Many of you may not know that “Growing Nurse Debi” actually began in this tiny potting shed in my backyard. At that stressful time when I first became a nurse, my husband built this to celebrate my finally having finished five years of nonstop school. He knew how badly I needed a special place to just be “Debi” again after spending all those years locked up in my study hole. He knows me well.
I still love looking at how this little shed tucks so perfectly into my tiny backyard. As I started spending time out there, though, I realized that I had never really looked at my garden from this angle before. My view from the shed was actually better than my view of the shed.
I just couldn’t stop watching. There was so much beauty that I’d never noticed before. This was when I knew … I was going to be needing a chair out there.
This quickly became the spot I would go to each morning to watch and ponder. As a brand new nurse, I was seeing and learning so much that I simply could not hold it all in. I just couldn’t.
This was when the pondering started to overflow into sharing.
So I would sit in this little shed and write posts to my Facebook friends about things I was thinking about. My own personal “view from the shed.”
The more I did these, the more I started realizing that the lessons I was learning were important ones. And I was dumbfounded to learn that they actually seemed to be helping people.
Through the encouragement of several close friends, I realized that God was actually calling me to something here: a true ministry. He was giving me something to say, and He was even giving me the perfect place to speak it.
This was when the “Growing Nurse Debi” Facebook page came to be.
It was at this point that I felt the nudge to not just write about what I was thinking, but also about what was actually happening with me, as well.
I was sick.
At that time, very few people knew about my Lupus. Honestly, it was very new and I was still trying to absorb the news myself. I had just spent five long years working towards this very difficult career, and now I had no idea if I was even going to be able to pursue it.
Basically, I felt awful, I was scared to death, and I just didn’t feel like talking about it. So I didn’t. I wrote about pretty much everything but my Lupus. Until God stepped in.
It’s time to be honest, Debi. Tell them what I’m REALLY teaching you. I brought this new ugly into your life because I love you. This hurts, but it holds purpose. There’s beauty in it. Find it. Use it. Show it to others. Speak my truth. Point them to my hope. Comfort. Encourage.
So, you see I had no choice. At that point I started writing with stripped-bare honesty about not only the beauty I see all around me, but also the beauty I have to struggle to find in the harder days, as well. It’s that process that’s important here.
This holy beauty doesn’t just lie shiny on the surface for just anyone to see. No, you have to dig down through those dark days to find it. It’s just that precious.
So here’s the funny part. I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing here. God called me to start “Growing Nurse Debi” in his infinite wisdom, but sometimes I can’t help but laugh at how I’ve fumbled my way through every step up to this point.
Seriously, I’m trained to keep people alive. I am NOT trained to build websites or navigate my way through the maddening world of social media. But, even through my clumsiness, He continues to grow this ministry and press me forward in new directions.
Last summer I expanded “Growing Nurse Debi” off of just Facebook to a new website where I can not only “share” to different platforms, but I can also categorize by subject for easier reading. This was a grueling learning process for me, but it has brought great results. And He continues to nudge me with new ideas of where we may be going next. (Stay tuned.)
At this point, though, a bit over two years since its inception, “Growing Nurse Debi” has grown to having over 450 followers across social media. To have even one person out there willing to read my rambles is amazing enough, so this kind of growth absolutely dumbfounds me.
But that’s the power of God.
The cool thing, though, is that I don’t have to worry about the numbers. I receive all kinds of statistical feedback showing the number of “likes” and “shares” to everything I write. I can even see how many people click on my video links or even “block” my posts. But none of that matters to me.
The only important number to me is the one that shows how many people actually read the posts. That’s what’s important here.
What I do here is completely a “God thing”. I follow no strategic marketing plan to grow my “following” or expand my “reach”. I don’t pre-write posts, I don’t schedule at regular intervals to keep up reader engagement. And I sure don’t keep them light and fluffy to keep people comfortable.
I write with raw honesty and only when God gives me something to say. He decides what happens with it after that. He leads the people to it. And He works whatever He wills into their hearts as they read it.
How freeing and beautiful is that? It makes me want to cry just thinking about it.
So I want to thank you for sticking with me on this journey. Please know that it’s no accident that you’re here. God has led you here for a purpose and I seriously pray for you. I do.
I want you to be lifted by what you read here, but more importantly, I want you to be convicted of your need for Jesus. You need Him. I sure need Him. We all just really, really need Him.
Thanks for growing with me. ❤
“But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, ‘You are my God.’ My times are in your hands ….” (Psalm 31:14, 15)