I went from some people believing, and some verbalizing, that I would never finish nursing school to actually graduating by the age of 21. When I make up my mind, I am a person that will accomplish what I set my mind on accomplishing! I worked in the hospital setting for years, mostly in labor and delivery. Dream job, right? Yes, of course, minus the 12 hour shifts that turned into 13-14, or sometimes 20. Then, there are the countless shifts where you cannot go to the bathroom or eat. The extra work because you are a fast paced, get the job done type, like many nurses are. Now, don’t get me wrong, I loved what I did. I learned to be a leader through nursing. I met many different people who are still a part of my life, patients and co-workers alike, that taught me a lot. I learned patience and nurturing. I learned how to be inquisitive and interested in others. I learned how to listen. For all of these things, I am grateful.
But, a few years back, I felt an overwhelming calling, an urgency in my gut, to be more present. Ryan and I had just gotten married, we were settling into life, and had just found out we were expecting. As the pregnancy progressed, and I went to work, day in and day out, it became overwhelmingly more apparent that I had a strong desire to just be a mom. My older two girls had always been to daycare and I had a lot of help from family at times, as well. With my schedule, I needed the help to survive. Now, they were very well taken care of, but at 34 years old, having my third daughter, and never having been able to be that mom who went to the school parties, dropped the girls off at school, changed all the diapers, or was just able to be still, I was aching for presence. It was blaringly obvious to me that God was calling me here as the word, “presence,” was on repeat daily in my head. As the weeks progressed, and many conversations were had, Ryan and I made the decision for me to walk away from nursing after 12 years.
Then, the doubt, fear, and even, worry, set in. I started to feel like maybe I didn’t hear God correctly. I started to question my role as “just a mom,” and thought, “How will I do this?” Combine that with being almost 100 pounds overweight, feeling like I had lost my identity, and probably depressed for the first time in my life, I found myself sad and tearful almost daily. I began searching for purpose and started a couple of businesses in direct sales thinking that would bring my “happy” back. I was mildly successful at both of the businesses as far as income, but had zero joy working them and quickly realized that it was ME that needed to be happy. Those businesses were not going to do that for me. So, I reached out to a friend who was rocking his health journey and he helped me find freedom in my own health. As I began to get healthy, my mind totally freed up and wrapped around this word, “presence,” literally for the first time since it began to repeatedly run through my head.
Then, I got into action! I created a dream board and got extremely clear on my why and what was driving me. I wasn’t just dreaming, I was doing! I wanted to replace my RN salary, work to replace Ryan’s salary, pay for our house remodel in cash, be debt free, travel, give back. I kept these things in the forefront of my mind through writing, repeating to myself daily, staying consistent, and I set a timeline that created pressure for me to accomplish them. In the course of two years, we have done all of these things and so much more. So, in leaving nursing and literally shocking many of our friends and family, I have relentlessly pursued, and discovered, freedom and purpose all while being the present mom I so desperately wanted to be. Now, our “baby” has never seen the inside of a daycare. She has been in our home since birth. There is never a school party that I don’t attend. I get to go to lunches when I want. I am on time and fully present for every sporting event my oldest has. I get dates during the day with my husband! Do you want to know the best part? My cup is full and I no longer feel as though I am trying to pour from an empty vessel. As a mom, that is the best reward.