travel nursing

Trust Exercises

Anything under God’s control is never out of control.

– Charles R. Swindoll

Since I can remember, I’ve had a plan. A 5-year plan for school and career, an ideal age for when I’d get married, an exact amount of children I’d have, a time in mind for when to fall asleep to get the ideal amount of sleep. Calendar and e-mail features are one of the few reasons I converted to a smart phone years ago (that, and the navigation tool is amazing.).

I’ve always had a plan. Now, people ask me what I’m up to, and this is my answer: “Well, I’m quitting my job and moving in a month, and I have no clue where I’m moving to.”

They furrow their brow, tilt their head, or otherwise seem to be asking, “What do you mean you have no idea?”

I mean I have no idea. Absolutely no clue. No, really. No idea. I could be in Colorado, Arizona, Texas, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Virginia, basically anywhere across United States. It all depends on what hospital hires me as a travel nurse. As a first time traveler with a little under 2 years of experience, I’m not the easiest sell in the world.

My information is out at least 20 hospitals across the United States, and I have yet to hear from a place that wants me. Yes, it’s early. Yes, I have time. Yes, I’ll get something. But it’s completely nerve-wracking and makes me think the worst of myself.

The thought-process tape runs something like this: What if they don’t want me? What if my resume isn’t good enough? What if I’m not good enough? Who am I to even think I could do travel nursing? Who am I to think I’m good enough?

At this point, I say the only three words I know to say, “God, help me.” I run through my resume, my struggles, my growth since I added the letters RN behind my name. I remind myself I am loved, that God wills me good, and that He is in control.

Control. What is that? It’s something I pretend to have and feel the incessant need to truly have, but yet I never have it. How does God have it than?

Well, I suppose He created the world (and probably not in 6 days, unless He really wanted it to be done that quickly, but He is infinitely more patient and slow-moving than me, so billions of years seems quick more likely to me). Being a loving Father (and wise Father), He probably wouldn’t just let the world run amok, so He’s got to have some degree of control over it, yeah? ‘Cuz He’s all-powerful and that whole deal too, I suppose. But than how does He have control without affecting my free will?

At this point, it’s more of a theological and philosophical debate in my head than a personal, shame-filled attack against myself, so that’s a win, regardless. I don’t know how God is in control, but I know He is. I don’t know why God allows suffering, but I know He’s there. I don’t know where my life is going physically, emotionally, or spiritually, but I know He’s there.

The thing is, I don’t feel it. I feel anxiety, nervousness, excitement, sadness, gratitude, and a whole spectrum of emotion. I don’t feel peace. Isn’t where God is in control, there’s peace?

Yes, but for there to be peace, there needs to be trust. Whenever I’ve felt the most at peace, there’s been complete trust. I feel the most at peace at work when my patient and I have a good, trusting rapport. I feel the most at peace with my family and friends when I trust them and trust my secrets to them. I feel the most at peace with God when I’ve let go and trusted Him.

So, I guess the real question is how can I trust more? Whenever I think trust, I think corny trust games (which I not so secretly actually love).  I’ve been thinking of this weird, uncertain time as a slow-moving trust fall, with me just waiting to be caught.

But God doesn’t play games. He doesn’t test me unnecessarily. I don’t need to pass a certain line or certain level of trust to be that more worthy. He wills my good and has a plan for my life, just as I am.

I need a new mental metaphor for trust.

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