It’s just so unreal that my God watches over me as a Father watches over a child. I think about my own sons watching over their children and making sure they have coats before they get cold, checking them for ticks after a romp in the woods before they get Lyme Disease, preparing dinner before they feel the first pangs of hunger and teaching them about the Lord before the real hard times of life come upon them.
As those of you who read here regularly know, I am beginning a new kind of nursing and a new kind of ministry in the county where I live. I became certified in Parish Nursing in May and am just beginning to build a network of church leaders who want to partner with registered nurses to form alliances to care for the physical, mental and psychosocial needs of parishioners as well as their spiritual needs. This task is so much bigger than I ever imagined in the beginning and as I looked at its expanse, I began to doubt my sufficiency. Hooray! Admitting I can’t do this is a big first step. God has to do this. In order for God to do this, I must let Him in the driver’s seat. If I don’t, He will use someone else.
I want to thank Him in this space today for what I have learned just this past week (and it is A LOT). I want to thank Him
#651 for teaching me to do the “next right thing”. Whatever that “next right thing” is to do it because that is my agenda. I have no boss but Jesus and He is scripting my days.
#652 for enabling me to connect with people. I am not a natural people person. I like people and like to spend time with people, but I also like to be alone and not have to be bothered by people at times. He is teaching me how to “be polite” ALL the time.
#653 that I work side by side with Sue in the free clinic every Wednesday. She has a compassionate heart like few people I have ever met. She is politically saavy and has the courage of a lion beneath that woolly sheep skin she wears. She is ruthless and tireless in pursuit of care for the “least of these”. I am proud to be her mentee. When clinic extended to 5 hours last week and then she had to stay and follow-up a couple of more hours I said, “How can we do all this, Sue?” She looked up at me and said, “One patient at a time until we are done.” And, when we were all done, we talked about how the people we saw that day were “the end of the line”. They were addicts and mentally ill patients who had dissed all their other options because they could not control their own selves for one reason or another. Sue said, “We should be thankful, we can, and we must help them until they can.” I was undone in the presence of such love.
#654 that an experienced Parish Nurse from another denomination has the same heart for the Episcopal Church that I do for the Methodist Church. Ann has been doing Parish Nursing for 5 years and has all kinds of resources, forms, policies and solutions she is willing to share, and she does. I am amazed at this connection because it will save me literally months of design time just using her templates for foundational materials. Oh, and she is a biker so we can have fun together, too!
#655 that my denomination has incorporated the International Council of Parish Nursing credentialing into the highest levels of my denomination’s hierarchy linking three established places within the denominational structure to Parish Nursing: the United Methodist Committee on Relief, the United Methodist Board of Pensions and Health and the United Methodist Council of Health Ministries.
#656 that pastors want to meet with Parish Nurses to discuss how we can work with them and interface with their congregations.
#657 that nurses, paramedics, aides, therapists, physicians, physician’s assistants and nurse practitioners in congregations want to help carry out the mission.
#657 we are welcomed into the county council of churches, community health center, get assigned to Americorps volunteers and are recognized by other philanthropic partnerships.
#658 for unemployment that seems to be the will of God. I apply for jobs all the time and never get them. Yet, during the application process, I am ushered into rich resources and meet key stakeholders in the community through the job interviews. I also learn who is connected to whom and the lay of the political landscape. These connections are more important that any position I could gain and God knows what I need.
#659 for meeting my health needs as I have a VERY high deductible on my health insurance.
#660 that He lets me know when I am headed for trouble. His angels watch over me in miraculous ways. I receive warnings, have meetings cancelled and have technical difficulties of some sort or another and what comes out of those “curves” and “bumps” in the road are directions I needed to take for some aspect of the ministry. He even reminds me of those angels as I find pennies lying on the ground throughout the day. (An old wives’ tale says that picking up a penny should be a reminder to you that you have guardian angels watching over you.)
#661 His patience as I hesitate when something doesn’t seem rational. I’d expect Him to say, “Are you kidding me, Dawn? You expect working in the Kingdom to be rational?” He doesn’t. As I step out in faith, He surrounds me with people who they tell me they trust me even though things seem chaotic. I am trusted even when I don’t think I’d trust me. Amazing!
Well, Dear Ones, my word count is twice what a good bloggy length is supposed to be so I’ll quit for this Monday, but I am really really thankful,
Always alleluia (phrase stolen from Chris at Always Alleluia),