Photo Nicole Tarpoff
When I was in college, I went through a season of rebelling against the Lord, but He brought me back around. I felt like the first thing He wanted me to do was to switch from music school to nursing school. Nursing school was a lot harder than my music major. I began to realize that I had some real problems with anxiety. I got so anxious that I would throw up before exams and sometimes had to leave the exams because I felt so ill. I couldn’t focus on the questions; I couldn’t even process them. Other students would be finished and turning their exams in, and I would be on question number two.
Pharmacology was a particularly difficult course for me. The teacher was kind and let me take the exams in a private room by myself to help my anxiety—but even so, I made a D- on the first exam and an F on the second. After this, my teacher met with me and told me that I would have to get A’s on the rest of the exams to pass pharmacology and that I had to pass pharmacology to stay in nursing school. This was so confusing to me because I truly felt God called me to nursing school.
This was a Friday night and I really just wanted to stay home by myself. I was broken. But my friend insisted that I go to church with her that night. I cried all through worship. There was a guest speaker and in the middle of his sermon he just stopped and said, “If I don’t share this now the rest of what I say won’t be anointed. Is there someone here who wants to be a nurse but feels like they can’t? Raise your hand.”
My friend said, “That’s you!”
Now, there were close to 1,000 people in attendance and someone else raised their hand before me. I wasn’t sure about it. I was raised Baptist and we just didn’t do that kind of thing. I hadn’t really been to a church before that didn’t follow the bulletin. I halfway raised my hand while the other person was already sprinting toward the front. I made my way to the front as well, but much more timidly.
The speaker prayed for her and it seemed harmless, so I let him pray for me too. He looked intently at me—right into my eyes—and said, “Oh, honey—it’s you. The enemy has been telling you that you are dumb since you were little and the Lord wants you to know this isn’t true.”
I hadn’t said a word up to this point, but he knew and said, “Do you want all this anxiety to leave?”
I said, “Yes.”
He prayed for the anxiety to leave me and I felt something very heavy lift off of me. He said, “The Lord has called you to be a nurse and the enemy is doing everything he can to stop it but it’s not going to work. The Lord is going to use you in miraculous ways as a nurse.”
After this I had no more anxiety. I made A’s on the rest of my pharmacology exams. It was such a big difference that my teacher pulled me over to the side and asked me how I was cheating! I gave my testimony and she said, “I need that person to pray for me!”
While I was still in nursing school, I had a dream that I would be working as a nurse at a specific university in their children’s hospital. In my dream, I was in scrubs walking down the hallway of this hospital. When I graduated from college with my degree in nursing, there were no job openings in the university children’s hospital that I had dreamed about. So I applied for a job at Shriners Hospital for Children in the same town.
While I was there on my interview, the manager said she didn’t think Shiners was a good fit for me and thought the university children’s hospital would be better since I had pediatric experience at Vanderbilt and had a passion for working with kids who have cancer. After our interview, the manager already had a walk scheduled with the head of the university children’s hospital. They were friends and regularly met to walk together, and the Shriners manager said she would tell the director at the university hospital to make a position for me and hire me—the university wasn’t hiring at that time.
Soon after this I was called in for an interview at the university children’s hospital. When I was on my interview there, the hallways looked exactly as I had dreamed about them. I have been working there nearly 10 years now. I started a Bible study on my unit and 40 nurses attended; five gave their lives to Christ and got baptized. God has miraculously healed two children whom I have prayed with.
I came away from this experience seeing how real the enemy is and how he works against God’s plan for us from the time we are children. I also saw how in a room of 1,000 people, God saw the one—He saw me. He knows everything about me and cares about me. There is a freedom available in God that I didn’t know existed before this happened. God set me free of anxiety in a moment. Only God can do that and only God can bring about the plans He has for us. They are always too big for us. That’s why He is the One to be glorified!
A Million God Stories is a Christ-centered ministry which offers a platform for Christians from all streams of Christian faith to give praise for how God has worked in their lives. Christ heals in infinitely creative ways and we acknowledge that His way of helping may differ from person to person.