The joint pains started increasing around midday. By evening, the migraine and queasiness had really kicked in. With the alarm the next morning came the weariness and stiffness. Great. I felt awful. And I was scheduled to work the next two days. This is just great.
Some would undoubtedly say I should’ve just stayed home. Others would understand that if I did that every time I felt like this, I would hardly leave my house. They would also recognize that many times I actually feel better if I just muscle through and go help people.
So I made the decision to press on.
I was hopeful that I would have an easy patient team and the days would just flow. Surely God would bless my “stepping out” in His name, right? Surely.
Well, I don’t know when this lesson is finally going to sink in with me, but God doesn’t always give us what we think He should. We may be tired or sick or weighed down and think we deserve an easy day, but God knows better. He may instead choose to teach us that what we REALLY need is to remember how much we need His strength.
The easy days let us forget Him as we cruise on through. So, OF COURSE, he allows hard days.
So, between being sick myself, as well as having a complicated patient load on top of that, those two days turned out to be anything but easy. The stress was nonstop, as was the migraine. But, God got me through it, as always.
And I’m glad I went. My patients were all doing better when I left that second night, and even though I didn’t physically feel any better, I had the satisfaction of knowing that I had accomplished something greater than just feeling sorry for myself for the past few days. So, no, I don’t regret working when I was sick.
What I DO need to confess to you, though, is that I did not do it gracefully. I struggled. In my heart. I got wrapped up in the stress. It blinded me. I actually resented it. I resented the fact that not only did I have a very difficult job to do, but I was doing all of it feeling so awful.
Granted, it was my own choice to go in like that, but it was definitely NOT my choice to be sick in the first place. I’ll be honest: I don’t want Lupus. It hurts. And it’s difficult enough being a nurse without that added complication on top of it. I guess sometimes it wears on me. The weight of it all … it just presses hard some days.
I realize that this is going to date me, but remember back in “the day” BEFORE we wanted everyone to see our underwear? Back before Victoria lost every one of her secrets and we kept our straps and whale-tails all nice and tucked in???
That was when it was considered really tasteless for a woman’s slip to show under her skirt. People would stop and whisper to you “Hey, your slip is showing” just so you could go tuck everything back in before too many people saw you like that. Does anybody even wear a slip anymore????
Well … my point about all of this is to actually SHOW you my slip, not tuck it in. “Growing Nurse Debi” is all about how God is working on me. How he’s teaching me. Changing me. I write with honesty about the ongoing, never-ending PROCESS of Him loving me through the challenges.
Even though I’m growing, I still continue to struggle greatly with this.
Admittedly, I have my revelations where I clearly see God’s work in me AND my tangles, but I want to be very real with you: this is when my 20/20 HINDSIGHT kicks in. It’s in those peaceful moments after-the-fact. That’s when I ponder and feel changed. That’s when I write and share. That’s when I feel well-equipped to do better next time.
But, what I want you to know is that I don’t “walk this talk” any better than anybody else.
In the heat of the moment, I forget all that. Every bit of it. Ask anybody who knows me. They see it. I become overwhelmed. I grumble. I whine. I resent. I get snarky. I rebel. I’m blinded to everything but the current state of pain or chaos that’s right in front of me.
Worst of all, I forget that God is still loving me at that very moment. And I forget that he’s actually loving me PERFECTLY, simply because that’s exactly who he is.
Thankfully, though, He doesn’t forget me. He doesn’t forget my need for Him. He just grabs hold of me by my stubborn chin and turns my face to Him. Every, single time. He reminds me that, even though the days were difficult, he DID bless my stepping out in sickness. He absolutely did.
I got to leave my recliner and go work with people I love. I was able to have another chance with a patient who has mysteriously pierced my heart over the years. I was given multiple hugs and tons of encouragement from my colleagues. One even took a few moments out of her busy, busy day to stop and saturate me with prayer in the med room.
Even though God didn’t love me in the way I thought he should at that time, He made sure there was plenty of love surrounding me as I faced those two extremely difficult days. He is just so good that way.
I wish I could do better in the moment, but again … then I wouldn’t need him so much, would I?
I’m thankful, though, that He never tires of teaching me, will never stop forgiving me, and will always, always nudge me forward, ever closer to Him.
The song linked below, “These Things Take Time” by Sanctus Real touched me early this morning. The lyrics reminded me not only to start trusting and stop questioning, but that I’m a work-in-progress and definitely not a failure for forgetting. I actually have this on repeat right now, hoping to drill this message in deeper. Please give it a listen – I pray it speaks to you, as well.
Thanks for growing with me. ❤
“I do not understand what I do … For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do – this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is the sin living in me.” (Romans 7:15, 19-20)