On entertaining the troops and those miserable nurses in the waiting room.

20150817_071112-e1499713571330.jpgAfter the weekend I just worked at the hospital, I couldn’t help but think today about how much time we nurses spend helping people wait. In the midst of all the other spinning plates we keep balanced outside the rooms, behind every door lies a sick person in wait. Of something.

If you think about it, the entire span of time from admission to discharge really is just one long wait. Waiting to be seen in the ED. Waiting for an inpatient bed. Waiting for orders. Waiting for tests. Results. Therapies. Medications. Treatments. Then there’s the waiting for improvement. The waiting for lunch. The waiting for discharge.

Throughout all of this, there we are … trying hard to encourage our patients’ patience.

The hospital process is slow and frustrating, I know. But there is absolutely nothing we can do about all the waiting. There are countless more patients than doctors, nurses, techs, therapists, case managers, or total staff combined. We are totally and completely outnumbered every time we walk through those hospital doors. Seriously.

Hence the wait.

Sometimes this “helping people wait” process can be pretty easy and I distract them simply with my wit and charm. Or more likely by clumsily embarrassing myself somehow. Other times absolutely nothing helps.

Sometimes these patients are just feeling absolutely miserable. And I get that. They don’t want my distractions, they don’t want my bad jokes. They don’t want any snacks and they just don’t care how many times I trip over absolutely nothing. It’s just not that funny anymore.

They’ve become tired of the waiting. They’re tired of being sick. They’re tired of worries. They’re tired of nothing ever getting better. They want the world to stop spinning without them. They want this all to not be happening. They want to go home. They just want their lives back. They just want normal back.

Yes, I absolutely get that.

I go there myself sometimes – to that “being miserable” place. That place where you struggle with waiting. You wrestle with contentment. You really just want things to be different than they are. Yep, I totally feel where they’re coming from.

Honestly, I don’t want Lupus. I really just don’t. I wish I could give God a hug and just say “no, thank you” to that. I really do.

I wish life hadn’t had to change so much. I wish I hadn’t had to change so much. I wish some days didn’t have to be such a struggle. I wish it didn’t have to affect everyone around me the way it does. And I really wish my head didn’t have to hurt so bad today as I sit and try to form these thoughts. Yes, I really do.

And there are times where I also wish my prayers would just be answered. Every, single one of them. The way I think they should be answered. Like right now. Today.

Seeeeeee … do you see how I get??? This is that place where God and I sometimes wrestle. That place between discontent and impatience. I hate to admit it, but we actually meet here pretty frequently.

But this is also where he loves me through my pouting. This is where he smoothes away my wrinkles of impatience. This is where he holds me as my head hurts. This is where he draws close this sometimes miserable nurse as she struggles to break free from her OWN personal “waiting room”. This is where he reminds her why she’s there.

This place is where he teaches her how to help others. To teach them to wait. She can tell them about this place. She can go point them to it. She can show them this place where He holds her. This place where He’s grown her faith and lifted her eyes. This place of wisdom where he’s teaching her to pray for HIS perfect will to be done … in HIS perfect time … and not merely in her own. Praise be.

Thanks for growing with me. ❤

“Praise be to the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)


2 thoughts on “On entertaining the troops and those miserable nurses in the waiting room.

  1. Your writing penetrates to the soul, my dear Debi. It’s not a fun process to be in “the waiting room” as you say. But you are correct in how God doesn’t waste anything, including those waiting room times. You will be more equipped to help others as they wait during life’s difficulties. Thank you for your honest writing!


    • Thank you, Kristin! It helps to know that nothing is wasted with our God, doesn’t it? It all holds purpose – every experience, encounter, and emotion is rich with intention from the One who loves us enough to make us wait. I’m so thankful that through this waiting He’s equipping us to turn it around and comfort His people with the comfort He’s given to us. What a great God.


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