“Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, and before you were born, I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” -Jeremiah 1:5
I was born in the Dominican Republic. At the age of three, I migrated to Newark, NJ, in 2002 with my family. I remember growing up; we did not own a car. My family and I did not speak English, and we did not have any family around. Despite the hardships, I remember being so happy with my life. I loved walking to school and the laundromat. I learned English quickly, and we made friends over time. However, in 2007 my family and I were able to obtain our green cards and passports, and we traveled to the Dominican Republic for the first time after moving to the U.S. Moving was huge for us, as most of our family was still in the Dominican Republic. I was in awe of my beautiful motherland. It is where my roots are and where my family is. After that trip, I started to question why my parents brought me to the U.S. I was resentful towards my parents for taking me away from somewhere that I thought was where I belonged, and that felt like home to me.
Throughout my teenage years, I continued to question why my parents brought me here. What do I want to do with my life? What is my purpose? At this time, I did not have an authentic relationship with Jesus. I believed in Him, but I did not pray daily, nor did I look to Him for guidance in my life. I was a senior in high school, still questioning what my calling was. I remember sitting in my bed late one night and crying because everyone around me seemed to have it all figured out, and I was struggling to decide what I wanted for my life. I cried out to God that night and asked Him to reveal to me His purpose for me. I called my now-fiancé to help me think of career paths that would be suitable for me. The only thing that kept popping into my head was, “I want to help others.” So I typed in on Google “careers that help others,” and nursing was the first one that popped up. That night the Lord planted the seed of nursing in my heart.
Although I knew that God handpicked me into becoming a nurse, there were many struggles along the way. Several times I questioned God. Is this really for me? Every time I asked, He was there to remind me of my purpose. When I first started nursing school, I was fearful of what was to come. I questioned if I would even graduate. At the time, I was working as a waitress. There was one day where I served a grandfather and his grandchildren. When it was time for the grandfather to pay, he came up to me and said, “You’re going to be a great nurse.” I froze. How did this man know that I was going to be a nurse? I thought that he most likely overheard one of my coworkers talking about it. I asked him how he knew, and he said that he knew by the way I carried myself with such grace. I cried because I knew it was a reminder from my Heavenly Father that I would get through the next few years, I would graduate, and I would be a great nurse. I knew all of this to be true.
Nonetheless, a few weeks ago, I began to question if this is for me again. I had not done very well on an exam that I studied hard for. I felt discouraged, and I prayed to God for guidance. God, is this still what You want me to do? That same night, my former middle school teacher messaged me on Facebook. She had seen a post that I put up about becoming a nurse in a few weeks. She wrote, “I just saw your post about becoming a nurse. That’s awesome! Your sweet smile and gentle spirit are needed in the profession right now.” That reminder came right on time, for we serve a timely God. I thank Him today for remaining with me faithfully throughout my nursing school journey. He was my source of strength and encouragement. He reminded me, when I needed it most, that I am set apart.
If you are struggling with what your purpose is, know that you are standing in purpose as you read these words right now. Your vision may be foggy about what that purpose is, but you are planted in it, and you are chosen for it. All my life, I have been questioning what my purpose is. Why did my parents bring me to the U.S.? What is my purpose in life? Is nursing really for me? Before we were even born, God had already laid out our lives. There is no coincidence that you are where you are at this very moment.
“Perhaps you were born for such a time as this.” Esther 4:14
- Samantha Baez