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Why I hated Focus….. and now I work for them!

Since I know the flood of “what are you doing once you graduate?” season is upon us, I decided to make it a lil bit easier and let the public know via da blog;

Once I graduate and (hopefully) pass my NCLEX (my nursing boards) this May…..

I will be serving with FOCUS as a missionary for these next two years, EEEEEEEEKKK !!!!

Let’s back track a little bit to see how this came to be……

Once there was a girl who was aching for Jesus, she just didn’t know it yet. Her friends loved her so well, and she came to realize that Jesus was trying to love her in the same way, but times 100,000,000.

Haha okay, for real this time; my time in Honduras last March was radically transforming in more ways than I would even realize. After encountering Him there, a small seed became planted in my heart to just know Him more and begin to bring others along. I began to see things SO differently; nothing could compare to the joy I felt when I was spending time in prayer, bible study, or in adoration. I was slipping slowly into what I called “So Catholic It Hurt.

I just couldn’t get enough. Over the summer I became fired up about the possibility of serving Jesus in this way. That desire all came to a halt once I got back and starting my senior year of nursing school. There was just no way. Being a missionary would be completely throwing away all the hard work I’ve put into nursing school, I reasoned.

So I quickly pushed the idea out of my mind. I decided that I was gonna do things my way and started looking into applying to post baccalaureate programs for medical school after graduation. Becoming a missionary or deciding to go to med school — clearly the second sounded like the correct answer. Obviously telling people I was gonna end up going to medical school made me feel like I could accomplish something for myself.

I could feel the anxiety welling up inside of me. I wanted to find a reason to dislike Focus. I needed to find something to justify my reason for not wanting to apply to become a missionary. They’re so weird. They make you do a bunch of stuff that doesn’t work; I don’t like how they do this, I don’t like how they teach that, you get the picture.

One day I just plain out panicked and called a close friend who had decided to become a Focus missionary. I wanted so badly for him to tell me that he hated it, that he’d made a mistake. He was honest and laid it out pretty plainly for me, but much to my dissapointment, I got nothing of the sort; He was learning to just trust in Jesus and I could hear the enthusiasm in his voice. GREAT. DANG IT.

 

 

I still wouldn’t budge. Nope. Not doing it. I dove head into my studies and decided I was just gonna try to become the best nurse I could be and play around with medical school and do my research. The deadline to apply for recruitment weekend in Chicago was rolling around and I still could not make peace with the tugging that was happening to my heart.

Nope. I can’t do it yet. I’m not doing it. I already told you Lord. It’s a no from me. But His gentleness began to wear me down. The more time I spent in prayer and reflection, the more I slowly softened up. “Okay. I’ll just fill out the application and send it. Doesn’t meant I’m doing it. I’m just gonna see what happens.” I was cutting it super close to the deadline for the last weekend they would be interviewing women, but I said Jesus if you want this to happen, you’re gonna find a way to make it happen and I left it all in his hands.

He sure did. I was on a plane to Denver before I knew it. I kept waiting for that aha feeling to hit me. Something to shake my world and say yeah you want this! But day one went by and nothing. I met some amazing people though, and had both a fellow Jaliciense and a nursing buddy in my small group, which just made me smile at Jesus.

It wasn’t until the verrrry last day during the last talk that it hit me. I had to do this. Not because I needed to, or because it would be the “right thing”. Not because it would make me grow in my faith or meet tons of amazing people. I needed to do it because my brothers and sisters on college campuses are lost and hurting. And I know for a fact that I would not be where I am today if it were not for Focus, and the ways my friends have brought me to Jesus through just loving me in the simplest ways.

I have no idea where I’ll be living, who my teammates will be, or how I’m gonna manage to fundraiser my salary for two years, but I am OH SO EXCITED to go on this adventure with Jesus. I know that this journey will only enable & equip me to love people more genuinely and authentically. The hard nursing skills will come back with practice, and I may forget a lab value or two, but I know my love for people will only be deepened. And I think that makes a pretty dang good future nurse.

Love,

Izel

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