Thursday, November 19, 2009

Letting Go

God speaks to us in the little things, often when we least expect it...but when we need it most.

So many internal struggles had been building. Worries about this, frustrations about that. Uncertainties, unknowns, fears. Giving them to God was something I knew I needed to do in my head, but something my heart found difficult to do. And so I carried them with me, despite how they weighed down my spirit.

On a typical Thursday morning a few weeks ago, I worked in the stress test room in Cardiology. We had our usual line-up of patients. Everything is specifically timed and must run like clockwork for a smooth day.

Our third patient of the morning arrived. A middle-aged man with thick glasses, clutching a book. I sensed something different about him. When I looked into his eyes and saw the lack of focus. When I heard him speak and listened to his words. When I read the diagnoses on his chart.

He was legally blind.

And he had schizophrenia.

There's a special place in my heart for those with mental illness. Going through my psychiatric nursing clinicals in school allowed me to see into the hearts and minds of the patients. And you just don't look at mental illness the same again.

Throughout the morning, the patient was friendly and talkative. Optimistic even though we were performing a test that was attempting to determine is the arteries of his heart were blocked. I realized the Source of his joy when I saw that the book he was clutching was his Bible. My heart was touched, but I continued with the day's duties, anxious to stay on time.

As I mixed his IV medications, I overheard him chattering to the other nurse. He was discussing the struggles he had gone through and how his faith helped him in difficult times.

I stood behind the room curtain listening, amazed at the beauty of this man. Everything in me urged me to take his words to heart-- to believe that his message was for me, that God wanted me to listen to his words. God was manifesting Himself through this man. Allowing me to see the beauty and wonder of a soul that trusts in the Lord.

And then, in the patient's sweet and simple way, he shared the thought he treasures most from his case worker:

"Let go and let God."

I've seen the statement on bulletin boards; I've read it in print. But it has never had the power it had that moment when this helpless patient spoke it from his heart.

'Let' is such a big word, he said. And he's right. How difficult it is for us to let go, to release our grip from things that are safer in the hands of the Father anyway.

Today my patient came in again for the results of his stress test.

They were abnormal.

But he and I both know he'll be okay. He knows the One who makes all things new. He knows how to let go, how to give his uncertainties and fears in exchange for strength and courage.

He may be thankful for the care the nurses have given him. But I'm thankful for what he has given us.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

"A Peek Into My Day" Carnival

So I've been really, really behind in my blogging. The longer the break I take from blogging or journaling, the harder it is to start back up. .

I thought the YLCF blog carnvial would be a perfect time to get back in the swing of things, so without further is a day in my life:

8:20am Ahh, the joys of sleeping in on a Saturday. The joy is usually short-lived. I love the feeling of sleeping in, just not the feeling of my day beginning late!

8:30am Morning prayer time with Jesus. These days are ones of adjustment as my family finishes our first week in the new house. I'm not the best person to deal with change, so I soak up my time with the Lord, drawing strength and grace for the day.

9:00am Breakfast time! A quick one today-- yummy pumpkin chocolate chip muffins!

9am-12pm Spent the morning doing little things around the house: tidying my room, reading new books from the library, chatting on the phone with Grant, working on to-do list for church CCD class, playing with Micah in the leaves. He's not only the cutest and smartest dog in the world (a little prejudice on my part, perhaps) but he is also oh-so-fun to play tag with! We took a short walk down the road; it was rather windy and chilly. The beautiful fall colors are coming to an end.

12:30pm Lunchtime with my family, then I pack to spend the night with my married sister for some girl time! Her husband and father-in-law are working outside, so I'm more then happy to keep her company.

1:00pm I stop at the library to look for a movie to watch...and an hour goes by before I leave. But I have a stack of books and movies, so all is well!

2:00pm I stop at the video store because the library just didn't have any fun chick flicks that we were in the mood for. "You've Got Mail" is the title I settle on for tonight. Meg Ryan and a PG rating-- sounds good to me!

3:00pm I arrive at the charming farmhouse where my sis and her husband live. We spend the afternoon chatting and listening to music while home-making greeting cards. I'm so grateful for my sister and the time we can spend together. We both have our struggles and challenges but I'm encouraged and inspired when I'm with her. She has a beautiful home, a loving husband, and an abiding faith. I want to be just like her.

5:00pm Crafting makes us hungry! We leave for the little town Subway and bring back sandwiches for us and the men. The men join us for supper and then return to their work. Kendra and I clean up the kitchen and settle in for the movie.

7:00-9:30pm Snuggled up on the couch and chair, we enjoy our chick flick, despite a few scratches on the DVD.

9:30pm Jeremy comes in for the evening and the three of us pray the rosary and then chat for awhile.

9:15pm (No, I'm not out of order. Jeremy turned back the clock for daylight savings time! hee hee) I have my own evening time with the Lord and then read a few chapters from my library books.

9:45pm My day ends with a phone call to my man, discussing our days, our upcoming time together, and anything in between. :)

10:30pm Time for bed. I get to sleep in the spare room and I'm every bit as delighted with spare rooms as Anne Shirley. Goodnight, world.

YLCF Blog Carnival