I love Galveston. I love the salty air, running on the seawall, and the overall island atmosphere. What I have struggled with, and I'm not going to sugarcoat it for you, is finding a community.
Leaving Aggies for Christ, my best friends, and my Deer Run family was bound to be difficult. However, I have felt grief in Galveston as I have coped with this loss. Yes, these individuals are only a phone call away, but it is so so so different. I went from living with my three best friends to living alone (sorry Charlotte you don't count). Suddenly I'm not having to buy chocolate milk or extra toilet paper, my left overs stay in the refrigerator, the house is always clean and quiet, and I'm learning how to cook for one. That my friends takes some serious adjusting.
Thankfully my grandparents came down for a little over two weeks to help me acclimate to the island. Coming home wasn't as difficult knowing that they would be there to ask about my day. Let me be honest, it is sad coming home and not having someone to ask about your day. My grandparents took care of me during the first week of school when I got extremely sick with a bad case of strep throat; they stocked my pantry with groceries; and helped me attend church.
The church here is very different than what I left at A&M. Imagine 300 individuals your age in AFC alone then dropping down to a congregation of 70 people, most over the age of 60. It is an adjustment. Truthfully, I'm still looking for a sense of community. I'm attending a different church with a friend I've made in class. Her invitation to attend church and small group with her was such an answered prayer, because I have been hurting emotionally and spiritually.
I've expressed to my boyfriend (yes that's new!) that I feel like I've lost my joy since moving to Galveston. He was very quick to point out that I haven't lost my joy, but I haven't been finding opportunities to serve and go out of my way to love the people around me. Man is he smart! It's so true. Whether I was at Deer Run or at A&M, I was constantly involved with service opportunities, or ministering to those around me. For some reason, as I moved to Galveston I stopped looking for those opportunities.
So after a semi-breakdown (not even nursing related) I prayed that God would guide me as I looked for ways to get involved on the island I now call home. Our God is faithful. In just one week I have become a patient volunteer to sit with patients whom don't have family members, I have become QPR certified (to help recognize suicidal individuals), I have become a volunteer at a student-run clinic for individuals who can't afford health care, and have joined a pediatric nursing club. God has provided, and suddenly I don't feel so empty. I am also very excited to try out this new church and small group with my new friend in nursing school.
Through it all, I have still been diligent in my quiet time, because I know God is faithful. I think moving to the island though I expected God to just drop these things in my lap, to make friends knock on my door, or whatever without me putting in an ounce of work. Lazily I waited, and lost my joy and confidence because I hadn't made best friends, I hadn't become so involved with the church or placed membership, and I haven't learned to cook for one,
Yet, this verse has carried me through. "He who calls you is faithful." 1 Thessalonians 5:24
God is faithful. I know that he has brought me to this island and has a purpose for me. While I had hoped to have some big revelation to share, or tell you that I had made new best friends and that this transition had been the easiest yet, it hasn't been that way. Regardless, I am still walking with God. I am *more actively* seeking opportunities to further the kingdom. I am more excited to see how my 16 months in Galveston continues to grow me and mold me. Because in one month I have learned a lot about myself.
Now for nursing school! I love UTMB's nursing school! Is it challenging and fast-paced? Absolutely. Do I spend hours a day studying? Yes. Do I STILL HATE my burnt orange scrubs? Absolutely. But overall I love nursing school. I am still making friends and getting to know my classmates, but I know I made the right choice in choosing UTMB. I have loved learning how to insert catheters and take vitals. I love being challenged to think critically. What I love most though is that I am entering a profession where I will experience true joy every day as I die to myself.
In 2 weeks I begin my clinical rotations. I have been assigned to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, otherwise known as the prisoner hospital for the prisoners at Huntsville. I am so excited to begin this opportunity! I can't think of a better place to begin my patient contact than with individuals who are desperately in need of care and Jesus. I look forward to sharing how God continues to use my time here in Galveston to grow me. Please keep me in your prayers as I keep seeking the Lord and to keep fighting relentlessly for my passion.