When I took the state exam for Nursing Boards many years ago, I knew I had failed. It was the first year that computerized tests were used and when the screen posted that the exam was finished, my hopes died along with my dream of becoming a Registered Nurse.
I left the testing room, dejected. I wondered how I would explain to family and friends that after years of study and painstaking clinical assignments, I had not measured up. I would not become a nurse.
The next morning, I opened my Bible for my quiet time and the verse that was on my day’s agenda practically jumped off the page. It was Philippians 1:6. “Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
I dared not believe that this message for me was from the Lord. But a seed of hope birthed in my heart that day, even though I still wrestled with the feeling of failure.
Five days later, the manila envelope arrived in the mail from the State of Iowa. I was too terrified to open it and handed it to my husband. He read it out loud with two of my three children hanging over his shoulder. It read: “Elaine Marie Cooper is a Registered Nurse in the State of Iowa.” My family jumped up and down and hugged me with their congratulations. I cried tears of relief and joy, knowing full well that it was His work in me that helped me attain this goal. I remembered the verse of reassurance that I had read the day after my test. I will forever remember how it ministered to me during those days of hopelessness.
Years later, I am still a Registered Nurse but God has drawn me toward another path: Writing books. I have often felt as inadequate for the task of writing as I was in going back to school to learn nursing. I had so many fears to overcome, not the least of which was a frail left hand, partially withered from nerve damage. God showed me that I could take care of patients with the little strength I did have. Just as God has showed me I can type one-handed and create thousands of words that are woven into a novel. Sometimes these books even win awards.
God has shown me over and over that HIS grace is sufficient for me and HIS strength is made perfect in my weakness. (2 Corinthians 12:9)
And that He Who began a good work in me will be faithful to complete it. All I must do is obey Him.