Not too long ago I found myself lying on my bed, blankets pulled over my face, crying like a baby. From my perspective, my dream was dead. My husband and I had just gone over our budget and he had mapped out some possible financial scenarios if I reduced my time working at the hospital. Basically, it wasn’t going to happen unless we wanted to stop eating or paying our bills (that’s what happens when you have a student loan payment as big as your mortgage – and that’s only the biggest monthly loan payment!). Now my dream isn’t to just cut back on my hospital hours. My dream is to reduce those hours so I can put hours into working with patients in a physician’s office. I felt like I needed to have a plan to reduce my working hours so I could put extra time and effort into approaching physician offices, putting together business plans, and/or exploring recruiting patients independently. I had been looking for possible part-time opportunities in a clinic, but so far nothing had surfaced, and it felt like nothing would.
**Side note on the student loans here: I am incredibly grateful that I went to Drake. I had an extremely positive experience there. I met one of my best friends, I grew in my faith, and I gained an excellent education. I am so grateful that I have a PharmD and all the opportunities that come with being a pharmacist. But, if I could go back and talk to my younger self, I would advise her to work more during high school and SAVE that money for college. I would encourage her to apply to even more scholarships. I would urge her to look at the financial comparisons of the Midwest pharmacy schools. While I don’t regret my choices, I do wonder what my life would be like if I didn’t have quite so much student loan debt. But Ben and I just talked to our financial planner and we’ve been budgeting and I’ve been obsessively listening to Dave Ramsey, so we have a plan of attack.**
Okay, hopping off my soapbox there. Anyway, I was feeling defeated. This is what I wrote in my journal that night, “God, I need you to take control. I am feeling so discouraged. God, I have this desire to help young women know there are alternatives to birth control for women’s health and fertility issues. I want to be loving and encouraging. But, I don’t want to pursue selfish desires. I only want to pursue the dreams you have given me. So PLEASE make it painfully obvious what is from you. I believe if you have given me the vision, then you will give me the means to make it a reality. I am releasing my tight grip on my life and I am submitting to your timeline.” That was on August 20th.
Psalm 30:5 says, “For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.”
Let me tell you, the next morning I woke up and I did not feel like rejoicing. I was still feeling stuck. But, although much easier said than done, I chose to put my feelings aside and trust. I prayed A LOT. I listened to podcasts for encouragement and career advice. I signed up for a pharmacist conference that I knew clinic pharmacists would attend. I read my Bible. I talked to my therapist. I made new connections on LinkedIn. I swallowed my pride and fear and I volunteered to give a talk at my church about natural family planning. I sent an email to my own OB-GYN doctor. Every morning I wrote out affirmations and goals and spent time in prayer and scripture.
Yesterday, October 10th, I had a huge breakthrough. I can’t share the details at this point, but let me just say that I was given a lot of hope and encouragement. Waking up this morning and getting out my Bible app, my verse of the day was Psalm 30:5. And I realized that my morning of rejoicing has come. Sometimes we (pointing two fingers at me here) forget that God’s timing is not our timing. I believe that even when we can’t see it or can’t comprehend it, God is working for us. He wants to bless us if we are open to it. This doesn’t mean we won’t have hardships – weeping may stay for the night (however long that is) – but the joy will come.
PS: If you are in the Twin Cities and have any interest in learning more about natural family planning from a medical, personal, and a Catholic perspective, you are more than welcome to attend my presentation on October 24th at 7pm at St. Katharine Drexel church in Ramsey. Email me at emilyrunsonpassion.com if you have other questions or want other details.
PPS: There is a new book called “Debt Free Degree” by Anthony O’Neal from Ramsey Solutions geared towards parents of middle- and high-school students explaining how to help your kids get through college without student loans. I have not read it yet, but I have heard a lot about it and I definitely plan on reading it so I can start doing everything possible to help my kids. If you have middle- or high-school students, you might want to check it out. I am in absolutely no way affiliated with the book or Ramsey Solutions. It just sounds super helpful. https://www.daveramsey.com/store/product/debt-free-degree-book?campaign_id=