As we celebrate Mother’s Day this weekend and Nurses week I am reminded that we were all birthed through pain. I don’t believe there is a woman alive that didn’t experience some type of pain during her pregnancy or while giving birth. Whether it was heartburn, constipation or being in labor for hours or even days, they all experienced some type of pain. However, I’m sure they will tell you that being a mother and birthing a child was well worth the pain.
As I went through old pictures from nursing school at Tuskegee University, I reminisced on the great joy I experienced in addition to the pain. There were many times that I didn’t know if I was going to pass a class or graduate for that matter. I faced many challenges while in college that helped birth me and my purpose. When I first went to Tuskegee my major was Biology. I loved science in high school always receiving A’s & B’s, so figured I would also excel at in college…. WRONG! My first semester’s GPA was 2.29. I felt like a complete failure, see I was the first of my siblings to go to college and I felt like I let everyone down. That was my first challenge and after changing my major to nursing I started getting those A’s & B’s again.
The next challenge I faced was how I was going to pay my tuition. The few scholarships, grants and financial aid were not enough to cover this prestigious private university’s tuition on a single mother’s income. I worked all year-round while in college, along with my mother and we would save every dime. I also sold candy out of my room, yet that still was not enough. Every semester I stood in a long line at the bursar’s office to get a waiver signed. By the grace of God, we always paid it off.
Although I encountered many other challenges my last big challenge was during my junior year in nursing school I decided to pledge Delta Sigma Theta. One of my professors found out and said to me that nursing school should be my priority. This professor stated that if I pledged she would make sure I failed her pathophysiology class. She stayed true to her word. I received all excellent grades on my test and quizzes however we had a paper to write that was 50% of our grade. Can you believe she gave me a “F”? My final grade in the class was 73.44, you must have a 74% to pass. So, I had to repeat that class that summer, which ended up being one of my best summers ever. Despite the challenges I faced at Tuskegee, I was obviously meant to be a registered nurse and this year I celebrate 26 years being a member of Delta Sigma Theta, but my challenges birthed so much more out of me…TADDA (in my magicians’ voice)!
Of course, I’ve had many more trials and errors, however, I learned that your purpose is birthed through pain! Through everything my mother and I went through I was proud to walk across the graduation stage on Mother’s Day, how symbolic. As I walked across the large stage I looked up at my mother and family screaming and although my mother couldn’t hear me I said, “We Did It”. My mother said that was the best Mother’s Day gift she could have received.
ALL of us will face hardships, and ALL of us will decide what is birthed in us because of those hardships. We cannot avoid challenges or painful experiences in life, but we can use them to become something so much better, stronger and deeper! What are the painful experiences you went through? Lost loved ones, injuries, failures, divorce, betrayal, abandonment, rejection, embarrassment or disappointments? Life has a way of allowing us to experience most of this list. Each of us will face challenges in life and they have the potential to create treasure beyond our imaginations!
So, embrace your pains they are clues to your PURPOSE. They have made you an expert in those areas you have conquered, and you can now pass that knowledge on to others. Your pains have become road signs pointing you in the direction you must take. Your life experiences and pains give you that No Mess spirit you have today. Happy Mother’s Day!