Yes, Gideon, this is what I want you to do

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.

#646 private philanthropists who are willing to invest in private enterprises such as the church and parish nursing. 

#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.

Michael W. Smith “Ancient Words

#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)


6 comments on “Yes, Gideon, this is what I want you to do

    • It’s in the “writing out” that the big picture comes into view. It’s also a good record so that I never forget these miraculous beginnings nor take lightly the process. That is the purpose of this blog…to record the process. I just never realized how important that was. You knew the importance of the written word. I am just beginning to really see it.

      Thanks for being the first to bless me with a comment on this post. When I see your face in my notification list, I always well up a bit of hallelujah inside.

      Have a wonderful day with your men, the tall and the small,

  1. And I am welling up with hallelujahs inside about all this. It’s very moving to see what God has been doing, how He has been working even more things together than you could have dreamed of. This is exciting! God bless you and your Hubs for your looking to Him for direction, seeking certainty as to just what He’s saying to you, and then stepping out in forthright faith.
    And yes, it is so good and wise to be recording all this as you are doing here!

  2. I think if I had to choose a Bible character that I am most like, it would have to be Gideon. I always see myself as inadequate, ill-equipped, a failure, and full of fear towards the task given me. I can talk myself out of anything. And throwing out the fleece???? It’s my gift!

    So I needed to read this today, Dawn. I just love the way God set this all up for you, bringing the right people with the right balance for you, and all the workings that only He could do. It’s been so good to follow your journey through it all. All things ARE working together for good, aren’t they? I just loved 642! I picture a well balanced see-saw!

  3. Dear Dawn,
    Love the picture of the grandkids in the tree. That is a real “Kodak moment”…one that should be framed. It reminds me of the genealogy I do on my family. Each year, before our annual reunion I update the material with the new babies that have arrived. I “hang” them on the limbs of our family tree and give thanks that the thread my grandparents began so long ago still weaves us together. Also, I’m was so excited to read that there are physicians willing to begin a new way of looking at health care in the community. Wow! Can’t wait to hear more.
    Love you,

  4. my heart was warmed to read the 41 years together you both have had… and the ring… somethings just warm the heart more with age… the walking together and now his being pleased in your heart felt service in the parish… what a blessing.
    Jesus talks about the parable of the two sons who are asked to help the father in the orchard…in the end it is the one who comes to Him who pleases Him…
    You have your heart set on being with the Father… He smiles big and welcomes you!
    His gifts are always outrageously gracious.
    smiling with the multitudes

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