How Nursing Taught Me Grace

It’s been a couple weeks since I’ve posted anything because I’m in the middle of my RN preceptorship while still working weekends. Right now I’m averaging 60 hour work weeks while still doing my other class work. I realize this is the norm for a lot of people, but this part time girl is worn out! Nevertheless, I’m grateful for these opportunities to learn.

I wanted to share one of my favorite stories of working as an LPN: when a young child taught me more about my faith then I’ve learned in 23 years of life.

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                            Grace: The unmerited love and favor of God toward human.

One of my first weekends working as a nurse, I had to give injections to a room full of sick children. Because there were 3 kids, I knew I would need some help, so I grabbed my sidekick and syringes and prepared for a battle. What I didn’t know was that full fledged warfare was waiting for me behind the exam room door.

I initially assumed the oldest sibling would have her injection first. Boy, was I wrong. As soon as I attempted, a tantrum commenced. No amount of convincing could change this child’s mind! Eventually we moved on and each younger sibling took their injection with very little drama.

Then, it was time for the oldest. If you thought the temper tantrum I mentioned earlier might have been bad, this one was miserable. That child screamed and wept and kicked everyone out of their way. Even mom and dad were forcefully pushed back to their seats with flying feet and fighting fists. Friends, whatever you’ve envisioned at this time, multiply it by 10 and then maybe, just maybe, you’ll have an idea of how difficult this encounter was.

Finally, with three of us as human shields and one injecting, this child  received the injection they needed. The battle was won, but I couldn’t celebrate my victory right then and there! Instead, I grabbed our “treasure chest” and allowed each child to choose a toy as their reward for taking their injections. I started with the youngest sibling, since the oldest was still laying on the exam table with tears flowing. Both younger siblings accepted their new toy and smiled. When it was the oldest child’s turn, the reaction was not the same.

Instead of being met with eagerness to see the contents of the toy chest, this child continued to weep. Even after encouragement, this child continued to cry. Eventually, she looked at me and said, “I don’t deserve to get a toy because I wasn’t good when I got my shot.” My heart melted. Again, I begged her to choose a prize. And again she said “I don’t deserve it.”

I left her a little bracelet. I don’t know if she took it home with her or not, but I hope she did. The rest of my day went on as usual, but my drive home, I found myself thinking about that family and the sweetest Son I’ve ever known.

As humans, we are that stubborn, fearful child. We fight what is good for us, we disobey the very One who gave us life, we throw punches because we don’t want what is being offered. We kick and scream and cry and yet, God still offers His love, His mercy, His salvation. And we don’t deserve it. We will never deserve it, and we know, deep down, in our heart of hearts, we don’t deserve it. And yet His mercies are new everyday. Oh, how He loves us.

I had thrown around that “grace” word for years and years, but I never truly understood it until that day. So to the stout little soldier defending them self against a rocephin injection, thank you. Thank you for reminding me that in the eyes of The Father, I am you, fighting what will make me whole. Thank you, for showing me that I don’t deserve it, but I can still receive it, because He is good. This is amazing grace.

“For by grace, are ye saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.” Ephesians 2:8

Has nursing ever given you an “aha moment”? Has a patient ever taught you something you thought you already understood?

Love,

cassie