an interview to be apart of a specialized group of Nursing students who get an “automatic acceptance” into the Nursing program if you have “X” GPA and meet requirements “Y” and “Z.” That was it! My golden ticket away to college, being on my own, freedom.
My first year away at college was one of drifting even further in my faith. My biggest concern of the week was what party I was going to Thursday, Friday, and Saturday (…seriously, Nicole?), what I was going to wear, and if the “freshman 15” was sneaking up on me (it was). How sad! Seriously, I look back on those days and I do not even recognize that girl. Don’t get me wrong, I love to have fun and spend time with friends, but the lifestyle I was living was so consuming and toxic in the worst way possible. Oh and did I mention my high school sweetheart and I broke up, and I had lost my best friend? Rock bottom.
BUT YOU GUYS! I’m so grateful for this “ugly” stage of my life, because God is so good, and He is so good at being God. I didn’t know the beauty he was going to bring from this. I believe it’s those times of desperation that make us hold onto the only sure thing we know, our faith. I rekindled my relationship with God, I focused and poured into myself spiritually like never before. I became at peace with myself, regrets, mistakes and all. I was happy, but God was not done. God blessed me infinitely with bringing my high school sweetheart back into my life. Together we have become so much stronger in our faith than we could have ever imagined. We needed that time to grow spiritually separately so that He could prepare us for the biggest commitment of all. Marriage. Yes, my high school sweetheart will soon be my husband, my Michael. Praise God!
Where am I now? I am 22 years old, constantly being refined by God’s grace and have found that the only true happiness and acceptance you need is that of Christ. I will be graduating this Spring with my Bachelors in Business Management (yes, I know it’s not Nursing, I’ll save that story for another day 😉 ).
Please know that wherever you are in your journey, whether it be in the valley or on the mountain-top, rest assured that God is in control.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4