Do C’s Really Get Degrees?

I’m sure you’ve all heard this a time or two (hundred) during your college career. But it’s really something I’ve been meditating on over the course of this past semester. I’ve always been type A when it comes to my academic standing, but college has forced me to let go (unwillingly) of that facet of my personality.

My first year of college wasn’t bad because I hadn’t started taking classes for nursing school. It was a lot of general education requirements that taught me more about cramming and begging friends to edit my papers rather than making me cry and want to give up about 7 times a day. This year has been drastically different already, and it’s only been one semester. I still have 5 semesters left of nursing school and it’s already hard. Strangely, I’m learning to be okay with that.

Here’s the issue with me: if I’m not getting an A, I might as well be failing.

Here’s the other issue: I’m not good at getting A’s.

I’ve never been one of those students who can study the night before and absolutely destroy and exam. I’m one those that studies for weeks and weeks, and goes to every single review session, and asks the professor 8,000 questions, and then still gets a C- on the test. Somehow I usually get my life together by the end and resolve my grade before the course concludes, but I have realized this semester how much I was letting normalcy in my life become incredibly negative and detrimental to my success.

One particularly frustrating evening that consisted of a bag of carrots, some hummus, and my anatomy textbook sent me straight to my knees. I was exhausted and I had beaten up on myself for the entire week about how unprepared I was for an exam (in less than 12 hours). So naturally, I continued to force myself to read and re read the endless number of words on the textbook page, even though they meant absolutely nothing to me.

Then I stopped myself. I try to do this thing, nowadays, where if I catch myself wallowing in a negative moment, I stop and grab my bible, or open it up on my phone. In these moments, I just want to shut down the stimulus that is making me feel unworthy or incapable and replace it with everlasting truth and wisdom. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not always thrilled to open up my bible and dig into some scripture when I’m frankly pissed that I am already having trouble focusing. But I try to do it anyway. Even if I don’t open my bible in those moments, I just try to pray.

On this evening, Jesus was ALL about sending me on a chase for answers. I opened up my bible to the last book marked page, but for some reason I wanted something different. I’m a neglect-er of Timothy. So, there I went. 2 Timothy 2:15.

“Be diligent and present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.”

I scrambled for my journal and started listing everything that I was feeling because I didn’t know where God was taking me with this.

  1. I’m frustrated because I have put in countless hours studying and I still feel unprepared
  2. I’m frustrated because I’m probably going to get a C on this test
  3. But wait, Hannah. C is average. C is not BAD.
  4. I’m frustrated because a C is bad in my head.
  5. I’m so tired
  6. Have I even asked anyone else about their day today?
  7. I’m too focused on myself
  8. I need to do my laundry
  9. But I have to get an A on this exam
  10. I can’t get an A on this exam. There’s no way.

10 things (and trust me, I spared you with the #) that I was harboring. 10 things that were creeping under my skin and subsequently ruining my concentration and my attitude. So I went back to scripture. “Present yourself approved to God as a workman.”

Okay God, here I am. I AM A WORKMAN. I DO NOT NEED TO BE ASHAMED. (Literally, aloud).

And I chose not to be ashamed by what considered to be my own lack of knowledge. I closed my textbook for the night and I crawled in my roommate’s bed to watch Parks and Rec. I let go and I let God, which is really hard for me. When I got up an hour early the next morning to study with a different mindset, I was able to focus. I knew what I was reading. It wasn’t Chinese?!?! Thank you, Jesus.

Did I still get a B on the exam? Heck yeah, I did.

img_4462

I’m trying this new thing. It’s simply reminding myself that there is more to life than where I stand academically. Yes, I want to be an incredible nurse, and I think that one day I will be. But I also KNOW that I will be an even better nurse if I care for myself as I am preparing for that role. I promise that my heart is in this. I promise myself that and I will promise my future patients that. Because I know that my ability to love and serve others, whether that is in the form of bed-side care or hanging out on the quad, is greater than my brain will ever be.

I want to be a professional and I want to minister to others while practicing medicine, but I also want to be a good friend and daughter and just a person. I want to glorify God through my actions and my words and relationships, not through my GPA.

That’s me. Your future nurse who doesn’t get straight A’s.

Advertisements

hallelujah, grace wins every time.

 

It’s 1:27am. I hate staying up late. It’s actually the worst. It’s like torture for my eyeballs. BUT whatever!!! It’s time for #failfriday. Who knows, maybe I’ll make this a thing. My point in all of this is to highlight a fail or a major blunder (or multiple) from my week and reflect on the situation and share what I learned about myself, others, and the faithfulness of Jesus. 

This week’s fail happened less than 12 hours ago. Honestly, the events leading up to the crash and burn had been going on about 48 hours prior. It’s just been one of those weeks. I’m 8 days away from moving back to college. I’m antsy and if I could run to Birmingham, I would do it in a heartbeat. But God is (really, really) teaching me to have a patient heart… Needless to say, I’ve been a little on edge for the past few days (more like weeks, I just don’t want to admit it). It’s like I’ve been hangry at all hours of the day, even when I’m not hungry at all. Just in a general funk, I guess. 

The past 2 days I have felt like a cheetah. Well, kind of. More like my brain and schedule are wannabe cheetahs, but my body is a little turtle crossing a big, big street. I’ve learned this odd thing about myself: I’m the worst when I’m disengaged/not busy enough, yet I am also equally the worst when I have too many scoops of mashed potatoes on my plate. Ugh. Where’s the happy medium you ask?

Yeah, let me know if you find one. Because I haven’t.

But I’m trying. 

My body has been jarring me awake around 4:30 for the past 3 weeks. I have no idea why. Don’t get me wrong… I love mornings. But 4:30!!! Seriously circadian rhythms?! Praise Jesus I slept until 6:53 this morning. I felt accomplished. So I got myself the new egg white grill from Chick-fil-a (you should too. it’s delicious). Then I got recertified for CPR/AED for 4 hours. All was well. I was caffeinated, fed, and on time. 

Important piece of information about me: I DESPISE lateness. I pride myself on punctuality a little too much sometimes. So I guess this was karma biting me in the tush. 

You know when you have 10 minutes to get 10 miles across town? Doesn’t seem impossible. Then you turn on Google maps and Siri’s voice crushes your dreams when she says “accident ahead” or “be prepared to detour.” (Welcome to Charlotte, where the construction never ends). Then you start nervous sweating and wondering how in the h-e-double hockey sticks you’re going to make it on time. Can’t tell you how frequently that happens to me. You would think that I’ve learned how to handle myself in those situations by now, but that is so very false. 

I envy the people who can pray in the face of such things. Traffic? Time with Jesus. Construction zone? More time with Jesus. Late to work? It’s okay. I got extra time with Jesus. I am just not like that. I love the Lord deeply, but MAN I am not that strong. When I’m in traffic or stuck in a mile-long line behind a closed right lane, I am usually yelling “GOD, WHY ME?” 

You know, I’ve learned that I’m not the only one. I’ve also learned that my imperfection and my selfishness does not shy me away from Jesus. It only pulls me closer because He wants to save me. He wants to help my unbelief and calm my racing heart with His truths. 

Now THAT is cool, y’all. 

So here’s my fail of the week. 

I planned on going to yoga midafternoon with my man and his sweet momma. I was excited, but I wasn’t. I had so many things to do, I had already cancelled on someone, and I had done about 50 rounds of CPR on a dummy. Satan trapped me the moment I woke up this morning. I knew today was going to be a busy day. God knew that and Satan did, too. Instead of being gracious for my sleep-filled morning and my safe travels back home from staying with my best friend about 45 minutes away, I brushed my teeth and jumped in my car. I hopped on the interstate and turned on some random music. I could have used that time to sit and silence and to speak with Jesus. I didn’t. And from that moment, Satan had my day wrapped around his pesky finger. SO… I go visit one of my favorite people and her sweet babies who are growing up entirely too fast. That was so joyful. 

And then I went to yoga. I normally am good about setting an intention for my practice, but today I was so distracted. My thoughts were sprinting away and I was trying to catch them, but I couldn’t. That inability frustrated me. So instead of setting an intention or praying for the first time all day, (it was 4:30pm by this point) I let my thoughts fluster me. I let Satan win. I stumbled through poses, and I took breaths unnaturally. About midway through, I paused. I reset my mind and body and set an intention to free my mind from any anxious thoughts. The last 25-30 minutes were amazing. I felt in line with my body and my soul. I prayed hard and fervently. It was amazing. 

Then we said Namaste. 

I looked down at my watch and saw that it was 5:36. I had to babysit at 6:00 but I was sweaty and my dinner was waiting for me in the refrigerator at home. Everything I needed (or I thought at the time that I needed) was at home. Which is not true. I again was just letting Satan fill my head with lies. I snapped out of whatever peace I had achieved. I rolled up my mat and booked it out of the classroom. I gave Nate (my boyfriend of nearly 2 years) an insincere acknowledgement, probably without cracking a smile. WHAT! Who am I?! 

After sprinting to my car, I headed home to grab my dinner and what I thought was my survival backpack (all it had in it was my phone charger, some banana bread, and my book on Columbine). I look at my watch. It’s 5:49 and now I’m pissed. I knew I was going to be late to babysitting by 1 or 2 minutes and I just let that infuriate me. Oh, Satan. How you drive us to think so irrationally.

I get to a house filled with toddler giggles, a pasta covered table, and Curious George serving as background noise. I took a breath. And then I felt so small. I felt so convicted. I realized how hurtful my actions were to others because of their visibility. If I noticed my crummy attitude, I’m absolutely positive it rubbed off on those around me. I mean, who goes into/leaves a yoga class without a smile? That would be me this afternoon. 

But you know what? With each miniscule failure, there is a great redemption. Grace wins every time. We are never too unclean for Jesus. We are always too clean for Satan. He wants to throw mud at us, he wants to wreck our ship. Jesus wants to RESCUE us. 

Even though I was the absolute worst today, I knew I was not too messy to fall down at the feet of Jesus. 

When Jesus healed the man with leprosy, He reached out to this man, who had knelt before him. Jesus TOUCHED the man and immediately he was cleansed of his disease. The man who was deemed unclean by society…the man of sorrows. He was not only acknowledged by Jesus, but he was touched and made clean. 

We are never too unclean. Satan will shatter our hearts. Jesus will rebuild them.

xoxo, Hannah. 

Quote

surviving the sick season

The season is upon us. It happens every year, I know it does, but I am never prepared for it. The biting cold, the breeze in the air, and the suppressed immune systems– all daunting reminders that my most feared months are in full swing. For as long as I can remember there has been dread deep in my soul for the impending winter months.

Explanatory story time: When I was 4 years old, I was in the car with a friend my age, driving who knows where. My mom was in the passenger seat and his mom was driving the car. We were eating our kids meals in our car seats and out of nowhere (whether he was ill or choking, I will never know) he projectile vomited all over the back seat of the car. I have completely blocked this event from my memory, but my mom has told me many times what happened. My toddler brain immediately went into panic mode and left me shaking, sobbing uncontrollably, and completely inconsolable. From that day, at 4 years old, onward I have held on to my irrational fear of sickness.

For years I obsessed over handwashing, refused to eat without utensils, and feared so greatly the germs that I knew were floating around me. Honestly, that was (and still is) the worst part of it all. Constantly living in fear of getting sick is worse and more anxiety provoking than the climatic moment of sickness itself. The very, very few times I have thrown up in my life have been increasingly traumatic, but I am still here and breathing to tell the tales (even though I won’t because that would be gross). I was terrified of sleeping over at a friend’s house because I felt guarded from germs in my room. My room, from a young age, became a safe haven that greatly decreased my anxiety. I remember vividly one of the times my brother was sick. I was probably 10 or 11 and my emetophobia (fear of vomit) had reached an all time high. I had these gel, sparkly puffy paints that were stored on my highest closet shelf. That was my solace. I spread my construction paper out across my carpet and stayed behind my locked door with music blaring for days at a time. I couldn’t focus on anything other than those puffy paints. I stopped eating, stopped using the bathroom, cut off social contact from my family. I physically could not bear crossing the threshold of safety that my room gave me. I stayed enclosed in those 4 walls until all signs of illness from my brother were gone. That behavior lasted for years. Any situation that could possibly contain another person getting sick (theme parks, movie theaters, dinner tables, restaurants, public restrooms, classrooms, etc.) sent me into a fear-induced trance.

Fun fact: I am still the same person, granted I have learned coping mechanisms and can control my impulsive flight behaviors better than my 5th grade self. 10 years ago I would have engaged in an all-out sprint just to flee a classroom with someone throwing up into a trashcan. Today, while every ounce of my soul wants to scream and cry and run away, I take a deep breath and focus on something else (usually I start praying).

With personal growth and the maturation of my faith, I learned that this is just one of those things that I have to relinquish to Jesus. I may very well possess this fear for the rest of my life, but God has chosen me to carry this on my back and I guess that means I can handle it. I won’t lie, sometimes I get angry with God because I feel like it is unfair that He is making me suffer daily. Not a single day passes in my life without thoughts or fears about catching the stomach flu or getting food poisoning. It is exhausting and lies as the firm foundation for a large portion of my anxiety, but it is okay. When I was a child, my prayers were adorably innocent. I used to pray and ask God to keep the germs away from me because I didn’t like the person I was when I was around others who were sick. I prayed in the middle of the night, when I couldn’t sleep, that God would keep me and my family healthy because I was so terrified. Looking back on those rough nights, I am so thankful for my parents and how deeply they cared for me. They allowed me to crawl in to bed with them when I felt that way. Mom lulled me back to sleep after I woke up shaking involuntarily when anxiousness made me feel sick, even though I wasn’t. I had developed an aversion to the cafeteria in my elementary school, the bus, public restrooms, and essentially any area that I had a traumatic (aka sickness related) event occur. As many sleepovers or family dinners I have skipped because of this fear, my friends and loved ones still care so ceaselessly for me. I am so thankful for that. As many times as this silly fear has made me feel crazy or belittled, I am so thankful to be a thriving college student who has grown to live her life with spontaneity and joy 7 hours away from home.

I attest all of that joy of life to prayer and unconditional love. Not once have my parents or friends made me feel stupid for fearing something that happens, naturally, to everyone on this planet. For all of the sleepless nights that my parents spent up with me, trying to talk me off the edge of my panic, for all of the teachers at school that let me wash my hands in the private bathroom before lunch instead of the public one or who let me wipe down my desk at the beginning and end of each day, I am forever thankful. Thank you for never making me feel less capable or like I was a burden. I didn’t know at the time how much that would impact me, until now. These days when I sit here typing furiously on my computer, touching the keys comfortably, the moments that I get out of the car at the gas pump and feel slightly at peace with myself, are all thanks to the people that have molded me through a situation that has and will continue to perplex me. I also give so much grace to the Lord for my strength now. The countless number of times that I prayed as a child, merely asking to stay healthy taught me to be conversational with God. All of the moments of fear and anxiousness that I have endured are worth something. I have realized that no battle in my life is barren. Despair out of stimuli that seems meager to others may feel insurmountable to me. I promise there is nothing wrong with that.

I have spoken my many words all to give you the best advice on how to survive the sick season. Be who makes you the most comfortable. If that means washing your hands frequently, carrying Lysol wipes to the grocery store or the gas station, or even securing a place of solitude to seek when the people around you start complaining of nausea. I have prayed long and hard about writing this because I felt embarrassed by myself for a long time. Part of me, deep down, still feels a shame for being so terrified of something so little in the grand scheme of things. All of the moments that I have felt frustrated with the Lord for this affliction, I take back. If it weren’t for a life-long engagement with this fear, my faith would not be as strong, my boldness would not be as graciously accepted, and my ministry to others through honesty and writing would be non-existent.  My advice to you for the sick season is to ask God to grant you a strong, courageous heart to drown out your anxieties (Joshua 1:9).

xx, Hannah.

what it means to be Hannah, truly.

I’ve toyed back and forth with the idea of blogging again for a few months. I wrote more frequently a year or two ago but decided it was time for a brain break. I was applying to college, trying to ignore senioritis, being knocked down by an eating disorder, and making a valiant effort to soak up the little moments of my senior year of high school.

When I started college I also got into writing weekly for The Odyssey Online, keeping my mind in search of fresh content (shameless plug, https://theodysseyonline.com/author/hannahcheramie). That was a huge spark. My love for writing had come back, full speed. The past chunk of my life has been a serious roller coaster but the journey that I have been on, and will continue, has been more than worth it. I am so thrilled to have the energy and the fire in my soul to write freely again! I can’t promise amazing content on a weekly basis, nor can I ensure perfection. I am a terrible speller that has a bad day every now and again, but I vow to always be honest.

For this re-introduction post I’ve decided to write (briefly) on the little nuances of life as Hannah.

  1. it is never too early (or too late) for peanut butter by the spoonful.
  2. Jesus comes first, always.
  3. I despise down time. gotta move, people.
  4. writing is the most natural way to express what’s going on in my heart.
  5. my love language is, hands-down, words of affirmation.
  6. I will never turn down a lifetime movie marathon.
  7. I can quote My Big Fat Greek Wedding nearly in its entirety.
  8. I am all about seeking balance in life.
  9. if you call me and I don’t answer, I’m either napping or reading.
  10. I refuse to be defined by the struggles I endure, just strengthened by them.

I’ve learned so much about redemption and self-love in the past year and I have such a fire in my soul to share my experiences with other people. This blog will house a wide range of content. Read if you please!

xoxo, hannah.