Today has been a hard day. I don’t feel worthy. There has been spiritual warfare. Like Renee describes in Chapter 6 of “A Confident Heart” I searched for ‘happily ever after’ and that search brought me to this place. My visible scars include divorce, two adult children that are keeping themselves at a safe distance and several other issues. Satan thinks he has this victory but I am God’s child (John 1:12) I have been chosen by God and adopted as His child (Ephesians 1:3-8). I am born of God and the evil one can not touch me (1 John 5:18). I can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13) I have had expectations that ended in disappointment. Emotions have uprooted and fed my doubts. I haven’t focused on the light of truth and who God says I am.
Today’s vents have propelled my thinking away from God. I have written God’s promises on cards to carry with me so I can easily remind myself of who I am.
Future days may not easy. Some days will be full of dancing and praise. Other days will be like today for me – full of tears and the need to remember who God says I am. But I am chosen and God is faithful even when I find myself faithless.
Thank you Jesus for loving me here in this place of doubt when my eyes have not been focused on you and the light of your love.
Changing My Perspective
Four years ago my lawyer and I stood before a judge. He in one sentence explained why we were there and with the tap of a gavel my marriage of 27 years ended. I was supposed to grow old with a person who no longer ‘loved’ me or wanted to be married. He didn’t want me because I wasn’t good enough. I walked alone from the courthouse to the parking garage grateful that I had brought sunglasses to hide my tears. I sifted through the memories from meeting my ex at church, a wedding, struggling through financial challenges, children, losing my mother and on the list continued till the conclusion in court. God had brought us together. The ex & I had scripture God had given us to confirm our marriage and plan for a future – and now we had put our vows to one another and to God aside. I remember telling people through the years ‘it is easier to stay together and work things out than to divorce. And on that day I had failed God so I was a failure. I labeled myself – it was like a visible tattoo that was leering at me in the mirror every time I gazed at myself to put on mascara, comb my hair or brush my teeth.
Doubts that I was ‘good enough’ and in my ability to be a wife and failing God consumed my thinking. Some of my friends grew tired of my rants about my ex and my constant belittling of myself. I kept the thought I had failed God to myself but repeated it over and over in my thoughts. I could see nothing good or beautiful in my reflection. I felt ugly and began to avoid looking at myself in the mirror. I was unable to see the light or hear God’s loving whispers. The shadows of doubt kept my attention. I felt like a failure as a believer and judged by fellow believers. Several friends remained present in my life. They listened and tried to encourage me to see the good things in myself and to read the Bible. I visited churches only to bump into people who knew me as Mrs. I was asked ‘how is Mr? What is he up to?’ and then I had to explain the divorce and the ‘shadows’ and doubts regained my attention. I came to avoid church like the Samaritan woman so I wouldn’t feel the judgement & rejection. I tried divorce recovery and participated in several online Bible studies, I read many self help books, perused the Psalms but my self talk and thoughts about myself kept me a prisoner of doubt.
But God had a plan and has plans for me. Several weeks ago I began an online Bible study “A Confident Heart” by Renee Swope along with one of my persistent friends. I am no stranger to God’s Word. I have multiple verses memorized but my doubt and broken thoughts kept me from embracing their light and life. I have not been hopeful. I have felt trapped in my life. Renee’s words have rung true – I have felt this book was written about me. As Renee poured out her hurts and doubts to her friend Wanda at the beach, I imagined myself with my toes in the water and sitting on the sand and poured my heart out to God. I continued to read on p. 67 “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). And a little ray of light got through to my doubting heart.
My perspective about my value to God is changing and I am gaining confidence as God helps me keep my eyes on Him. God’s plan for me is not what I envisioned. He does not think of me as a failure. As I continue to seek God the words of Jeremiah 29:12 -14 which says “Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with your whole heart. I will be found by you and bring you back from captivity,” will become my reality. I am #moving forward
God gets your attention when you least expect it. If you read my status yesterday evening you are aware my dogs dug their way out of the yard and were running the streets like it was Friday night.
A young patient arrived to recovery for another nurse to recover. When a patient arrives in recovery, our staff works together like a pit crew at NASCAR to connect the patient to the oxygen, the heart, Blood pressure, continuous oxygen saturation monitor. The main role of a recovery room nurse is to monitor the patient’s airway. Sometimes a patient is still entubated if they are too sleepy for it to be removed. Other patients are awake and talking. Every patient moves through the stages of recovery and is a new adventure with circumstances that often effect how they wake up and their response to anesthesia.
Patient safety and hospital policy doesnt permit visitors in Phase I recovery. Anyway this patient needed a Mom. I got to fulfill this role. The patient was restless and shivering. We placed a forced air warmer (which blows warm air on the patient’s body) I stood by this patient and provided reassurance that they were safe and we were working to manage the pain. Allergies prevented the use of a medication that is normally used to manage pain associated with the specific surgery. Constant repeated questions came from the patient. How long was my surgery? Why does it hurt so much? When can I see my mom? Why arent you helping me? So I held this patients hand. I was reminded of one of my kids, because the patient shares the same age. I started asking questions to distract the patients focus on pain. Most people will tell you about themselves so I asked about college – not attending. I asked about work – has successful business. Boom – found the thing that worked. Got a full explaination of how and why the patient does what they do. I saw passion and hope for a future as the occupation was described. The patient relaxed and the pain diminished. What was only minutes felt like hours as I interacted and distracted this creative hopeful person. Silence came as the patient relaxed and drifted to sleep from the medication. So I released their hand slowly and placed it under the covers. As soon as I began to step away, I was called back, ‘dont leave’ please pray with me for the pain to go away – I know you pray. I know you believe.
I was surprized. I had in 4 years in recovery never been asked to pray out loud. I believe in prayer. I believe in God. I know God heals and can interveine in any situation. In my mind I quickly sorted through ‘is this allowed’ and would there be consequenses for this behavior. What if I pray as I believed in Jesus name and it offends the patient?
I knew God was the author of this moment – to remind me how strong I am with Him. So I embraced this opportunity and prayed for this patient. I cant tell you what I said because I dont remember but the patient agreed with an amen. This moment was a gift to me. I dont know how this effected the patient. I can tell you I was comforted. The patient did relax and sleep some and I slipped away to come home. I cant tell you the patient outcome since I dont know. I can say I am not ashamed to pray for you if you ask. If you are my patient, please know it will be a silent prayer but I will be praying for you –
Thank you God for the people reading this note. they are a gift to me from you. I am grateful to be alive and to be me.