This question comes from Mia, a blogging friend in South Africa:
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 do you handle that, my friend?
This is an excellent question.
I think the best way to answer this one is to explain my nursing background. I’ve been a nurse for *gulp* 27 years. The reason I chose nursing is due to my late father’s sudden heart attack at 45 years of age. Up until that moment, I had no idea what I would be when I grew up. (To be fair, I haven’t really grown up yet) When I saw how his nurse treated him with love, mercy, friendliness, and humor, I thought, I could do that. My dad was really pleased with my choice. When he died six months later, I looked at him on the stretcher and promised I would follow through.
At the beginning of my career, I learned very quickly if I was going to be a good nurse, I would have to distance myself from the tragedies of life. It took time and determination to develop an objectivity toward people and the things they suffer while also maintaining a level of compassion and empathy for each person.
I’ve seen things over the years that would make your heart faint. They do not make my heart faint. I’ve seen trauma that stops people cold in their tracks. Somehow I carry on until the problem is resolved before I break down. Somebody has to do these things or else there would be no one to help.
In a nutshell, I have been given this gift from God. He made me to be a nurse. He made me to be strong enough to do what others cannot. He has filled me with love, mercy, friendliness, and humor to pour out to the sick, the wounded, and the dying.
His Spirit filled me to be able to tell a person who learned of impending death not to lose hope because only God knows the end of things, not man.
I’ve been a nurse for 27 years, but I’ve been a better nurse these last 8 years having Jesus as my Lord and Savior. Before Jesus I was pretty satisfied with my choice to be a nurse. Since meeting Jesus, my heart has swelled to new dimensions of love, mercy, friendliness, and humor toward the people I care for. It is an enormous privilege and responsibility to help someone have hope.
I can’t imagine not being a nurse. 🙂