However, I found myself in a predicament as I questioned how I was going to be able to afford to get through my nursing degree. My mother had kindly paid my first semester's fees but after that I was on my own. At that time, fees had to be paid up front to progress through the course. I was not sure how I was going to accomplish this, so I presented the problem to the Lord and He opened up the way.
Years ago, I discovered that God had made me the steward of a talent, drawing. It was a skill that I had been able to use to illustrate home schooling materials in the United States and various newsletters and publications. It was something I loved to do, using my selection of lead pencils and drawing equipment. Some pencils had hard leads that gave lighter shades to my drawings and others had soft leads that created the darker shades and thus increased the perception of depth. Besides these pencils, I had paper blenders and kneadable erasers that were used to give a softer look to the pictures.
When I had returned to Australia, I decided that I would draw a series of Australian animals and birds with the hope that, one day, I would be able to sell them. However, after completing them I became discouraged, as I could not see any avenues for the sale of these drawings. I shelved them, thinking they would never be of any use.
The drawings sat around for some time, until after I had started my first semester of nursing. Providentially, a card salesman heard I had a collection of drawings and sought me out to look at them. After viewing them, he discussed the idea of developing cards from my drawings. He arranged a meeting with the printer and not long afterward, the cards were printed and available to sell. I continued through my nursing course and, each semester, there
was always enough money from the sale of my cards to afford my semester fees, as well as my rent and costs of living. My cards were reprinted several times and they continued to sell at the hands of my cards salesman. This continued until after I had completed my nursing degree.
Eventually, I tallied the sales of the cards and worked out that he had sold more than $10,000 worth of cards over the years, despite the fierce competition with all the other cards available on the market. This was well and truly enough to get me through my course to graduate as a registered nurse.
As I look back over the years I have practiced as a nurse, I can see that God had His hand on my career pathway. God truly answered my prayer and supplied all my needs. What a wonderful God we serve! And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19. Katherine Cooper is a lecturer of nursing at Avondale College, based in Wahroonga, New South Wales.
This story is used with permission from Signs Publishing Company. More of these stories can be found in these collections: Ordinary People—Extraordinary God, Ordinary People—Faithful God, and Ordinary People—Generous God