When You Share Your Umbrella

College was hard for me. Especially since I had no problems in high school. I was valedictorian and truth be told, I probably could have been much more challenged. That is not against my school or my parents, I just remember not really having to work that hard to get straight A’s. I only mention that to explain how much harder college was for me. My first semester, I received a B for the first time since elementary school. I was outraged! Especially, since it was in my best subject (English) and I did not think I deserved a B. I even approached my professor about it and requested a second opinion. How is that for brazen and arrogant? I still received a B. And then there was speech class, which was not my best subject. There is a reason I prefer writing to speaking. Then, I decided to obtain my degree in nursing. Now that was a challenge. Science had never been a favorite subject and I don’t think I realized how much science was involved in the nursing program (Bear in mind that I was very young and naïve; don’t judge me) . Then came the onslaught of organic chemistry, microbiology, anatomy and physiology, and pathophysiology.  Now, fortunately. I am great at memorizing things, which served me well in anatomy and physiology. (did I fully understand, no, but I got the answers right!) When it came to chemistry, micro, and pathophysiology… Well, let’s just say my eyes were opened and I had met my challenge. I managed to swing an A in micro or organic (I can’t remember which now) by busting my butt off and becoming antisocial. But I got a B in the other two subjects. I was more proud of those B’s then any grade I had ever received up to that point. I may have even received a C in pathophysiology as that teacher was challenging! I doubt if anybody got higher than a B. (though a few of my brilliant friends probably did).  I studied constantly, I worried constantly, I did not sleep. In short, at some point I reached my breaking point.

I don’t remember what semester the following story happened or what subject I was studying, but all I remember is sobbing and wanting to quit so much! I remember thinking I did not know what kind of mess I had put myself.

It was pouring rain this night, I had no umbrella, no rain jacket, but I had to walk., maybe I had a destination, maybe I just needed to clear my head. Either way, I was soaked to my very bones. Even more, my heart was soaked with worries and anxiety, and disappointment in myself.

As I was walking, all of a sudden, this girl appears out of nowhere. I had never met her, never seen her, never saw her again after that day to my recollection.  She extended kindness and offered to share her umbrella. What I left with was far more than an umbrella. She saw my tears, in spite of having just dried my eyes, and gave me comfort and encouragement when I had nothing left to give in response. I don’t remember her exact words, but I do remember leaving her presence and feeling renewed. I felt I could go on, could continue to press toward my goal and know that at least, at that moment, my calling was to become a nurse and to serve others as Jesus had served the sick and the lonely.  I knew in that moment that I could do this; I could do this college thing. I could become a nurse.  It would be hard and challenging, and I had other times when I wanted to quit, but  I could do it. Whoever that girl was, she was my rescuer.

I would like to think that she was an angel sent just for me. Maybe she was, or maybe she was just a friend in a brief moment God sent to encourage me and show me He loved me.

Wherever you are in your phase of life, just know that God is there and that you are not alone. Don’t give up.

“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” Phlippians 3: 12-14

Maybe you are at the same point that I as in college, maybe you are raising young children like I am at the moment, battling tantrums, sleepless nights, and constant challenges. Perhaps you have lost a loved one or are struggling with health yourself. Just know that you are not alone. Perhaps God can use you be the person who shares an umbrella.  If you need prayers, I would love to pray for you. I ask that you continue to pray for me. That I will patiently learn the art of being a parent so that I may be able to guide my children to a  love that only God can bestow.

Thank you for reading!

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