The last three-and-a-half years I have experienced an anchor that has given me much focus, purpose, and satisfaction. It has helped to hold me through some radical transitions, including moving as US citizens from Indonesia to the Middle East and four boys leaping out of our nest. It also held fast as the disastrous flood ripped through our tropical aviation base in Papua and as we navigate the annual leaves where we experience the high of seeing family and friends and the low of leaving them again.
This was not the first anchor of my choice; it did not capture my heart like some other anchors that were on display. But I have always said, “I think God knows the desires of my heart better than I do.” It turns out that this is true.
This semester has been a culmination of the anchors effect as I taught Human Clinical 1 at MEU (I had an awesome mentor, Dr. Amy) and presented a capstone educational offering about forgiveness in the Middle East. I find the classroom invigorating, especially the more the students are engaged in active learning. Creating an escape room that cemented the most important concepts from the class was a highlight for us all. The impact of the educational offering has only just begun, as I will begin to develop a program that can be used here in the Middle East and North Africa region to journey people through forgiveness, as I work with Dr. Tibbits’s material, Forgive to Live.
I am indebted to my husband who allowed us to “invest” in my personal journey. It was not just the money; it was also years of him coming home only to discover my head buried in my computer working on yet “another project”. Undoubtedly, this focus has taken away from other areas I could have been involved with him … like going on work trips with Darron and ministering to the women or having more people over for meals.
I am also indebted to the faculty at Southern Adventist University, School of Nursing, as they are outstanding. Their Christian hearts, their genuine love and care for their students, and their professionalism is a blessing. Somehow, despite being 100% online, they connected with me and made me feel apart.
Nostalgia filled my heart as I submitted my final reports and presented for research day. It is finished. The anchor, that has been such a blessing to me, must be pulled up, as it is time to move around the harbor and attend to things that have been waiting.
The NGO (Woven Dignity) needs attention (https://www.wovendignity.com/). Our ministry team needs attention. Another semester will be starting, there is a class to prepare for, it needs my attention. My house (hello, dirt hiding in cabinets and tucked away) needs attention. Women, in the community, need my attention. My writing needs my attention. My children, perhaps need my attention (ha-ha, Praise the Lord, they seem to be doing just fine without it).
I will take the semester off, to give needed attention where it belongs and to re-evaluate what the next step is. Many of my professors are encouraging me to pursue a PHD or a DNP. I am unsure. I will seek the Lord and try to discover His will over the next few months.
Even though I am nervous about pulling up this anchor of education and the instability it might create, I am grateful for the other anchors present in my life. God, family, and friends. Each precious anchor gives strength and stability when the gale winds of life pick up force. It really is not a question of If the storms will come, it is more in question of, will the anchors hold? I have confidence that mine will, and I am ever so grateful for the one I just experienced labeled a “master’s in nursing education”.
Who would have thought that education would have been such a gift to me?
I hope as you navigate the waters of life, that you are given anchors that help stabilize your vessel when the winds blow. The name of one or some of your anchors may surprise you. They may bring you great joy, peace, hope, satisfaction, and focus. Unquestionably, the best anchor is labeled God. In Him, we can confidently say with “…This hope, we have an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast.” Hebrews 6:19