What Does Normal Look Like Anyway?

I’ve been back on the ship for just about 4 weeks now. We’re filled up to capacity again with people from around 35 different nations. We have a full hospital, full surgery schedule, and full cabins. Wherever you turn you may find somebody speaking in a different language. It’s fun, different, and stressful.

How do you handle it Michelle? Good question. I’m not really sure. You’d think by now I’d have it all figured out, but I don’t. I struggle with the constant turnover of crew. I find it especially challenging in surgery.

Every Monday, we get new OR staff. Yes. Every single Monday. It’s like travel nursing on steroids. The new people show up. They’re super excited, as one would expect. They’re ready to work hard. They’re happy. And they don’t know anything about who they’ll be working with. Likewise, we don’t know anything about them.

I was telling a nurse from Australia how hard it is to be me in this environment. I’m no good at acting. If I’m happy, it shows. If I’m not happy, it shows. People take one look at me and think I’m angry when I just might be tired or more recently in pain. I have to explain over and over and over who I am. It’s mentally exhausting. It’s also discouraging.

I find myself wondering every single day why I’m here? I don’t think I have anything super special to offer. I’m not a shiny happy person. I’m just a square peg trying to fit into a round hole.

And yet I know God told me to come here. I’ve met some really great people here. I’m living with three of the most awesome girls ever. I feel like the edges of the square are softening. I just keep waiting for my life to feel normal again, routine, stable.

In other news, my back feels better than it has in months. Praise God! I continue the ibuprofen for another week or so as long as my BP stays down. So far so good. Being pain free is definitely helping my disposition too. Thank you for all the prayers! The Lord is listening. 🙂

Feel free to ask me questions in the comments. Sometimes I don’t know what to write about. Ideas friends! I want to know what you want to know. 🙂

His… Michelle
Philippians 1:20



12 thoughts on “What Does Normal Look Like Anyway?

  1. What’s your favorite food on the ship? Do you have any time to watch TV (and if so, what do you like to watch?) Can you get snail mail and if so, what is your mailing address? What are your “normal” hours on the ship? (ie. do you usually have to be ready to start @ what time and when is your day normally over?) Are your Saturday’s and Sunday’s free or are you on call 24/7? Would you ever get another Tattoo and if so, what would it be? do you like coffee (I’m thinking you do) and if so, how do you like it? do you add anything to it ? do you have a favorite brand?

  2. You’re doing great Michelle! Thankyou so much for sharing your daily thoughts and experiences, inspirational to us current landlubbers!

  3. you do have something super special to offer – YOU. i love that you are here….you make my life here better — simply by being YOU. happy…not happy…talkative…not so talkative…matters not – i’m glad you’re here and i’m glad you are my friend.

  4. Dear Micey
    I know that if I were in your shoes, I would have found it difficult to not emotionally become involved in all the suffering you see on a daily basis! How who you handle that, my friend?
    Blessings XX

  5. I think I understand, even though our experiences are worlds apart. Doing ministry, especially really hands on “radical Jesus stuff” like you are doing { you go girl } must be a non-stop pendulum of highs and lows. Doing devotions today with the big girls we read about putting on the spiritual weapons of God, based on 2 Corinthians 10:4. Its cross reference verse was John 14:27 and Isaiah 30:15. Peace, Rest, Quietness and Stillness are our super-secret weapons in Christ! In the other words the exact opposite of our natural tendencies. This has been hitting me, pouring over me, drilling into my head, over and over again for the last 18 months. Concentrate on having the calming presence of God, not super happy perfect Christian, or grin and bear it gritty hard worker, that I know I have tried to be…but like you, its just not me. And it leaves me always with a bad taste in my month. Glad to hear about your back. Am praying. PS…do know of any good books that would explain more about Mercy ships, or the work of evangelism in African that would not be too above my middle school aged girls? (think Jr high days).

    • Hey Leah. This is terrific. I guess I never thought of peace, rest quietness, and stillness as super secret weapons. But I like this thought a lot. And thanks for your question. I’ll hit it up in my next blog to be sure! ❤

  6. I just love hearing about the miracle operations you guys perform. Keep writing what you are writing. I absolutely LOVE your blog. Tomorrow you will feel better. You have a lot of people praying for you. Much love

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