Growing Pains

Renew your Mindset with God series: The Amazing Transformation of our Character.

It was the last week of the spring semester, and as one of the ten remaining nursing students, I looked forward to the 12-week summer vacation to travel, relax, and enjoy a break from the rigorous studies. Around 2 pm, the Director and all of our professors entered our lecture room. We were aware that a meeting between all faculty and students meant that the issue was significant. I can still remember the shock from hearing these words from the Director:

We have received the Board’s approval to initiate an additional summer semester for the nursing program. It is a six-week Clinical rotation, Monday-Friday, from 7 am-3:30 pm, to be conducted in the two hospitals where you are already performing the program’s clinical requirements. Nursing 4 will begin in 10 days. You will be assigned to work under a Registered Nurse and are responsible for two patients’ total care every day. Also, you are required to submit Nursing Care Plans for each of your patients. The summer semester is not an option; it is a modification to the program. If you fail to complete the rotation or have three or more absences, we will withdraw you from the program except under extreme circumstances. I understand that you will have mixed feelings regarding this information. We desire that you are well-equipped to give quality care and possess the highest level of knowledge throughout your career in nursing. You are dismissed for the day. 

Since the number of nursing students had dwindled from 27 to 10, we became a close sisterhood. After the meeting, we rushed to the student lounge to discuss the unfairness of being forced to work in the hospital for free. Based on our previous clinical assignments, we anticipated receiving the most challenging patients. As we prepared to leave, we heard a whimper and saw tears streaming down Mary’s face as she embraced each of us and said good-bye. Mary’s husband paid for a non-refundable two-week cruise departing the same week that our Nursing 4 clinical rotation started. She said that enough was enough and that her sacrifice to become a Registered Nurse was over.

I must admit those six-weeks were extremely hard. We were assigned patients that required total personal care. They could not bathe or dress and required transfer from bed to recliner chairs twice during the shift. The admission and discharge turnover was high that summer. New patients quickly replaced our previously assigned patients. It was school policy that new patients have completed nursing care plans within 24 hours. After a brutal day, we had to put in additional time to develop care plans at home. 

Nevertheless, the nine of us who endured Nursing 4 had excellent nursing preceptors who taught us organizational skills we would use in future practice. We also learned the advantages of working as a team toward the same goals. And the most rewarding aspect was that our patients eagerly looked forward to receiving compassionate care from their Student Nurses. We did not want to admit the Nursing Administration of our school developed a program that was spot-on. But the extra six weeks enriched our clinical practice, and gave us a peek into the obstacles of working as a professional nurse. Every grueling moment that we experienced taught us what we needed to provide safe quality care. The additional perk was that seven of nine students passed the nursing licensure exam with the highest scores in the history of the school.

Committing one’s life to serve Christ also involves painstaking changes, and suffering. Even so, we require a complete character transformation to become holy and acceptable to reach God’s standards. As the Scriptures say, “No one is righteous–not even one. For everyone has sinned, we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Romans 3:10, 23. 

Whether you are a New Believer or an Old Soldier, please know that we will suffer bitter, fiery trials and tribulations in the furnace of affliction. As our fingerprints differ, so will our struggles against sin. The weaknesses that reveal our character defects require a complete spiritual make-over. So when we are “going through it,” please know that it is not our imagination. The struggle to change is real, but we must endure. God has the greatest reward that the faithful will ever receive. Do not become discouraged! Rely on God. God loves us, and He is always faithful. God has mighty good plans for His children if we just hold on.

Not only that, but we also rejoice in our sufferings because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. Romans 5:3-4

Yes, spiritual growth always involves growing pains, but our Heavenly Father has a plan and a purpose for each of us. Jesus Christ, our Intercessor, is training us to develop characters in His divine likeness. It is fallen humanity that Jesus sacrificed His life for by hanging on Calvary’s cross. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. John 14:2. Hold on, and never forget we are the redeemed that Jesus is coming back for and to take us to our heavenly home.

Jesus’ promises:

  1.  Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Matthew 28:20
  2. Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled; do not be afraid. John 14:27

Let Christ perform a mighty and wonderful work in your life. Release your will and your way to endure the process of restoration, and Jesus will provide an amazing transformation of your character. The reward of Eternal life in the New Heaven and the New Earth requires that we have pure hearts and perfect, righteous characters. He who is the faithful witness to all these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon!” Amen! Come, Lord Jesus! Revelation 22:20

Bible Reading: Ephesians 6

God, we thank you for the gift of your Son, Jesus Christ who died to redeem us from our sins. We ask that you impart your strength as we go through the process of spiritual growth. It is our desire to experience a complete transformation that we may live with you in the New Heaven and New Earth. May your will be done in our lives. We ask this prayer in the Worthy Name of your Son, Jesus. Amen.  

Author: steps2successwithsolutions

By profession, I am a Registered Nurse, with a passion for helping others overcome the obstacles in their lives. I am a writer of Devotionals, Romantic Poetry, and Research Articles. The recent development of Mentoring and launching as a Motivational Speaker has prompted me to address real-life issues for women from a spiritual perspective.