That is all it took for life to shake me to the core. Now I sit, questions swirling around like a tornado in my brain. Questions of faith, of future, of reality and falsehood. What am I doing? Where am I going?
Does He really favor me?
There. That's the dead-center of the issue. Can I look at my life, and this situation, and truthfully say, “God is good”?
How can this be good? Either I am a total failure, or the entire situation is grossly unfair, or to some degree, both. What the heck is God teaching me in this moment? How can He ever make good from this?
Let me back up and bring you up-to-date.
Week two of working on my own in my first RN job. I have four patients with various complicated illnesses, and a fresh admit (the fifth). She has an array of illnesses that take almost an hour to make sense of, and now the doctor has written a page or two of orders that need to be done like now. In the midst of taking care of all this, I need to check my other patients, do their assessments, and administer all the medications in a timely manner. Oh, and a couple hours later, they add a second admit to the mix, with his batch of new orders. Remember, this is my sixth day of working on my own just out of training. Nearly about to break down and cry, I go to my charge nurse and tell her I am having trouble getting this all done. “Buck up and deal with it. I can't help you,” is her response. I do what any normal person would do – call her roommate at 4am and say, “Pray for me!”
At the end of the night, my manager comes to me and puts me on suspension until further notice. A week and a half later, she calls me to tell me that they will be laying me off in the morning. A phone call to the union reverses that process, but now I am on a sort of probation to prove that I can do my job. Under intense scrutiny and having my charge nurses completely betray me and stab me in the back (telling my manager that I pretty much suck as a nurse after telling me that I did a wonderful job), I find myself questioning what I am doing in this place.
Driving around town tonight on various errands, I wonder if I had heard God correctly. Did He really call me to be a nurse? All the trouble I had in nursing school, struggling to pass my most difficult class; having teachers tell me that I should reconsider my career path; curses from my charge nurses that had turned on me – can all these signs point to the fact that I should not continue? Even in this probation period I struggle to finish all the required tasks in a timely manner. What will I do instead of nursing?
More importantly, the questions that run deeper concern my identity. All my life I have fought the lie that I have no worth, that I fail the most important tasks, that God does not truly love me because I can never measure up. Facing the reality of my glaring failure as a nurse, these questions shake me to the core of my faith in Him to make all things work together for good. Certainly He must not favor me, for this is not good.
I rarely listen to the radio, because I hate the commercials. Tonight, however, I do not feel like listening to a CD, so I tune the radio to Spirit 105.3. Jeremy Camp's “Walk By Faith” comes on a few minutes later, and I begin to sing along out of habit. About halfway through I truly listen to the words:
Would I believe you when you would say
Your hand will guide my every way
Will I receive the words You say
Every moment of every day
Well I will walk by faith
Even when I cannot see
Well because this broken road
Prepares Your will for me
Help me to win my endless fears
You've been so faithful for all my years
With one breath You make me new
Your grace covers all I do
Well I'm broken – but I still see Your face
Well You've spoken – pouring Your words of grace
My windshield blurs, but not simply from the pouring Seattle rain. With tears streaming down my cheeks, I sing along: “But I will walk by faith, even when I cannot see.”
I cannot see what the future holds. Whatever I face, He promises to walk through it with me. He must have a purpose for this crisis in my life, and someday I will see the results of this breaking.
Tonight I will face my fears, confront the enemy, rebuke the lie that says I cannot do this job. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13). I will trust the Lord, and walk by faith.
One night at a time.
[Author's Note: I passed the probation period, succeeded in doing fairly well as a new nurse, and as soon as God released me, I moved on to the job I love – delivering babies! I would never, ever want to live that time of my life over again, but I can truthfully say that God has used it to refine my character and deepen my faith. That song came in one of the most critical moments to encourage me while in the depths of despair – our God truly is a God of hope!]
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Thanks for sharing this, such a powerful testimony to how God shepherds us down His paths. I could really relate to your comments such as 'that I fail the most important tasks' - my life's had its share of those. Glad you added the footnote, I really wanted to see how the probation turned out.