I remember when I was getting ready to apply for nursing jobs. I was working with the career center at my college, and the women I was working with really made me think about the interview questions I would be answered. She asked me why I became a nurse, the catch was I couldn’t say to help people. The truth of the matter was that there are a lot of different jobs that you could help the general public. The real reason I became a nurse, was because God told me to. After my grandfather fell, I had a Holy Spirt encounter and I just knew that was the call God had placed over my life.
The thing they don’t teach you in nursing school, is how to cope when the system fails. They don’t coach you on what it feels like to call Child Protective Services for a child that will most likely still go back to their abusive family. They don’t prepare you for when you have to watch your patient crash and burn despite your best efforts to save them. They don’t teach you how to advocate for your patients just that you are one. They don’t teach you that a large majority of the public truly don’t understand what happens behind those hospital doors. They don’t tell you that nursing will change you.
I had my first true loss as a nurse. I have been in pretty tough situations, and codes, but nothing like this. I watched as best efforts were not enough. I walked out of that room, and walked off the floor almost in tears, but I had another 8 hours of my shift. So I did some deep breathing, texted my mom for a pep talk, and got a drink. Then went back to my job. I was check in on though out the day, and honestly I felt fine. I knew I did the best that I could.
When I got in my car, I started sobbing. Not a just a few tears like almost pull the car over sobbing. I blasted worship music and tried to understand the situation. I obviously couldn’t, and just kept crying, the whole way home. I got home and hugged my cats. I reached out to some of my nursing friends. I felt better, and went to bed. I woke up the next morning like I had been hit by a bus. Then in a typical Ashley fashion, I researched things. So for my future patients I could be better. Then I went to church, and cried some more, received hugs and prayers. It so interesting the deep level of grief we feel for someone we barely know.
Even today, I was not totally myself. The tonight we had a prophetic service. Which was amazing. But as I worshiped the Lord I just cried. I felt the grief all over again. The Lord took me back to that room. He showed me that he was standing right behind me as I was charting. Obviously that comforted me, but then as I became myself in this vision, I saw Jesus stroking the hair of the patient. Then I looked at the spouse and he was holding his hand on the chair next to them. To see Jesus not only comforting me and equipping me but comforting everyone in the room was truly what I needed to see. As I continued to worship and ponder the vision, it took me to the shortest verse in the Bible.
It was shortly before he raised Lazarus from the dead. Even knowing that he was going to perform this miracle, he still wept. He still acknowledged that there was a loss. In that moment I felt like Jesus saw my heart, and wept with me. Just like he did with Mary.
I am grateful that I serve a God who is near the broken hearted. I am grateful that he is with me every moment of every day. That he carries my burdens and makes them light. I am grateful for the calling on my life and that it is not by my strength but his.