I am really delighted for all the posts this week on my blog because I have asked close friends and colleagues to share their experience being a Christian nurse with you! Lets read what Hannah has experienced…
“As nurses, we have a unique opportunity to serve others in what is often the most challenging time in their lives. Whether they are being treated for an acute or chronic problem, patients have to learn to cope with that diagnosis. With nurses being around the patients more than any of the other healthcare providers, we can make an impact on whether the patients decide to tackle their diagnosis head-on or be consumed by it.
While many nurses work in a hospital where they are treating patients for an acute illness, I work in a clinic where we help patients cope with a lifelong problem. Currently I work at a rheumatology clinic where we see patients who have autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and gout. Due to their disease, most of these patients are in pain constantly; while there are medications that may lessen their disease, there are no medications proven to completely treat it. When these patients are first diagnosed, one of the hardest things for them to grasp is the fact that they may have to deal with being in pain the rest of their lives. They don’t understand why they have to live a life comprised of sleepless nights and a diagnosis that hinders them from being able to do the activities they once enjoyed.
It can be difficult to know what to say to these patients who come to the clinic with tears in their eyes or call us hysterically crying because they don’t know how much longer they can deal with the pain. If it weren’t for me being a Christian, I don’t know what hope I would be able to give to these patients. I definitely take living a pain-free life for granted and don’t know what it would be like to go through what they do, but I do know from personal experience that when I seek the Lord in times of difficulty, He comforts me and gives me new opportunities that are better than what I could have ever imagined.
One thing I know I struggle with is seeking out the Lord during the good times. When thing are easy and comfortable, I often think that I have everything under control, but in actuality, I am not in control at all. It is in the times of difficulty that I am flipped back into reality and shown whose boss, and for that I am thankful! I don’t want to be in control of my life, because I know I don’t have all the answers. Although I may not have all the answers for our patients, I know that I can direct them to the one who does.
Recently at my bible study group (where I first met Christina 🙂 ), we went through chapter 13 in Mark. The whole chapter is compelling, but one verse really stuck out to me. Mark 13:11 reads “And when they bring you to trial and deliver you over, do not be anxious beforehand what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit.” I think this verse stuck out to me, because I often have the mindset that I need to know exactly what to say to our patients and I worry that I may not say the right thing. This verse shows me that if I am unguarded and willing, the Lord will use the Holy Spirit through me to shed light onto others. I don’t have to have all the right answers or know everything there is to know about the gospel in order to share it with others, because God will do the talking if I just allow Him to! Seriously, how cool is that?!
We as Christians know there is a light brighter than what we can see here on earth, but we often fear sharing that good news with others in fear of rejection (which, if you read Mark 13:9, is nothing compared to what Christians used to go through). We need to remember that we have a “secret weapon” when it comes to sharing the gospel; the Holy Spirit will direct us with what to say, we just need to be awake and ready for those opportunities! I hope that, like myself, you continue to work on being willing to let the Holy Spirit direct you and let God present you with opportunities to shed His light onto others!”
–Hannah Hammer, LPN