As I finished writing my inaugural post, I clicked the publish button, and then began planning my next move. I figured it was time to start 'following' other blogs, and let others know I had started this endeavor. My next post began writing itself in my head. A description of my internship, what child life is (and isn't), my hopes and dreams for this experience. How little did I really know what was in store....
I decided to check in on my email before I did such tasks. So right at about 5 pm, I opened my school account and saw an email from my internship supervisor at the hospital. The pit in my stomach dropped as I just KNEW it was not going to be good news. Sure enough, I received this email:
Bethany, I just spoke with our corporate education department to check on the status of your internship paperwork. Documents critical to the completion of your becoming an intern at Arnold Palmer Hospital have not been received by their office. Our policy is that all documentation must be on file no later than five days prior to the start of the internship or the student experience is cancelled without opportunity to reclaim it. If those completed documents are received by 8 AM Tuesday, January 25, 2011, we can proceed. However, if that is not the case, the internship will be cancelled.
I literally stared at the screen for a few seconds before breaking down into inconsolable sobs. My parents came running into the room and as I gasped out what was happening, my mind started whirling trying to figure out what I was supposed to do. It was after 5 at this point, so despite my efforts to call all of my contacts at ECU and Arnold Palmer, not a single person was in their office. I sent an email to the ECU individuals asking if any of them had a clue what was going on, and started gathering electronic copies of everything I had thought was already in their hands to resend. The heart of the problem though was that I had no idea whether the missing document was my fault or that of my internship adviser at ECU. Said lady is one of the nicest women you will ever meet, but also THE most scatterbrained. I am just the next in a list of individuals who have either almost lost their internship or were delayed because she failed to send in the correct paperwork.
I'll spare you the details of the long ordeal, but eventually it came out that this supervisor had indeed forgotten to send in my paperwork, and rushed to do so before the night was over. I spent a great many hours crying, calling friends, praying, sending in whatever I could- but there came a point where I had to stop. There was nothing else I could do. The paperwork had been sent, all we could do was wait and see if it was what was missing. I had no control, all I could do was pray.
Prayer is an interesting thing for me. I don't feel that I quite do it right. I learned a long time ago that God doesn't say 'yes' to everything you ask for, and often what he says no to are the things you really don't need to begin with. So I've stopped asking for things. I guess I've just figured that God is going to do what he wants anyways, and when you pray about things you get your hopes up, just to have them dashed. Again.
But here's the thing- I truly 100% feel like this internship was what GOD wanted me to do, not just something I had cooked up. Some other time perhaps I'll share the full story of how I discovered (and fell in love with) child life, but suffice to say that this has been a true calling. Up to this point, everything had just aligned for me to start at Arnold Palmer; it had been my first choice and to get accepted at one of the top hospitals in not just the state but the entire country had been such a blessing. Every detail had fallen into place with little to no effort on my part, a sure sign in my mind that I was on the right track. To be this close and almost stripped of my opportunity threw me through a loop. Now what? If I lost the spot, how would I graduate? Would it even be worth my time and effort to reapply for fall internships? Did I have the strength to do this whole process over?
I suppose now would be a great time to equate this situation with my current romantic endeavors (or lack there of), and the need to put yourself out there and take chances to find love- but lets be honest, that just gets sappy and predictable.
So ultimately, there I was last night. Sitting on pins and needles, unsure of what my future held. I opened my devotional to go to bed (I've decided to reread the 40 days of purpose, purely on a whim), and I read the following passages:
"God smiles when we trust him completely...Trusting God completely means having faith that he knows what is best for your life. You expect him to keep promises, help you with problems, and do the impossible when necessary"
How perfect. "You expect him to... do the impossible when necessary." But here's the thing: I really don't. Not normally. I have felt so abandoned by God at times in the past 6-7 years that I have stopped expecting him to do great things in my life. Other peoples' lives? Sure. But not mine. So I took a leap last night, I asked God for something. I told him that I felt justified in asking him to do the impossible because I really thought I was on the right track. I told him how much this internship meant to me, and I asked him to intervene.
Needless to say I did not sleep well last night (although I supposed we can just blame my insomnia for that one), but when I woke up this morning I had received an email saying my paperwork had been processed, and I was set to go pick up my ID Badge and parking pass to start on Monday.
And God smiled at me in that see-I-really-do-know-what's-best-for-you way.
So what was the point of this experience? To teach me that I do not have control over my life? To make me realize how much I truly value and cherish this experience? To prepare me to enter the internship with a spirit of humility?
Perhaps, but I also think God purposefully puts me in these situations to make me reach out to others. I have a hard time admitting that I'm wrong. I have a hard time opening myself to others and asking for help; if you don't have expectations, you won't be let down. I have a hard time needing people. But last night, I needed them. I needed my friends to reach out and love on me; to let me know that I was not forgotten or ignored. To lift me up in prayer, and support me no matter what.
When all is said and done, I truly am blessed.