Following The Heart

I feel like I’ve been down this road before. I’ve walked across the campuses of over a dozen colleges and universities, and every time was a different experience. The first several visits were with a prospective student who knew exactly what she wanted and didn’t want, exactly what questions she had, and exactly what kind of experience she wanted to have during her first four years of freedom (yes, a first-born indeed). Four years later, visiting colleges was an entirely different ball game. Each tour ended with the questions, “Did you like it, Mom? Do you think I will like it here?” Each tentative step across a quad, each glance into a classroom, held a mixture of trepidation and excitement. Two years later, enter child number three. 

All of our college tours have been in the pouring down rain, but we did have a sunny stop at the Flight 93 Memorial.

“I don’t really care where I go,” and “I just want a degree, so the campus doesn’t matter,” are often heard statements as we drive hundreds of miles over the course of this week. It’s not a lack of interest or an attempt to put off the future. Morgan simply wants to be a nurse. Period. She doesn’t care where or how she gets there as long as she knows that the school she chooses will give her a good background and a solid career. She’s always been that kind of child– five going on ten, ten going on twenty, seventeen going on thirty. Her life has been carefully laid out and planned, step by step, since she was a toddler. This is the child who has always wanted to get married and have four children. This is the child who knows what kind of house she wants, what kind of school her children will attend, and exactly what kind of family pet they will have. She is a child who always dressed as some kind of medical profession for Halloween by her own choice. She has always known that helping others in a medical capacity is her calling. She just didn’t know what that specific calling was going to be.

I’ve mentioned many times that this past holiday season was a rough one for us and that Morgan spent countless hours tending her grandfather in his final weeks. She fed him, gave him medicine, helped dress and bathe him, and did whatever else was necessary to keep him comfortable. By the time her Poppy was called home, Morgan knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt what she wanted to do. She knew that nursing is her calling, and we all know she will be passionate about the care she gives. 

That’s why I find myself in Pittsburgh tonight, the second night in a hotel that is sandwiched between numerous top-notch nursing schools. And that’s why Morgan finds herself actually caring, for the first time, about where she’s going to attend college. Does she want to go to the #2 or the #7 school in the nation for nursing? They’re great schools that are highly competitive, but have many students fighting for the best clinical assignments. Does she want to go to a tiny, relatively new college that ranked much lower but still has a fabulous program and can promise high scholarships and guaranteed career placement? Does she want an inner-city experience, a suburb experience, or rural experience? Does she want a Catholic college, like her sisters, or a state school? There’s much to love about every place we tour.

There is one thing I know for sure. Wherever Morgan goes, she is going to make one heck of a nurse. And she’s going to let her faith guide her in making the right decisions. How wonderful it was to hear her ask the Dean of Admissions, “How often is Mass offered on campus?” That one question, more than any others, let me know that she has her priorities in order. I have to believe that everything else will fall into place. 

Set your hearts on his kingdom first, and on God’s saving justice, and all these other things will be given you as well. – Matthew 6:33

Did you hear Amy’s guest appearance on Danielle Bean’s Girlfriends Podcast? Check it out

What I was writing about this time last year:  A Love Without End

Amy Schisler is an award winning author of both children’s books and sweet, faith-filled romance novels for readers of all ages. She lives with her husband and three daughters on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Her books, Picture Me, Whispering Vines,  and Island of Miracles are all recipients of Illumination Awards, placing them among the top inspirational fiction books of 2015, 2016, and 2017. Whispering Vines was awarded the 2017 LYRA Award for the best romance of 2016.  Island of Miracles has outsold all of Amy’s other books worldwide and ranked as high as 600 on Amazon. Her latest children’s book, The Greatest Gift, is now available; and her novel, Summer’s Squall, can be found online and in stores.

You may follow Amy on Facebook at, Twitter @AmySchislerAuth, Goodreads at at

Amy’s books: Crabbing With Granddad (2013), A Place to Call Home (2014), Picture Me (2015), Whispering Vines (2016), Island of Miracles (2017), Stations of the Cross Meditations for Moms (2017), The Greatest Gift (2017), Summer’s Squall (2017)