Taking a stand against short staffing

I have been tossing around what I am supposed to do about a situation in my life that has been going on for about a year. I don’t know whether to speak up to have what is said only fall on deaf ears or to remain quiet and continue to go against a State Code of Guidelines that sets safe staffing standards for my work area.  Andrea Dawn commented to me once (in reference to God fighting the battle for Gideon against Sisera) , “The LORD will indeed “march ahead of us” and send the foot soldiers in a panic, but I have found that I personally must take a stand against the leader of the enemy troops.” How do I “take a stand”? Indeed, I don’t even really know who the leader is.

I received similar insights from another Andrea at Abandoned for Life:

the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves, too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no one could have dreamed would have come one’s way. Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now. -William Hutchinson and Goethe

And, as I receive these promptings from my Andrea’s,  I am simultaneously reading Judges 6 – 8 where God took hesitant, insecure, cowardly Gideon and raised him to be a judge over Israel. I read and reread the transformation of Gideon. The turning point, it seems, was when Gideon decided to pull down his father’s altar to Baal and cut down the Asherah pole standing beside it. He built an altar to the Lord in its place and sacrificed a bull on the altar using the asherah pole as firewood. I love that the Scripture says that Gideon did all this at night so that no one would know who did it. That is just the kind of stand I would take, a scaredy-cat stand. But, it was a stand, and it was a bold one, minus the boldness.

God honored that scaredy-cat stand. Just as William Hutchinson said would happen, once Gideon committed himself, help came from an unforeseen place–his father. When the people tried to kill Gideon, Joash stood with his son. And that was just the beginning…find out all that miraculously happened to Gideon in Judges 6 – 8!

So…here I am at a crossroads. I am of the opinion that speaking up will not help. That may change as the situation changes, but not now. I am still surprised at who I am finding the “enemy” to be. People I thought would be helpful are joining the administration in their survival practices which border on corruption. Others, whom I thought would be easily swayed, are not; and, in the midst of everything in my microcosmos, God is being God–of the hurricane, of the mustard seed and of the health system. He’s telling me, “Have all the people go down to the stream to take a drink.  The ones who lap their water from their hands will be your army.” I think He is preparing me for battle. Meanwhile I am present with my most needy patients. In this Year of Now for me, I am learning how to do that more and more.

And a final word from the founder of my profession:

“The martyr sacrifices themselves entirely in vain. Or rather not in vain, for they merely make the selfish more selfish, the lazy more lazy and the narrow more narrow”-Florence Nightengale

For the love of God and nursing,



11 comments on “Taking a stand against short staffing

  1. Dawn, I can’t believe you are going through this right now! I almost wrote to YOU for prayer and guidance as I went through the turmoil and struggle in my soul and couldn’t find anyone appropriate to talk with about it all. Any of the possible decisions I could come up with were not good and I did not feel at peace with them, nor would they resolve the issue at hand. It’s not too often these types of things come into our lives —- battles that require the full wisdom and guidance of God.

    After many sleepless nights and troubled days, it “just so happened” that someone else mentioned the exact same problem. Little did I know that anyone else saw it, was in the middle of it, and had more details about it all. AND. . . little did I know that it had been resolved, the people were gone — left on their own, leaving ME and others no battle to fight at all!!!!! God has His ways, just as He did in OT times. Each battle was handled differently, but always with clear instructions from HIM. Sometimes they fought hand to hand combat, sometimes they sang and shouted, sometimes they stood still and watched, sometimes arms were lifted, sometimes they marched. But HE always made the way clear.

    I can’t give you advice here. But I can promise you my prayers. He will do one or more of three things: Make the wrong right by moving the hearts of the powers above you to change things, or removing the powers above you and bringing in someone else who will change things, or use YOU and move through YOU to change things. If we understand God’s heart correctly, He wants what is right and it sounds to me that you are lined up with that, Dawn. So when WE want what we know GOD Himself wants, we can plead our cause and He WILL hear us.

    Praying for and with you, my dear friend!

    • Dear Cora,

      Knowing your are praying is a real comfort. I looked at situations all over the industrialized world and it seems nurses are in the same fix. Then I think of those in the countries of poverty and I know they don’t have anyone. I have been in clinics in Africa and Central America and the Caribbean where there were no supplies and little medicine, but the people were cared for as best they could do. In this country, I don’t think we’re doing our best with what we have. Anyway, I am sitting at this crossroad and I am watching very carefully.

      I am so glad your situation work out without your having to make a move. It’s something how that happens. I really know it’s God when it happens and I didn’t even have to arrange it. I may have a lot of work to do once His plans unfold, but I don’t have to make up the plans. It’s really a good thing!

      I had off work today and I slept all afternoon. Andrea Dawn’s blog had a photo and scripture journey on REST. I took it seriously. smile

      Thank you, Dear Cora for checking in here and for all the wisdom I glean from your words wherever I find them on the web.

      Love you, Sister,

  2. Dawn, I am off to work in 5 minutes but just want to say I am praying. “Thy will be done, LORD, on earth as in heaven.” There is no corruption in heaven, no selfishness, no laziness, no narrowness. May you hear His voice guiding your every step . . . “this is the way, walk ye in it”.

    • Dear Andrea Dawn,

      I am at this crossroads, but I think I am in the country because there is no one way sign HOWEVER the natural surroundings are such that it is a good place to “Be still and know..”

      You said you were heading off to work. What do you do at your place of work? I hope it is artsy in some way. You really do bless me with your words and photos. I don’t want to forget those beautiful knit/crocheted bonnets you made for your ganddaughters, either. Simply amazing!

      Keep me in your prayers. There is power in the Word and it just rolls off your lips,

      • Dawn, at present I am working very part-time as an accounting assistant . . . no real room for creativity there.

        The last several years have been physically challenging for me as first I began struggling with an arrythmia and sensitivity to electromagnetic frequencies. I had just been cleared to return to work (no more nights) when an xray revealed I was bone on bone in my right knee. I was pulled off work again and then spent a year retraining for a desk job. I finished in January of this year but was unable to find work until July when I got hired where I am now. My knee replacement surgery is scheduled for Nov/Dec-ish.

        So I am happy that I have more days off than on and content myself with artsy-craftsy projects at home, whether crocheting, quilting, photography or working with the blogs and writing/poetry. I am so delighted to have found this outlet to share what God has given me . . . and of course have met so many wonderful people.

        I had a wonderful time praying for you on the way to work and will definitely continue. Would you mind sending me your email address? dawnidoodle57@yahoo.ca

  3. Dawn, I have had to take difficult stands a few times in my life-ones which could have cost me jobs when I was the only support for family. I took my stands with the willingness to lose my job if need be. In one case I did and in the other I didn’t. Sticking with conscience in both cases gave me the strength to face whatever the consequences might be. I am currently in a situation, very, very unexpectedly, where it has happened again. i am cutting my losses, having taken a stand, having soured in the eyes of the other for doing so, and am leaving my current situation which I will leave undescribed here.

    I pray, too, that you will sense what to do, and feel a peace with that decision regardless of potential outcomes. Sometimes the outcomes are other than we imagined, which also can be nice or painful. I have learned in life that I can’t save the world, or even at times a small part of it, but I can always make a stand for my conscience and beliefs, however quietly or loudly that may come to be. Always, I have to make my stand while letting go of the need to control the outcome. This is because usually the outcome involves others, which means it is outside of my complete or even partial control.

    I can feel that this is very heavy for you, and I am praying for you. I know how painful these conflicts can be,

    • Dear A.,

      Way back when I first started to know you, I was extremely impressed that you were able to leave an abusive relationship with two babies in tow and strike out on your own. I work with young families all the time and one thing I just can’t understand is how a woman can live with a man who beats her and/or her children. Either way, watching it or being abused by it, the child is damaged. You would not allow it. That is very rare so I take your counsel seriously and respectfully.

      This IS very heavy for me. thanks for your prayers. They mean a lot to me,

  4. Not knowing exactly your conflict but knowing your heart I can say God is with you and will always make the light shine in the darkness… His desire is purity, honesty… truth
    He always wants us to protect the unsuspecting victim
    And He will be glorified
    and we will rest at His feet.
    content in His goodness.

    • Dear Susan,

      I write to you with tears in my eyes as usual. I don’t know how you move me like you do, but you use words that play my heart like a fine-tuned harp. When you said, “He always wants us to protect the unsuspecting victim” I knew you heard my heart’s cry. Today, though, I heard Florence Nightengale speak down through the centuries
      “The martyr sacrifices themselves entirely in vain. Or rather not in vain, for they merely make the selfish more selfish, the lazy more lazy and the narrow more narrow”
      I have been called a martyr by my superiors, not in a good way. Working to try to do everything is not seen positively. Danelle caught me up on that one a month or so ago and I am much better. This has been a refining fire for me. I don’t want to leave the furnace too soon.

      Love and prayers and hugs,

      PS Where are you in the world?

  5. Please know that I am praying for you Dawn. To be silent, to be vocal, they both take courage and wisdom. Praying that for you sweet friend. You have a heart of gold and God will surely show you when to speak and the very words if they need to be spoken. He will raise an army and fight the battle for You. His ways are above ours and we don’t always understand. Praying for you. So very sorry that you are struggling and feeling such weight from it all.

  6. Dear Danelle,

    How like you to be typing to me just as I mentioned you in a comment above. Thanks for your wise words that bring light wherever they are shared.

    Hug those little boys,

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