When writing an essay doesn’t go to plan…

My Saturday afternoon seems to have all gone wrong. I was going to work on my essay, finish my first draft, and start reviewing it. Admittedly, I do now have 2250 words out of the 3000 words required, but words have not been coming fast. I can’t think how to write what I have learnt about pain management in children. I can’t think what to base my case study on. I can’t seem to work out how to apply my research on pain management to my as-yet-unwritten case study.

And the printer doesn’t want to work.

Let me explain. When I have written a reasonable amount of an essay, I always like having a printed copy to work from. I just do. I like the clean-ness and clarity of a neatly typed and printed copy – it is just perfect to cover with scribbled notes, suggested changes, and reworded sentences. But today, the printer is being stroppy – it is never good news when it says, “Please wait a while”. Consequently, I have every other page of essay printed, but the other pages are stuck on my laptop, and the printer refuses to print them.

It is at times like this that I can start telling myself that it is no good. That I don’t have it in me to make my way through this three-year nursing degree. I mean, I can’t even print an essay, let alone write it. And I am only in my first year – it only gets harder after this. Not to mention, I am not a good student. I spend too much time watching “One Born Every Minute” (or some other TV shows), when I should really be working. I don’t read as much or as often as I should.  And my memory is like a sieve – I seem to forget everything I try to learn within a couple of days.

The accusations come flying in. The verdict? Not good enough.

It is just one of those kind of days.

And it is also one of those moments when I need to remind myself why I am here. I need to remind myself why I want to be a nurse – how I want to be there for children and their families at some of the most vulnerable moments of their lives when they most need loving care and support. I need to remind myself of my own experience as a little girl of 8-years-old with a very sick baby sister, and how that influenced my decision all these years later.

I also need to remind myself of how I came to be here. I came through so many dashed hopes and so much uncertainty, just to study nursing. I need to remember how the Lord brought me and placed me here – to study nursing. If He brought me here, He can give me all I need to go through with the course. He can enable me to pass this first year. He can help me to do well in my second placement coming up in just over a weeks’ time. And He can help me to complete this essay. We will deal with that lie of ‘not good enough’ another time. For now, it is enough for me to know that I don’t have to do this on my own, for the Lord is my help.

No one ever said university was going to be easy. No one ever said nursing was going to be easy either. But the Lord is Almighty, and He can help me through. As Paul wrote to the Philippians, “I can do everything through Christ, which strengtheneth me.”(Philippians 4:13) With Christ, I can do it!

And it can be applied to so much more. We should never limit God’s power and ability. In the most difficult and impossible situations (and I’m talking situations much, much harder than finishing a 3000-word assignment for the 5th June!)  God is there for His children, and He will help them and carry them through. He will give grace for the darkest moments. He will uphold in the moments when all else seems to fail. He will comfort in the midst of grief. He will bring hope into despair. He will be there for us when we need Him most. He is there, even when we doubt Him, and He loves us with a love beyond all telling. The list goes on. There is lifting up!

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4 thoughts on “When writing an essay doesn’t go to plan…

  1. joy16live4jesus says:

    Oh dear, that would be a real pain to have your printer decide to be stubborn like that when most needed. I hope your essay goes smoothly (I will keep you in my prayers in that regard!). My older sister, Mary, is in her first year of uni this year as well, and I’ve heard her say much of the same worries and doubts that trouble you right now, and it has been amazing seeing God’s provision and help for her different assignments; and my eldest sister is near the end of her degree, which reminds me that big things like uni or high-school don’t last forever ;).

    I am still working on my PACE’s finishing off yr 10 and 11 subjects and I’m already 18 :p. Definitely, the feeling of not being good enough, or capable enough to do the thing that God has laid upon us, has easily fallen on me as well. University-studying must be all the more challenging! But as you shared, yes, God’s grace abounds and is enough; more than enough in fact to help us accomplish the thing we have to do, and rely on Him to be with us through every step. . . for me, just learning to thank Him in everything has helped me realize the goodness of His mercy and grace to me, and strengthened me to continue. Because He doesn’t let go, even when I doubt or fail. That is a wonderful thing, and I am really wanting to learn this more and more, because I constantly fail and falter. But He remains faithful!

    I think it is simply wonderful that you’re studying to be a nurse. That is a special thing and I know God will be with you and help you through it! Praying for you, and also I am so glad you’re back blogging ;).

  2. joy16live4jesus says:

    By the by, Anna, last Thursday, my blog, Fullness of Joy had its 3rd birthday :). To celebrate the event, I am hosting a blog-party of “special magnificence” throughout the week, and as a cherry-top icing a fun giveaway for three winners to end it all. It will be a week long tag series, with every day or so I’ll be making different literary-themed topic tags, about different genres such as the classics, fantasy, mystery, children’s, etc . . which everyone can join in with. And I am dearly hoping you would – it would thrill me very much and also it should prove some fun, I think :)

    Today’s topic is “Historical Classics” :)

    http://joy-live4jesus.blogspot.com.au/2014/06/through-looking-glass-blog-birthday.html?m=1

    I hope you can join!

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