The other day my Sister asked if she could post something on the blog. Because my past few days have been chock full of visitors, meetings, and various other things, I gladly accepted her email but didn’t open it. I wanted a good chance to read it without moving onto something else so quickly. Well, tonight I had that chance, and I’m so glad I waited! I cried and cried when I read how God worked in her life and I hope when you read it, your heart will be softened as well.
So without further ado meet my Sister, Ashley!
Disclaimer: This is probably too long and hard to follow. For that I apologize. This blog thing ain’t no joke, it’s hard to put in to words something that only makes sense in your head. Oh well, enjoy!
For the longest time now I have been praying for God to soften my heart. To make me more compassionate. To put me in a situation where I don’t just have to hope he hears my prayers but to prove to me that he does and that he hears them loud and clear. I basically needed him to slap me silly. You see, it’s always been something I have struggled with in my faith. I see people all around me who I know can just FEEL God move through them and often times I would wonder if something was wrong with me, like maybe he didn’t wire me that way. I know how much he loves me I just wanted to FEEL how much he loves me. I simply wanted to feel Him. I wanted to feel something click. I wanted His feeling to be so strong in me that it radiates onto my patients. Well, I can tell you with 100% certainty that at 6 o’clock this morning in a small intensive care room I felt him more than I could have ever imagined possible.
I am a registered nurse in the Intensive Care Unit at a small hospital close to my hometown. People often ask me why I chose nursing as a career. My answer has always been “I like helping people” or “It’s a rewarding career” and even “the pay is good”. All of these answers are true but deep down I know it’s because I wanted to experience God firsthand. I wanted to witness miracles. I have been (selfishly) discouraged because I read all of these neat stories and hear my co-workers talk about how their patients have bragged on them or that they have experienced these amazing things. I have been pea-green with envy because none of this has happened for me and I’ve been doing it for 7 months. Surely something cool and rewarding should have happened by now? I often said to myself: Is there something wrong with me? What the heck do they do that I don’t? I’m nicer to my patients than they are, etc. I know now that God had a different plan for me. He didn’t want me to be praised for my good work, He wanted me to praise Him for HIS good work. He wanted me to stop being so selfish and to stop seeking significance. He wanted me to start seeking his face.
Anyways, let me tell you about how God slapped me silly when I least expected it. We have a patient named Bobby* (his name is changed due to confidentiality) on our unit. I have been praying for Bobby every day since the first time I had him as a patient. Bobby is a 19 year old who has been on our unit for almost 2 weeks. He went camping with his family and contracted Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever from a tick bite. This disease almost ended Bobby’s life entirely too early. He has been VERY sick and there were times when we thought he would never make it through this. Recently, Bobby has been taken off the ventilator, is breathing on his own, and is able to talk and move about. He is still a little confused about what happened and bounces back and forth between the mindset of a small child and of a 19 year old boy. This morning Bobby was acting out a little and whining a lot. He was very restless and seemed to be very uncomfortable. I adjusted him and he wiggled right back to where he was. He reached for my hand and just held it, he wouldn’t let go. I realized then that he wanted me to stay in the room and talk to him and he must have remembered how much I liked to hold hands. J It’s kinda my thing, ask anyone. Evidently it’s Bobby’s thing too. So, we’re holding hands and I started asking him about his family. I asked him if he was excited to see them today and told him how sweet his girlfriend is. He was still crying/whining at this point and at the mention of his girlfriend it got worse. He told me he missed her and wanted her there now. Heartbreak number one. I decided to go a different route. I told him I had spoken to his father on the phone today and that he was so excited that he was doing better. His father doesn’t have transportation to and from the hospital so he often calls to check on him. Bobby then said to me (still whining – watching this was truly pitiful) “my dad doesn’t love me”. Heartbreak number two. I sensed that there were some family issues but this just solidified it for me. This poor child is sitting in a hospital bed scared, confused, and alone. No wonder he likes me. I like to hold his hand, for pete’s sake! No one probably ever holds his hand for him when he’s sick. As I’m sitting here feeling sorry for him I missed the fact that he was staring at me (also he was rubbing my arm which was too precious for words) and it wasn’t just some awkward stare, he was looking to make sure I could see him, truly see him when he spoke to me. Then out of the blue he said “Thank you” to me. I was confused and thought he was just going to thank me for staying with him and chatting, but I asked anyway “Thank you for what Bobby?”, His sweet little brown eyes welled up with the biggest crocodile tears and he said to me “Thank you for saving my life.” CLICK! I felt God. And just like that the dam broke. I was sobbing. Bobby was looking at me like I was a crazy person and probably changed his mind about the hand holding thing, but it was too late. At this moment God softened my heart, He made me more compassionate, He let me feel Him. He answered my prayers. I sat down in the bed with Bobby and prayed over him. I prayed for his healing, I prayed with everything in me that Bobby would seek God’s face fiercely since he has been given a second chance to, and I prayed that God would use Bobby to change other people’s lives like he changed mine this morning. I prayed for his broken family and that they would see the beauty of God’s handiwork in healing Bobby the way he has. I don’t know how long we prayed and I don’t even know how much of it Bobby will truly remember, but I hope so badly that Bobby’s life has been changed forever. Mine has.