Unconditional Cheerleader

When I was 12 years old, I wanted to be a cheerleader. I can’t remember the details of how I found out about the try outs, but I signed up, went to the camp where I learned the cheers, practiced, and then tried out. I made the squad for 7th grade… as an alternate. Raub Junior High Indians. I didn’t get to wear the regular uniform. I wore this really cute mascot costume, with moccasins and feather. My pride made me feel less than, not good enough. Then my pride made me complain about the experience for all of 7th grade. I didn’t want to participate in any of the cheerleader extracurricular events that solidify a team. At the age of 12/13, I was not a team player. From my perspective, I saw those girls as being silly and snobby toward others. I saw them look down on others who weren’t cool enough to be cheerleaders. I didn’t like what I saw because I saw others as being equally special and important. My junior high cheerleading career may have ended after only 1 season, but my lifetime cheerleading career developed and is strong.

Son#2 married the girl of his dreams this past weekend. The day was absolutely beautiful. The weather was overcast. Processing my emotions is always a challenge. Milestones leave me feeling joy and grief at the same time. Milestones are signposts marking the end of one era, the beginning of the next. If I’m not careful, I get stuck at the sign for too long, looking back on all that has been, feeling like I’ve lost instead of gained, longing to go back and do it again.

But my sons are men now. And as a friend pointed out to me recently, I have successfully led them through childhood to adulthood, which is exactly what a parent hopes to accomplish. As their personal cheerleader, and biggest fan, I did it!

When I feel sad, I have to keep reminding myself that the milestone isn’t just an ending, it’s also a beginning. My cheerleader skills are still needed. This life isn’t over yet. It’s just beginning.

Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12 ESV



Unconditional Advocacy

It’s the day before the end of week 5 of this contract and a nearly 12 day stretch. This hospital has revealed more disturbing things to me in this last stretch than I’ve seen in years.

I hate conflict. A lot. I’ve learned many things over the span of my 33 years of nursing. I’ve learned to choose my battles wisely. I’ve learned to discern the difference between being upset because people are rude from being upset because people are just plain unsafe. I don’t run willy nilly to managers with every complaint under the sun because every complaint under the sun isn’t necessarily helpful.

So when I went to the managers this week, I went with a heavy heart, holding my breath at how they might receive what I had to say. But I had to! I am an advocate for the patients I meet. If I don’t stand up for them, who will? I confess, I wanted to be like Jonah and run the opposite way! Not because I know the Lord will allow these people to repent, just because I hate conflict, dread conflict that much! I don’t know what the outcome will be, but I know the God that I serve and I was obedient with what he tasked me to do. Maybe this is the reason I am here. The managers didn’t know that what I’ve been witnessing was even happening.

‘If I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, in order to save his life, that wicked person shall die for his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. But if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, or from his wicked way, he shall die for his iniquity, but you will have delivered your soul. ‘ Ezekiel 3:18-19

I won’t elaborate on the details of the issues I saw that prompted this turmoil. I will say very strongly, please shop around for the hospital you are using, for the surgeon, for the doctor! They are NOT all created equally! You guys! I can’t stress this enough! Research who you are using for your medical care! Don’t assume that someone with MD or RN behind their names is going to give you their best because of those initials.

I spoke the truth. Unconditional advocacy. My soul is peaceful once more.