Never Once


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Recently, as I listened to Matt Redman‘s Never Once, the Lord reminded me of several situations I have gone through over the last few years.  In particular, He reminded me of his faithfulness to “‘never leave [me] nor forsake [me].’  So [I] can confidently say, ‘The Lord is my Helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?'” (Hebrews 13:5c-6, ESV).

I will never forget the first time I cared for a terminal patient as she began the dying process.  She was from Eastern Europe, only spoke her native language, understood very little English, and had no one at the bedside to translate for her.  By the time I came on shift, she had already lapsed into a coma.  I spent most of the evening in her room talking to her because I hold the strong conviction that no one should die alone and without someone holding their hand telling them how precious they are in God’s sight.  Whenever I care for an actively dying patient who has no one at the bedside, I always ensure that either myself, another nurse, or a tech/unit secretary is in the room talking to the patient and holding their hand.

At one point during the night, I started singing various hymns.  She never responded to anything I did or said… until I began singing Abide With Me by Francis Henry Lyte (1793-1847).  The woman who hadn’t responded to anything I had done or said–even painful stimuli–and was very clearly near death opened her eyes, looked me straight in the eye, and feebly began singing along with me in her own language before lapsing back into a coma.

Knee Pads


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Recently, my dad shared a link on Facebook to a YouTube video regarding the 2011 Children’s Miracle Achievement Awards.  This program sponsored by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals recognizes outstanding pediatric caregivers for their commitment to and impact upon children’s health.  One of the recipients, Dr. Hisashi Nikaidoh, was Matthew’s primary cardiac surgeon until this past year.

Whenever someone receives this award, the program creates a video featuring the recipient and a family impacted by the person.  The family in the video talked about their daughter’s surgery.  They went in anticipating a five hour surgery; it ended up lasting 15 hours instead.  When Dr. Nikaidoh greeted the family afterwards, his first words were to say, “I’m so sorry it took so long.”  As the mom in the video said, “He had been in surgery for 15 hours.  What a man of character to look at a family and to be so humble to say, ‘I’m sorry it took so long.'”

The summer after I graduated high school I did an internship at Children’s Medical Center.  At one point in the internship, I had the opportunity to sit in on the Cardiac Grand Rounds as people from the various healthcare disciplines came together to round on children and work on coordinating their care.  I didn’t notice Dr. Nikaidoh’s presence until near the end.  In two years of nursing school and nearly two years of nursing, I have rarely known a surgeon to possess such an unassuming presence and humility of spirit.  Experience has given me different expectations and has taught that the surgeon is almost always the first one noticed.

Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.  It is better to be of a lowly spirit with the poor than to divide the spoil with the proud.  Whoever gives thought to the word will discover good, and blessed is he who trusts in the LORD (Proverbs 16:18-20, ESV).

After Matthew’s birth, every doctor gave us dire predictions on his chances of survival.  Dr. Nikaidoh was no different.  However, in one conversation after he explained the situation to him my dad said to him, “Dr. Nikaidoh, my wife and I are Christians… we don’t know if Matthew will live seven days, seven years, or 70 years, but we understand that we may have to let him go…”  After the discussion ended, Dr. Nikaidoh got up and quietly walked to the door.  He stopped on his way out, turned back to my dad, and said, “I Christian too.”  Two weeks later, as my parents walked with Matthew’s medical team as they wheeled his bed down the hallway towards the OR for his first open-heart, Dr. Nikaidoh told my parents, “I go do best job, you go pray.”

Is anyone among you suffering?  Let him pray.  Is anyone cheerful?  Let him sing praise.  Is anyone among you sick?  Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.  And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up.  And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.  Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be heard.  The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working (James 5:13-15, ESV).

Several years after this, my dad took the day off of work to take Matthew and I on a field trip to the Science Museum in Fair Park.  While we waited to tour the museum, my dad struck up a conversation with a woman in the crowd.  She had come with her 16-year-old granddaughter for the same reasons Dad brought us. While we waited she had noticed Matthew’s outward physical challenges.  After a few questions about Matthew, she told my dad about her granddaughter’s own medical challenges.  The girl had been born with a rare heart defect.  She told Dad about how the girl’s cardiac surgeon at that point in time attended a bible study with his wife, but did not believe in Jesus.  She spoke about how she and her family witnessed to him many times.  Up until this moment, the grandmother only knew about Matthew’s visible medical problems; she knew nothing about his multiple, rare heart conditions.  After dad asked the surgeon’s name, my dad had the privilege of sharing with this grandmother the news that not only did Matthew share the same cardiac surgeon, but that the seeds the woman and her family had planted more than 15 years before had taken root and, by the grace of God, bloomed into a faith in Jesus Christ as his Savior.

And I am sure of this, that He Who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:6, ESV).

Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy!  He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him (Psalm 126:5-6, ESV).

Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest.  Already the one who reaps is receiving wages and gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together.  For here the saying holds true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’  I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor.  Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor (John 4:35b-38, ESV).

I firmly believe that if Dr. Nikaidoh had not come to believe in Jesus and listened to the prompting of the Holy Spirit, Matthew would not have been allowed to have the surgeries he so desperately needed to survive.  The medical community viewed these surgeries as simply a cruel method to provide false hope to the parents of a child incapable of surviving.  I believe that Dr. Nikaidoh did what he did because the Holy Spirit led him to do so and take the necessary leap of faith.

Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God!  Let Your good Spirit lead me on level ground (Psalm 143:10, ESV)!

For a people shall dwell in Zion, in Jerusalem; you shall weep no more.  He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry.  As soon as He hears it, He answers you.  And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide Himself anymore, but your eyes shall see your Teacher.  And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left (Isaiah 30:19-21, ESV).

In the interview for Children’s Miracle Achievement Awards, Dr. Nikaidoh spoke about a mission trip to Cuba.  Dr. Nikaidoh served as a “seating specialist” where he helped to fix wheelchairs.  Before he left for Cuba, a friend suggested he take knee pads with him, since he would spend a lot of time kneeling on the ground during his time in Cuba.  He then spoke about a lesson he learned while kneeling down: “And then I learn when you get down on the knees, that is a servant position.  And in whatever you do, that you are on the same level as a person sitting on the wheelchair.  That position is extremely important.  And that we should start wearing knee pads in our heart.”

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.  And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.  And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body.  And be thankful.  Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.  And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him (Colossians 3:12-17, ESV).

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.  Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.  Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, Who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.  And being found in human form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.  ThereforeGod has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the Name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:3-11, ESV).

The fear of the Lord is instruction in wisdom, and humility comes before honor (Proverbs 15:32, ESV).

The reward for humility and fear of the Lord is riches and honor and life (Proverbs 22:4, ESV).

As Dr. Nikaidoh said, we should all take to wearing knee pads in our hearts.  I have learned in my practice as a Registered Nurse the effect pride and humility in the caregiver have upon the ultimate outcome of a patient.  Pride can blind the caregiver from recognizing subtle changes until too late to prevent permanent injury or even death.  Likewise, humility opens the eyes and ears to the prompting of the Holy Spirit and so early warning signs can be caught and acted upon.  I pray every time I walk into work that God will give me knee pads in my heart, so that I might glorify Him as well as provide the best care for my patients.  May we all learn to wear knee pads in our hearts every day and everywhere we go and in everything we do to the glory of Christ Jesus.

Dancing With Jesus


 

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Today marks my Papa’s fourteenth birthday in heaven.  On December 5, 1997, Papa stopped by our house on his way to visit a client.  He always made a point of stopping by our house for a quick visit anytime his job brought him into the vicinity of our house.  Those visits were one of the highlights of my early years.

Later that day, my family went out for the evening and upon returning home found several voice messages left my Nana and my aunts.  We learned that a bus rear-ended Papa and he was in the ER.  During the accident, Papa hit his chest on the steering wheel.  The force of the impact unbeknownst to himself or the ER physician caused serious damage to his heart.  Unfortunately he did not experience the typical symptoms of such an injury and when the ER staff could not find anything wrong, they discharged Papa home.  The next day Papa returned to the ER where they admitted him to the Cardiac ICU.  After two weeks, God took Papa home.

On December 24, 1997, we celebrated Papa’s first birthday in heaven.  I remember one of my uncles asking me a question about Papa and responding with “I miss Papa, but I’m glad he’s with Jesus because I know that I will see him again when Jesus comes for me.”  Even at the age of nine years old, the Holy Spirit opened my eyes to the knowledge that because Papa and I share a Savior I have the assurance that death will only serve as a temporary separation.

“I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.  Behold! I tell you a mystery.  We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.  For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.  For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.  When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory.’  ‘O death, where is your victory?  O death, where is your sting?’  The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.  But thanks be to God, Who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.  Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain (1 Corinthians 15:50-58 ESV).”

As I listened to the radio this Christmas season, I heard a song called “Dancing with Jesus”.  I too, like Mary, hold onto Hope and dream of Heaven’s day when I will dance with Jesus.  In this world of ours, we too easily forget Hope and the coming of Heaven’s day.  I challenge you to remember how fleeting this life is and to not put off making your peace with God because “in the twinkling of an eye” the last trumpet will sound and the opportunity will have flown.

“Dancing With Jesus”

“A mother’s watching her newborn

A smile of joy upon her face.

She can’t believe the day is here

The angel had proclaimed.

Little eyes are opened and the baby starts to cry.

She picks him up into her arms and sings a lullaby.

Now she’s dancing with Jesus,

Dancing with Jesus.

She’s dancing with Jesus,

Dancing with Jesus.

A mother watches in despair.

Tears well in her eyes

For the path of pain her son would take;

The way He had to die.

But standing underneath that cross,

His life begins to fade.

She reaches up and holds to hope

And dreams of Heaven’s day.

Where she’ll be dancing with Jesus,

Dancing with Jesus,

Dancing with Jesus,

Dancing with Jesus.

Glory, Hallelujah in the highest.

Glory, Hallelujah in the highest.

We’ll be dancing with Jesus,

Dancing with Jesus.

We’ll be dancing with Jesus,

Dancing with Jesus.

We’ll be dancing with Jesus,

Dancing with Jesus.”

~ Daniel Doss and Sam Mizel 2010

We Are The Reason


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“And the scribes of the Pharisees, when they saw that He was eating with sinners and tax collectors, said to His disciples, ‘Why does He eat with tax collectors and sinners?’  And when Jesus heard it, He said to them, ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.  I came not to call the righteous, but sinners (Mark 2 :16-17, ESV).'”

“‘For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost (Luke 19:10, ESV).'”

“The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am foremost (1 Timothy 1:15, ESV).”

“Have mercy on me, O God, according to Your steadfast love; according to Your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions.  Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin!

For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.  Against You, You only, have I sinned and done what is evil in Your sight, so that You may be justified in Your words and blameless in your judgement.  Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.  Behold, You delight in truth in the inward being, and You teach me wisdom in the secret heart.

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.  Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that You have broken rejoice.  Hide Your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities.  Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.  Cast me not away from Your Presence, and take not Your Holy Spirit from me.  Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.

Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners will return to you.  Deliver me from blood-guiltiness, O God, O God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing aloud of Your righteousness.  O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare Your praise.  For You will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; You will not be pleased with a burnt offering.  The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, You will not despise (Psalm 51:1-17, ESV).”

October 31, 1991: I claim this day as my spiritual birthday.  Sometime between October 21st and November 4th, I came to understand the gift of Christ and my inability to please God without Christ.  Dad, in seeking to help my 3-year-old mind understand my brother Matthew’s infirmities and need for all the medical equipment and treatments, drew a picture of two hearts: one whole heart and one with a crack down the middle.  He pointed to the cracked heart and told me that God made Matthew with a broken heart and he needed all the tubes, wires, nurses, and medicines to help make his heart whole.  He then pointed to the whole heart and told me that God made me with a whole heart and so I did not need the things Matthew needed because I had a whole heart.  It was at this time that I finally understood all the stories about Jesus my parents and members of our church body had told me my entire life as well as all the verses my parents had me memorize.  Everything finally came together and, by the grace and leading of the Holy Spirit, took hold of my heart, soul, and mind.  The Holy Spirit used the physical brokenness of my brother to serve as a live picture to help me to understand that just as Matthew needed the physical healing brought through the gift of modern medicine I needed the spiritual healing brought on by the gift of the Great Physician to heal my spiritual brokenness: Jesus Christ.

By God’s grace, Matthew’s heart has been repaired through the God-given blessing of medicine and his physically broken body lives by the grace and strength of the Great Physician in defiance of science, man’s knowledge of medicine, and the teaching of evolution.  His brokenness testifies that His Grace is sufficient.  Not only does my brother’s physical body glorify God in its weakness, but–by the grace of the Holy Spirit–Matthew’s spiritually broken heart has been healed by the same gift of Jesus that I received around October 31, 1991.  Together, our spiritual hearts give testimony to the fact that Jesus came to save sinners: the least, the lost, the unlovable, the despised, the rejected, the broken, the disabled, the weak amongst us because His Grace will always be sufficient.

“We Are The Reason”

by: Avalon

My Hope is in You


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God has powerfully used music in my life.  Even as I developed in my mother’s womb, my parents made sure that the music they listened to brought glory to God because they knew that God could use it to influence my life later on.  I went to my first concert at the age of eight months old.  My parents tell me that anyone could tell that I loved every moment of listening to Michael Card as he performed to God’s glory; to this day, his music remains among my most favored.  I love music and have sung in a church choir every year since the age of three years old.  Music is a wonderful asset in hiding the Word of God in your heart.  I cannot even recall how many times God has brought me comfort or shown me how to comfort someone else by bringing a hymn, an anthem, or a song to my memory.  In my last post, I mentioned God’s use of the anthem My Shepherd Will Supply My Need to remind me of His Presence in my life even when I felt abandoned and alone.

More recently, God reminded me of His loving Presence after a particularly difficult day at work.  I left work feeling completely defeated after a day filled with demeaning verbal abuse from a visitor.  This combined with the already overwhelming feelings, frustrations, and fears brought on by the trial I mentioned in my previous post left me feeling utterly defeated and hopeless.  As I drove home, Aaron Shust‘s recording of the song My Hope Is In You came on the radio.  I found my self crying for the third time that day; only this time, my emotions revealed the healing that God can bring through the sound of His Word set to music.

 “I lift up my eyes to the hills.

From where does my help come?

My help comes from the LORD,

Who made heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot be moved;

He Who keeps you will not slumber.

Behold, He Who keeps Isreal

will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is your Keeper;

the Lord is your Shade on your right hand.

The sun shall not strike you by day,

nor the moon by night.

The LORD will keep you from all evil;

He will keep your life.

The LORD will keep

your going out and your coming in

from this time forth and forevermore.”

~ Psalm 121 (ESV)

 

“Lead me in Your Truth and teach me,

for You are the God of my salvation;

for You I wait all the day long.”

~ Psalm 25:5 (ESV)

My Hope Is In You
I meet with You and my soul sings out
As your word throws doubt far away.
I sing to You and my heart cries,
“Holy!  Hallelujah, Father, You’re near!”

My hope is in You, Lord.
All the day long, I won’t be shaken by drought or storm.
A peace that passes understanding is my song
And I sing, “My hope is in You, Lord.”

I wait for You and my soul finds rest.
In my selfishness, You show me grace.
I worship You and my heart cries,

“Glory!  Hallelujah, Father You’re here!”

My hope is in You, Lord.
All the day long, I won’t be shaken by drought or storm.
A peace that passes understanding is my song
And I sing, “My hope is in You, Lord.”

I will wait on You.
You are my refuge.
I will wait on You.
You are my refuge.

My hope is in You, Lord.
All the day long, I won’t be shaken by drought or storm.
My hope is in You, Lord.
All the day long, I won’t be shaken by drought or storm.
A peace that passes understanding is my song
And I sing, “My hope is in You, Lord.
My hope is in You, Lord.
Yeah, my hope is in You, Lord.”

~ April Geesbreght 2010

Arr. Aaron Shust 2011

A Year of Firsts


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Since my last post, I have considered what I would write about in my next post.  I finally decided upon the topic as I checked my Facebook notifications.  Today marks another year of bringing glory to God and enjoying Him forever (The Westminster Divines, 1648).

Like most people, as my birthday approached I found myself pondering the events of the past year of my life.  I discovered a common thread intricately woven into those moments: a year of firsts.

My 22nd year commenced with my first semester as a college senior and final year of nursing school.  I also started my first nursing position at Parkland Memorial Hospital as a Nursing Student II on a Trauma-Surgical Unit.  Through this job I gained a variety of experiences that I know will continue to benefit me throughout my nursing career.  In school, I took care of my first pediatric patient, visited my first psychiatric hospital, attended my first AA meeting, participated in my first Code Blue, and many other things–not to mention passing HESI (much to my IMMENSE relief!) and completing my first nursing degree!

The next significant first involved obtaining my first job as a Registered Nurse.  Unlike my past experiences with job interviews, my nursing interviews did not yield the desired fruits–or so I thought.  Every job I held before becoming an RN, I obtained with relative ease–always receiving a positive response.  I expected the same results for my nursing interviews.  In fact, I had the arrogance to place my trust in my resume and interviewing skills.  Proverbs 11:2 states, “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom” (ESV).  I must have filled out 30-40 different applications, but I only heard back from about 13 positions and only then to receive rejection after rejection.  Pinning and Graduation Day came and went without an assurance of a job and I found myself wallowing in a deep pit of self pity and anger at God for “letting this happen to me.”  But God is not a man that the unbelief, the faithlessness of a man should hinder Him from His set purpose.  God in His wisdom, as a loving Father, humbled me in order to refine me and to remind me to trust in Him and not myself (Hebrews 12:5-17, ESV; Proverbs 3:5-6, ESV)).  After all the graduation festivities were over, I finally recognized and confessed my sin in not trusting God to provide for my needs; later that same week, I received a call from Kelli, my current manager, offering me a position on her unit (Matthew 6:25-33, ESV).  I have never ceased to thank God for not giving me what I wanted, but instead, placing me according to His plan.  I have learned that the world’s best does not always coincide with God’s best and I know that God’s best always supersedes and outshines that which the world can offer–even if we do not always recognize it at the time.

I now had a job to look forward to; my first position as an nurse!  Starting on June 7, 2010, I had only two concerns during the two weeks that past between the day that I accepted the job and my first day of orientation: my Graduate Nurse (GN) Permit and NCLEX.  Texas State Law requires that all new nursing graduates hold a valid GN Permit before taking part in any patient care.  This time, however, I acted as I should have done during my job search: I sought God’s face, told Him my concerns, and trusted Him with the results (Matthew 7:7-11, ESV).  My GN permit arrived the day before my first scheduled shift on the unit.  Three weeks after starting my job I sat for my boards.  Again, my first inclination pushed me to doubt God’s sovereignty over my situation and to mistrust His plan for me.  Romans 8:27-29 states,

“And He who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.  And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.  For those whom He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, in or that He might be the firstborn among many brothers” (ESV).

Also, it says in Ecclesiastes that “for everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven” (3:1-8, ESV).  I knew, therefore, that although I had no guarantee that I would pass NCLEX I knew that I could trust God with my future no matter what the outcome because “all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28, ESV).  By God’s grace, I earned my first Registered Nursing license on July 6, 2010!

Many other “firsts” have happened to me in the year that has elapsed since October 24, 2009.  However, I will conclude with what I consider to be the most life-changing event of that year.  Every nursing student learns about the phenomenon known as “nursing intuition” during their time in nursing school.  The first recollection I have of “nursing intuition” took place during my first semester in Texas Woman’s University’s College of Nursing.  My first Medical-Surgical Clinical Professor talked about “nursing intuition” many times–both in the clinical, laboratory, and lecture settings.  She explained “nursing intuition” as a gut reaction to a patient or situation.  As we gained experience as nurses, she told us that we would come to instinctively know when something was not right with our patients, that we would learn to trust that feeling, and that we would learn to move heaven and earth to obtain whatever our instincts led us to believe our patients needed.  I did not expect to have my first experience for several weeks, even months after beginning my first nursing job.  In fact, I truly did not expect it until after I came off of orientation four months down the road.

Kelli, my manager, hired me to work the night shift (7pm to 7am).  However, she had me begin orientation on day shift (7am to 7pm) for the first two months before switching me over to finish the last two months of orientation on night shift.  God blessed me with many, many experienced and gifted preceptors–both day shift and night shift.  One of the first preceptors Kelli paired me with on day shift was T.J.   During my second shift with T.J., I had my first personal experience of “nursing intuition”.  T.J. assigned two patients at the start of our shift for me to care for specifically.  The day wore on and appeared uneventful until around 5pm when I went into the room of one of my patients to “round” on him.  My eyes took one look at him and I just knew that something had changed.  That instinctive reaction led me to complete another full head-to-toe assessment on my patient and yet I found nothing had changed when I compared it with my morning assessment.  Rather than relieve my concern, this only served to heighten the urgency I felt.  I went and found T.J. and told her what had happened.  She also came and looked at our patient only to obtain the same results as me.  I next went to the charge nurse and asked her to also look at this patient.  When she also did not find anything significant, I simply made note of everything that occurred in his chart and made sure that I warned the night shift nurse to keep an eye on him.  The next day T.J. and I both worked.  However, I was paired with a different preceptor and had a different set of patients, so I did not see much of T.J. until we both took our lunch breaks.  While we ate our lunches, T.J. told me that the condition of the patient I had been concerned about had worsened.  She told me that my warning had kept her vigilant and had helped prevent the patient’s death.

Since that day, I have encountered many similar situations and have learned how to advocate for my patients.  I also came to the firm conviction that “nursing intuition” is truly the prompting of the Holy Spirit. It took me over a month to realize this truth.  My preceptor, T.J., is a strong Christian woman.  Of all the staff on duty the day I cared for that man, she alone took my concern seriously.  She did not wave off my concerns as the over reaction of a GN because she recognized what I had yet to learn: the Holy Spirit had prompted my concerns.

References

The Westminster Divines. (1648). The Westminster shorter catechism: With scripture proofs (B. Aguilera, Ed.).

My Grace is Sufficient


UNDER CONSTRUCTION

I have found that creating a blog is very easy.  However, creating a post to a blog is a completely different story!  This situation reminded me of my junior year at The Potter’s School when I studied under Nikki Troxell in her Grammar Review & Composition Course (G&C).  Mrs. Troxell has a gift for writing as well as teaching.  Long story short, her class kicked my butt!  As a result, I learned how to write effectively and this skill has greatly benefited me in the years since I took that class—particularly during my collegiate career.

As I thought over what subject I would use for my first blog post, I wondered why I struggled to write this first post.  I remembered wrestling with the same issue when I first began G&C with Mrs. Troxell.  At that point, I recalled why I had found writing so difficult: I sought to write with my strength, my wisdom, and my thoughts and rejected the idea of leaning upon God for these things.  Proverbs 29:23 states, “One’s pride will bring him low, but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor” (ESV).  When I eventually recognized my folly in trying to separate God from any part of my life—even my school work—I humbled myself and sought His face in all that I did.  My writing and grades improved as a result, my stress dissipated, and my work glorified God (Deuteronomy 8:2-3, ESV).

2 Corinthians 12:9 by Theologigal, 2011

2 Corinthians 12:9 by Theologigal, 2011

In much the same way, I recognize that pride acted as my stumbling block in writing this post.  I forgot my new identity and instead reverted back to the old habits of my past life; I forgot “My Grace is Sufficient” (Ephesians 2:1-10, ESV; Ephesians 4:17-24, ESV; Proverbs 16:18, ESV; & 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, ESV).

My whole purpose in starting this blog is to make public the stories of God’s grace in my life and to provide examples of God’s power made perfect in my weaknesses.  I am a Christian.  I am also far from perfect.  God did not adopt me because I earned the right to the name “Christian” (Romans 5, ESV).  He made me His own in order that His glory might shine brightly in spite of my shortcomings.  In this way, He ensures all creation bears witness to His all-sufficient grace and omnipotence (Matthew 19:16-30, ESV; 2 Corinthians 12:8-10, ESV).

“But He said to me, ‘My Grace is sufficient for you, for My Power is made perfect in weakness.’  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities.  For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10, ESV).

Godspeed,                                                                                                                                                   Kaitlin O’Hearn, BS, RN

References

James, B., Lindsey, H., & Sampson, G. (2013). Jesus, take the wheel [Recorded by D. Bradbery]. On Jesus, take the wheel (The voice performance) – single [Mp3]. Universal Republic Records.

Ledner, M. J. (Lyricist/Composer). (2004). You are my hiding place [Recorded by Selah (A. Hall, T. Smith, & N. S. Sponberg)]. On Hiding place [Mp3]. Curb Records.

Maher, M., & Tomlin, C. (2004). Your grace is enough [Recorded by C. Tomlin]. On Arriving [Mp3]. Six Steps Records.

Morgan, R., & Fielding, B. (2006). Mighty to save [Recorded by L. Story]. On Great God who saves [Mp3]. Fair Trade Services/Sony Music Distribution. (2008)

Morgan, R., & Fielding, B. (2006). Sólo Dios puede salvar [Recorded by En Espíritu y en Verdad]. On Luz y salvación [Mp3]. En Espíritu y en Verdad. (2008)

Mosley, S., Schultz, M., & Wood, T. (2012). All things possible [Recorded by M. Schultz]. On All things possible [Amazon Mp3]. Columbia Records/Fair Trade Services.

Theologigal. (2011, October 19). [2 Corinthians 12:9 by theologigal]. Retrieved from http://theologigal.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/bible-verse-2-corinthians-my-grace-is-sufficient-for-you-for-my-power-is-made-perfect-in-weakness1.jpg

Watts, I. (Lyricist), Funk, J. & Thomson, V. (Arrangers), Resignation (Southern Harmony) (Tune Name), & Anonymous (Composer). (2010). My shepherd will supply my need [Recorded by The Choirs of Washington National Cathedral]. On America the beautiful [Amazon Mp3]. Washington, District of Columbia: Washington National Cathedral. (October 7, 2004 – November 12, 2004).