So I Got Kicked Out of School – Niki Thomas

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So I got kicked out of school.

No, that’s not a punch line to a bad joke. It is, unfortunately, a real life situation. MY real life situation.

Ok… maybe “kicked out” is not the way to phrase that. Technically I was “removed” from one of my classes, extending my graduation from nursing school an entire year. I made a mistake, did something I didn’t know I wasn’t allowed to do (which, by the way, I was asked to do by the nurse I was following), and that’s all I have to say about it. If you want the details, come ask me, I will be happy to tell you.

For those of you who don’t know, I am a senior nursing student (or was) and was supposed to graduate in May. I have been in college for a long and arduous seven years and have worked harder for this degree than anything else in my life. Period. Devastated doesn’t even begin to describe the emotions I felt upon hearing the Dean of Nursing announce my fate. Over the past few weeks I have felt lower, angrier, and more confused than I have ever felt before. Nursing is the path the Lord has set me on. I know this with every fiber of my being. He has paved the way for me all throughout nursing school so far, and the favor He has given me has been incredible.

So why is it that my plans are upset the semester before I’m supposed to graduate and fulfill this plan? Is this the enemy trying to hold me back? Is this the Lord telling me to wait?? What is this and why is it happening to me?!

It has been about three weeks and I still don’t have the answers. If anybody else has any clue, please feel free to enlighten me.

During this time I have had many heated conversations with the Lord, expressing my anger and frustration in very *ahem* colorful ways. In all of that, the Lord reminded me of the story of Job. In Job, the Lord gave satan permission to literally take everything from Job except his life in order to prove that he was righteous and would not curse His name. So that’s exactly what the enemy did. After his sons and daughters were wiped out, after all of his possessions were taken from him, the very first thing Job did was to grieve and fall on the ground to worship the Lord (referencing Job 1:20).

Can you imagine? Your family is dead. Your livelihood is gone. Would your first response be to fall on the ground saying, “blessed be the name of God?” Wow. I can tell you, those were not the first words out of my mouth in my situation.

I don’t know if this was the enemy and I don’t really believe that it matters. When I read through Job’s story, I realized what matters is my response in the face of adversity. Will I run and curse God when what’s important to me is taken? Or will I stand my ground and worship the Lord for his perfect timing and ultimately good plans for my life, even though I’m not seeing it right now? Yes, this is hard. But I choose the latter.

I am being put through the fire. I feel the heat and it is not comfortable. Yes, I’m being refined. But also like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego who were thrown into the fire, I will come out on the other side unscathed and people will know my God because of it. And God is with me through the fire. His presence is tangible.

Is this a painful and hard process? You betcha. But my faith, though tested, will not be torn to pieces. God is my refuge. He is my strength. I will not fear, though the mountains crumble into the sea and though its waters roar and foam… I will not fear. I will not be shaken and I will not be moved.

So when you’re being put through the fire and your earth is crumbling around you, what will your response be?

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.
–Proverbs 3:5-6

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Niki ThomasNiki is an active member of New Day Community Church where she plays guitar on the worship team.  When she’s not working at Mellow Mushroom, you can find her hanging out with her friends, enjoying a great beach day or savoring a good cup of coffee.