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A Memorial Box & My First Job

Graduating college was a scary thing. A scary thing that no one really ever warned me about.

One week I was focused on studying for my final exams; the next week I crossed a stage and realized that 401k’s, high deductibles, and April 15th now actually meant something to me.

I had a lot of jobs leading up to this point—basketball referee, waitress, campus tour guide, tutor… but the prospect of a full time job with benefits? A job that didn't have regards to summer vacation, holidays, or weekends? That scared me.

What scared me more than the prospect of sacrificing my life to a 40 hour per week job was the prospect that I couldn't find a job at all.

Nursing school had been stressful for a lot of reasons, but probably the main one being that the general consensus was that there were no jobs for a nurse fresh out of school.

Word on the street was that you would finish nursing school, send out 150-200 job applications (I kid you not), and not get a single call back for an interview. After all this work you’d land up in either home health care or a nursing home, hate your job, endure the first year, and then transfer to your dream job.

This is the kind of talk that I heard in nursing school day after day after day. It was really really hard to not become anxious, stressed, fearful, or all of the above.

ENTER… God’s provision and his faithfulness. And my Memorial Box.

A blog that I have been reading for a couple years now introduced me to the idea of a Memorial Box. You can read her wonderful explanation of this item at “A Place Called Simplicity” 

My own explanation of it is as follows…

In Joshua 4 the Lord commands Joshua to pick twelve men to each choose a stone and place it in the middle of the camp as a symbol. Future generations and their children would see these stones and then ask “What do these stones mean?” And a story of God’s faithfulness, represented by the particular stone, would then be told.

“These stones will stand as a memorial among the people of Israel forever.” – Joshua 4:7

(read the full passage here).

In the same way that the twelve stones served as a reminder to the people of Israel to God’s faithfulness and provision, so serves a Memorial Box.

By adding visual reminders to a box (more like cabinet) of God’s faithfulness, I am reminded of his provision. It increases my faith and helps me remember God’s promises during the dark times.

And so enter… one of the items in my Memorial Box. It's my first "RN" badge that I received when I got my job at Children's Hospital Colorado. You can read more about the details of getting this job here and here.

I had gotten a job against all odds. It wasn’t a lousy job that I was going to hate—it was a job at a nationally ranked hospital that had the reputation for having great employee satisfaction. I was one of the 40 nurses chosen among the 500-600 that applied for the job. And it wasn’t my resume. It was God.

As I talked to fellow nurses that had been hired, I truly realized how much it was God and not me. My qualifications paled to other colleagues.

Like the nurse who graduated nursing school from Duke.

Or the nurse who already had her Master’s Degree in Nursing.

Or the nurse that had two different externships, one in a top pediatric intensive care unit.

My qualifications may have paled. But my God certainly didn’t.

His faithfulness extended past statistics, past odds on paper that didn't make sense, past my own human ability, and here is my reminder of his faithfulness, sitting in my memorial box.

Never let the statistics, negativity, or insurmountable odds define the box that your God can work in. He works beyond your own plans and beyond your expectations.

Let a Memorial Box remind you of his faithfulness over and over again.

More Memorial Box stories to come!

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