Nurse Debi is enjoying some much-needed stillness this morning after the insanity of another shift at the hospital. Even after all these years of practice, I still can’t just bounce back and move on after working.
I truly need this time to just process all I’ve learned and experienced. This is what keeps me wanting to go back. To “re-see” things without all the stress pressing in on me.
So I think I’m finally realizing that I’m not ever going to truly get used to the fact that everything happens at once in a hospital.
Every day that I work, I relive the same palpable little shock to my overly-organized system when I realize (again) that, in nursing, there is just no neatly finishing up one thing before you move on to the next. Nope. And for some reason, I continue to be internally surprised by this jolt every, single shift.
Just get over it already, Debi.
But, when you’re holding multiple people’s lives in your hands, everything’s going to be right now, and all the right nows are going to happen exactly when they want to.
Which is … All. At. The. Same. Time.
So, as nurses, we’re trained to multitask – it’s honestly our only survival skill. Dealing with multiple cases each day, we’re faced with many different disease processes – each of which require a myriad of varying approaches in order to treat them.
All. At. The. Same. Time.
Now let’s add the human factor into it. These are people we’re dealing with here – each of them made wonderfully unique by our great God. But they’re complicated. Very, very complicated.
Interventions that work on one patient, may totally backfire on another.
Words that soothe one, could blindly enrage the next.
Many love their nurses and think they can do no wrong.
Others are such hardened prisoners of their addictions that we can’t do anything right for them – no matter how hard we try.
So every shift is a delicate dance between all the different personalities while ultimately trying to keep these people safe and alive.
All. At. The. Same. Time.
My real “take away” from the other day, though, was the internal frustration I personally wrestled with in dealing with a difficult family. So many unreasonable demands and angry rants … for twelve hours straight.
Ironically, they are fellow believers. Over the course of our time together, we had each discussed our faith and even prayed together before their loved one’s surgery.
After connecting that way, I couldn’t help but feel amazed that they could continue to act this way towards me, as well as to the entire staff trying to help them.
I couldn’t help but think that, as believers especially, they should be above this, that they should be more forgiving; more understanding to what else we are dealing with outside of their room – how much stress we’re facing.
How scared we can be when things start going wrong.
Today, though, I’m sitting here in this beautiful stillness looking at myself … and my inward reaction to them.
Yes, the craziness of the day had my personal stress level on high.
Yes, they were complicating everything by monopolizing so much of my time.
Yes, my other patients needed me, too.
Yes, really, they should have acted better, been more considerate.
Shouldn’t I be above my frustration towards them?
Shouldn’t I be more forgiving?
More understanding to what else they’re dealing with outside of their room?
To how much stress they’re under?
To how scared they must be?
Yes, I absolutely should. And I see this very clearly now in the quiet of this stillness.
So I’ve been talking to Jesus about this today. I really want to work on all this in the future. To be more understanding … more patient… to have more empathy … no matter what’s going on around me.
And honestly, I really just want to kick myself sometimes for these missed opportunities. Those times where I could show grace and mercy in the heat of those chaotic moments, but I don’t.
I just don’t.
And that right there is exactly why I need Jesus.
As much as I’d like to be perfect, I’m not. And I never will be. None of us will be. We’re all broken by sin and there’s not a darn thing we can do to make it go away.
But we have Jesus to be perfection for us instead. He walks right here beside us, speaking to our hearts, showing us all those ugly places where we need work.
But he does it with the patient love of an understanding Father. Not with eyes blinded by all the hassles and stress of being an imperfect fool trying to navigate through this ridiculously imperfect world. You know … like how we all tend to look at each other.
That’s just not how Jesus works.
But we have to spend time in stillness to hear him sometimes. Obviously he could scream it all at us, drowning out the chaos with the power of his voice, but he doesn’t have to do that. Instead he calls us to stop what we’re doing, and just listen for his whispers.
That’s how Jesus works, my friends.
Can you feel that you’re thoroughly wrapped in the warmth of his mercy, grace, and forgiveness when you listen? You’re not in judgment here. He’s not in a hurry. There’s no rushing. And no stress.
Just endless understanding. Compassion. Encouragement. And peace.
And the amazing thing is that He does this for all of us. Every, single one of us. And He does it All. At. The. Same. Time.
And then after a while, he gives us a quick squeeze of strength, and sends us back out there to whatever he’s placed in front of us to do, and then he tells us to do it all over again. But just a little better this time.
Thanks for growing with me. ❤
” (2 Corinthians 9-10)