Like Gideon in the Bible, I wasn’t sure I was hearing God when He told me to take the Parish Nursing Foundations course in May in order to start Parish Nursing in the district of my denominational conference. Also like Gideon, I made deals with God to be sure I had heard correctly. Each time I laid out a “fleece,” (Judges 6:36-40) the God of the universe confirmed to me, “Yes, this is what I want you to do.” These were my fleece:
- If my sister gets the administrative assistant job then I’ll know
- If I get the grant money to take the course then I’ll know
- If I don’t get another job then I’ll know
- If you pay my room and board and gas to the course that would help me to know
AND then there were things that I got that I never even asked for. It was even more important that these issues be in place than what I had asked for. God knew and He’s bringing me along. Being a parish nurse and building a parish nurse program is definitely not my endeavor. I am not wise enough. I’m just a broken vessel in the hands of the potter and He said to me just this morning
“If you don’t do what I say, how can I protect you?” Isaiah 7:9C
so I’m doing what He says. Today I want to thank Him for those issues that I was not wise enough to ask for, but that are essential to the successful completion of this health care endeavor in our church district. Thank you Jesus for
#641 my husband who tells me he likes me home building a parish nurse program. He says he’s not interested in me working for insurance or his medications. We pay about $1000.00 per month for our insurance but he’s willing to pay it our of our savings until another way is clear to us. He does not want us out of the will of God. I married this man when he was 19 and I was 18. I was not wise then, either, but I wanted a Christian husband and I got one. (I love that the wedding ring I placed on his finger 41 years ago stands out in this picture.)
#642 my friend, Cherie, who resigned from her RN position at the hospital to join me in the journey. There is no one of greater integrity of all the nurses I worked with at the hospital. Cherie also shares my passion for helping the poor and needy and unlovely, and she is extremely personable. I’m business; she’s homecoming queen. I’m geek; she’s cheerleader. God knows this ministry could not be built without her.
#643 my sister, Debbie, who has a network all over town. Every time I need something, she knows where to get it…and cheap! This is a huge blessing.
#644 my sister, Diane, who is at the hub of the church where we are beginning. She is the administrative assistant and she keeps me from stepping on another church member’s toes or from overlapping with other meeting times or she catches the pastor “on the run” to get permission for something. This is another huge blessing.
#645 a network of physicians who want to help move care into the community and want to partner with nurses to make it happen. A significant number of them have formally registered their intent to separate from the hospital system in our town and form an independent physician conglomerate. Thank you, physician friends, for keeping us informed of your moves. Cherie and I pray your final days of your contracts go smoothly and God speaks into your lives as certainly as He has into ours.
#647 the Word of God is living and speaks to me daily. Every day I sit down to read He speaks to me. It’s like there is a highlighter in my eyes and some of the words leap off the page. When I close my Bible and walk away from my breakfast table the words stay in my mind and speak to me all day. Michael W. Smith sings a song, “Ancient Words,” that says it all.
#648 those of you who are following my journey here. Each and every day I leave some words and then some of you leave yours. I thank God for the comment section of my blog. It is life and breath to me. Sometimes I don’t get the point of my stories until you show it to me. If you read and comment here regularly, I am talking about you and am so thankful for your faithfulness in pouring into my life.
#649 my children who support both me and my husband even though they have busy lives of their own.
#650 my church family who support both me and my husband even though they have busy lives of their own.
Thank you, Ann, for hosting this space for intentional gratitude,
Dawn (alias, Gideon)