Holly graduated from Baptist Health School of Nursing today. We could not be more thankful...or more proud of her hard work.
You know, kids these days (who AM I, Grandma Moses?), most of them anyway...plan on going to college. It's what they need to do...it's what they want to do; even tho they may not have a CLUE what they should study or where they want their degree to take them.
The kids in Holly's High School senior class...they all said they were going pre-med.
Not ALL of them, obviously. I'm exaggerating to make a point.
They just all had these really lofty goals, and there's nothing wrong with that, but they had no clue of the hard work, dedication and sacrifice it was going to take to reach those goals.
How could they, really?
So, Holly went to college because we expected her to...and because she wanted to. She wanted to be a physical therapist.
College was good for her. She had a great time, and she learned a lot. She made friendships and connections that I hope will last a lifetime. And even tho Jim tried to encourage her to pursue nursing after 2 years of college...she was not having it. Was not interested...no way, no how.
It wasn't until she got close to graduation...that God began to work in her heart about possibly pursuing a nursing career. One of her good friends had gone to nursing school after graduating college, and loved it.
So, Holly came to her Dad and said that she might, maybe, want to consider going to nursing school. And Jim said that he would help her however he could. Holly got married two weeks after graduating from college, and she and Aaron-the-son-in-law moved up to Fayetteville...because that's where he was working. She applied to a nursing school up there, and since not all of the nursing schools in Arkansas have the same requirements, and even tho she had a college degree in Biology...she was having to take a couple of additional courses.
DON'T GET ME STARTED ON THIS.
I think that every nursing program in the State of Arkansas should have the exact same requirements...the course numbers should be the exact same and they should transfer easily from one school to the next.
Also, they did not want to accept the concurrent courses (college courses taken in high school) she took in high school, and this mom was about to lose my mind over it. They eventually did, tho. Holly was patient with them and they worked it all out.
After a year up there, Aaron got a new job, and they moved down to central Arkansas. Holly applied at Baptist Health and got in. And she LOVED it. Nursing school for Holly was a perfect fit. We weren't surprised. From an early age, we knew she had the gift of care-taking, because we watched how she was with her big brother, Joshua...tender, creative, patient (usually), fiercely protective.
Actually, she's that way with her two younger brothers as well.
Last night, Holly graduated from nursing school. She's an RN, y'all!
I was so impressed with the graduation ceremony. In a day when prayer at secular events like graduations and football games is frowned upon and hotly discouraged, Baptist Health was ALL.OVER.IT last night.
And I know...probably not all of the professors are Christians. Altho, Holly said they had a devo and prayer every morning in school. And that there were MANY times: before a test, after a test, if something was going on with one of the students or their family...the professor would pray over them. As a Mom, that means so much...because I pray for my kids. But to know that there is someone else, a stranger to me, that is praying for my child as well? That is enough to make me want to cry right here and now.
And also, side note: before one of the finals Holly had just last month, things were really stressful as some of the students were really on the bubble and needing every single point they could get...and the test was going to be comprehensive. Holly said that this one morning, people were crying even before the test was administered. Now...that's bad, right? BEFORE the test? Yikes! And that one of the professors stopped and said, "I want to pray for you all right now, that God will calm your hearts and enable you to recall all of the information you've studied." Holly said from the back of the room, a girl yelled, "WE DON'T NEED PRAYER."
And that everyone else GASPED.
Like, over 160 people simultaneously drew in their breath.
I mean, right?
And then Holly said a girl on her row turned around and said, "well then you can leave...because the rest of us do."
The girl who said she didn't need prayer? Holly found out that it was one of her friends...a girl that had been in her group and on some of her clinical rotations. Sadly, she didn't pass...and did not graduate.
I realize that probably not all of the students are Christians, either, but this Christian mom was thankful that the whole ceremony pointed to God.
Because as much as these nurses were charged to use their knowledge to help others, it was also acknowledged that there is a point where the knowledge of man is just not enough...and they were urged to look to the Lord for wisdom and guidance. They were also encouraged to be a light to those around them...and to reflect the Light of Christ to others.
Then, they had this whole light-your-candle thing, where all of the professors lined up across the stage and down across the floor, one on each row of graduates. I thought it was going to be so cheesy. There was a candle on the stage, and the teachers on either side of it lit their candles by it's flame, and then passed it to the one next to them, on and on, and one by one, until it made it to every nurse. They turned the lights off in Verizon Arena, and the only lights were the candles in the hands of all the graduates and their professors. Not gonna lie...I got a little choked up. It was such a great visual of what can happen if just ONE person shares the Light of Christ with just one other person.
Also, they had Arkansas House of Representative, Julie Mayberry, give the commencement address, and she did such a great job! One of her 4 daughters has Spina Bifida, and Julie was able to share some of the experiences they've had. They have seen more than their fair share of nurses and health professionals due to her daughter's medical issues, surgeries and hospitalizations. And, based on those, she was able to give insight, as a parent, into the important role of a nurse as being the one who brings care, compassion and encouragement.
And then she read the "Welcome to Holland" poem. If you don't know what I'm talking about, I'll try to find a link. She got a little emotional reading it, and we, our family, got a lot of stares, nods and whispers in our direction, because Jim and I had our own little piece of Holland sitting right there between us: Freddy Von Freddykin (Joshua).
After the ceremony, we beat it outside to try and catch up with Holly for pictures (I posted some on my Facebook and on my IG: martythemoose). There were also the biggest, blackest, angriest clouds you have ever seen forming in the sky...so it was like, "get with your sister...SMILE...okay, got it. NEXT?"
We bolted to the car and came home. Joshua had gotten Holly a bouquet of sunflowers to give her after we got home. Holly and Aaron came straight to our house, and she walked in with flowers Aaron had given her: SUNFLOWERS. Good thing she loves them!
Faith, Clark's girlfriend, had brought a big box of beautifully decorated sugar cookies that her Aunt made for Holly. They were SO CUTE! They were decorated with a nursing theme. They were yummy!
We are so proud of Holly. And, now that she's a full-fledged nurse, I feel totally entitled to show her all of my boo-boos and scars and weird aging, body-happening things.
"Now all glory to God, who is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ." Ephesians 3:20