What I learned when I went to study nursing

After we moved back to Belgium and we weren’t mennonites anymore ?and pretended to be normal (whatever that is. As far as I know there are no normal people)… I started going to school.

And I do really mean an actual school. A real one. Where there are also other people. Everywhere. I had dreamed of being a nurse for so long that I ran to it very quickly when I heard I could start there without a Belgian high school diploma.
And then when I stood in front of the school door I felt very much like screaming very hard and running back to my mama.

But I was super brave, so I went inside. To a class full of people who had started school the day before and who all stared at me. I came in with another girl who was also a day late, so I felt a connection with her. Quite logical seeing as we were both starting a day late. Can’t you feel the unity and the connection in the air?

Then the teacher sent her out because apparently the class was split in two for this class and her last name started with an ‘e’ and mine with a ‘v’ and so we weren’t together for this class. There went the unity and the connection and I was all by myself. She felt it too, because she looked back at me while she walked out of the door. As if she was nervous, too. When I saw that, I felt a tiny bit better.

And yet I still wanted to run to my mama.


3 years later I graduated without the fancy coat and hat. (I always wanted to graduate with a coat and hat…So real and romantic!) But I wore a simple summer dress, black with white polka dots.

On my evaluation talk shortly before I graduated I had to tell two of my teachers how I had grown and changed as a person, and more of that self-reflectionary stuff.

And so I reflected and thought of how I had grown and changed.
I thought about……How I had loved scowling at that one teacher who could say 10 swear words in 1 sentence, to show him my disapproval of him and his methods.
How I loved telling everyone my views on euthanasia and abortion during ethics. Luckily I had a wise teacher who didn’t give first or second year students a chance to voice their opinion all to often or all to long.?I looked forward to the third year, when I could give presentations and show everyone how good and right I was.?Again, luckily, I never got that chance.

…I thought about how by the time I was about to walk out of St. Fransiscus institution for nursing in Leuven, I was a whole lot less sure of my holy opinions on all things.

…I ?discovered that I had learned there are grey areas. I learned there are exceptions, and there is grace. I learned that even people who can’t say a sentence without using 10 swear words can teach you something and can be really nice.

…I thought about how at the end of my 3 years I discovered that I knew far less then I had when I started. That God uses everything and everybody to pull you closer to Him. That 3 years of studying nursing teaches you more about life then about sickness and blood and brains. God has a way of teaching you about Himself and yourself through everything and nothing, if you’ll only let Him.

One of my favorite memories is the graduation party.
The vice principal, who’d been my teacher in the second year, came up to me and told me how they appreciated having me in school and seeing a different way of seeing/doing things.?Not exactly what she said because I didn’t write it down, but that was the gist of it anyway.

I didn’t convert anybody and I didn’t become a star pupil and didn’t get a halo.
There were days I gossiped in the cafeteria and there were days that the flames and judgement shooting from my eyes were worse then any swear word you’ll hear.
But I did learn so many life lessons, and for that I am grateful.

This post is part of my 31 days series ‘More like My Father’.

The series has stories?in which people of all kinds of backgrounds share how they got to know the Lord, and how He can change our life.?

To go to the series page for links to the other posts, click?here


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