The Storm Before The Calm

A Blog Post about fear and anxiety before finding peace.

The storm before the calm.

I know we’re all more familiar with this phrase flipped around: the calm before the storm. But I think that sometimes, it’s the opposite. To me, the phrase is better reversed, transposed, flipped. Sometimes I think life is most scary and painful and difficult and heartbreaking right before something absolutely amazing happens.

You know something really great is on the horizon, but that doesn’t mean you don’t grieve what you’re leaving behind. The time before you meet the next incredible chapter of your life is often overwhelmed by tears, fear, and resistance. You know the next page has beautiful words, but want to linger on the black and white in front of you just a little longer.

Trust me, I get it. Take our recent move to Texas, for example. I knew Texas would provide many unbeatable opportunities for us. I knew it would be a time of growth for our marriage. I knew that it would be an adventure that we will cherish for a lifetime. We had prayed for months and months and felt like God really wanted us in Texas. Still yet, the days before the move were dark and cloudy. Tears came like fat raindrops and I couldn’t always stop them. I was scared and anxious, my stomach was in knots. The storm before the calm.

I find comfort knowing that I’m not the only one who has experienced the storm before the calm. In fact, it’s something my friend Jesus and His disciples experienced in real life.


“And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships. And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?
-Mark 4:36-41

The Bible says the disciples were terrified. They thought for sure they were going to drown. Sweet friend, has your storm made you believe that you’re drowning? I know there have been recent times that mine has made me feel like I couldn’t get my head above water. But Jesus, sweet, perfect, almighty Jesus, can calm that storm and the wind will obey Him.

The thing about that story that I never realized growing up hearing it in Sunday School, is that Jesus didn’t just come to the disciples and calm the storm right away. He could have. Although He was sleeping, He knew it was storming. He knew they were fearful. He knows everything. But He waited for them to come to Him. What would the disciples have learned if they hadn’t come forward and asked for His help? But because He let them come to Him and ask for His help, the disciples learned the power of the storm before the calm. Maybe He’s hoping we’ll learn the same thing.

Now that I’ve flip-flopped that old adage around, I can see about a hundred more circumstances in my life that have been the same way. Human nature resists change, our brains are literally wired to want things to stay put. Sometimes amazing things come our way, but we still have a hard time letting go of what we know and what we’re accustomed to. Friend, it’s okay to grieve that loss. I promise.

Maybe it’s a big thing in your life that has caused a storm. Or maybe it’s a little thing. I’m not judging, cause I’ve wept over the small stuff myself, so you’re in a safe place here. And each and every day, I still have storms before the calm. But I do find hope in one of David’s beautiful psalms. “…weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” Psalms 30:5.

There have been times that the storm loomed over me so badly that I woke up and the joy hadn’t arrived yet. Wanna know what I did? Went back to sleep. Friend, with patience, persistence, and prayer the storm will calm, even when it feels like it won’t. And when you just can’t shake those storm clouds, remember that rain makes the flowers grow. There’s a reason the weatherman hasn’t lifted that storm warning quite yet. I have to believe that. Maybe He’s just waiting for you to ask Him to.

Friend, are you struggling through a storm right now? Waiting for your own calm to show up? I get it. I’m right there with you. Let’s weather it together. You can stand under my umbrella (-ella, -ella). 


“And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.” – Mark 4:39

Love,

When You’re Struggling With God’s Will For Your Life

Encouragement for when you are struggling with The Lord's Plan for your life.

We’ve all been there. In between jobs. Or selecting the right school. Or going through the break up. Or considering marriage. Or choosing the right career. Or dealing with the job that you hate. Or losing everything. The overwhelming heartbreak of feeling lost and not knowing what to do. You feel like your heart is all locked up. How could a God who loves us unconditionally put us in a situation where there is hurt and confusion and an abundance of tears?

I myself have been left thinking, “God, what is your plan for me? What do you want with me because right now I feel like my prayers are just hitting the ceiling and bouncing right back to echo in my heart. Why have you chosen me for this job? Surely someone else could glorify your kingdom better?”

I’ve struggled with Gods will plenty of times. And I bet you have, too. The good news about struggling with what God wants for our life is that we aren’t alone.

In fact, Jesus, perfect Jesus, struggled with the will of His father. And if the perfect person can share that struggle with us, you know flawed humanity is not gonna have it easy.

Remember the story in Matthew 26 of Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane just before his trial and crucifixion? I love that story because it gives us perspective into Jesus’ humanity. Jesus tells the disciples about his sadness “My soul is succeeding sorrowful…” (vs. 38) as he enters the garden to speak to his father. I know I personally feel the most lonely when I’m struggling with God’s will for my own life. When I think about Jesus in the garden alone, facing the most fearful experience anyone could ever imagine, my heart breaks in two. Jesus struggled with God’s will as he faced the act that saved our souls. Jesus prayed “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt” (vs. 39)

I find myself praying in the same way when I’m struggling with the Lord’s will for my life. “God, not my will, but thine be done.”

I also love the story of Lazarus’ death and resurrection found in John 11. To me, this is a story that leaves me wondering more about Jesus as a person and how He shared similar emotions as we do. Scripture tells us that Jesus knew Lazarus was dead even before he spoke with Mary and Martha. In John 11:11-14, Jesus explains to the disciples that Lazarus is dead, and needs to be woken. However, later on in the scripture, when Jesus is led to the grave site of his friend, we are told “Jesus wept.” (vs. 35). There are two reactions from the people that observed Jesus’ tears, these reactions follow in verses 36 and 37. “Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”” (vs. 36) “But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”” (vs. 37)

As a mere mortal, I’m curious as to what it was exactly that made Jesus cry that day, too. And I can’t help but wonder if it’s because he was struggling with Gods will. Jesus knew his friend was dead, and knew that somehow it would glorify the Lord “This sickness will not end in death. No it is for God’s glory so that God’s son may be glorified through it.” (vs. 4)

I can’t help but wonder if Jesus struggled with the fact that his friend died as part of God’s will. Maybe that’s why Jesus wept.

I can’t help but wonder if Jesus questioned himself and the Lords plan when Martha said to Jesus, “If you had been here, my brother would not have died” (vs. 21) Maybe that’s why Jesus wept.

I can’t help but wonder if Jesus was certain that raising Lazarus from the dead truly was the will of the Lord. Maybe that’s why Jesus wept.

I can’t help but wonder if Jesus stood in front of his friend’s tomb and thought “if only I had turned left instead of right.” Maybe that’s why Jesus wept.

I can’t help but wonder if Jesus stood there among friends that would soon yell “crucify him” and saw Lazarus’ death and resurrection as foreshadowing to God’s will for his own life. And maybe that’s why Jesus wept.

And maybe those are questions we’ll never know the answer to on this side of Heaven. And maybe we’ll never know the reasons were struggling with the plans for our own lives. But friend, know that you aren’t alone in your struggle. Know that even the King of Kings had his moments of fear and sorrow when struggling with Gods will for his life.

How do you cope when you’re struggling with God’s will for your life? How has God shown up and shown off for you?

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6


Love,
Cassie, RN


How Could Jesus Do Your Job Better?

It all started a couple weeks ago…

I said my typical daily prayer on my way to work and asked The Good Lord to guide my hands and give me a good attitude. I was exhausted on my way to work, after a long week of school. I felt tired, and emotionally insufficient. When I prayed, I begged God to give me a heart that loves people the way He loves people.

Very first patient of the day needed their foot wrapped, and I immediately dreaded it. (Seriously, no one likes feet.) I walked into the room with an attitude that was less than gracious, but something triggered inside of me when I entered the room. It was as if the Lord said, “Cassie, Jesus washed feet, if He washed feet, you are not too good to wrap this foot.” After that, my perspective changed. I thought to myself: How Could Jesus Do My Job Better?

how could jesus do your job better

For starters, He would have a kind heart to even the most tattered and torn toes. He would have walked into that exam room with dressing in hand, opened arms, and a glad heart. Jesus’ heart would not have hardened like mine had in the first instant. And I am so thankful he turned my heart to him and reminded me of this scripture:

If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet.For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.” John 14:13-17

Jesus could do my job better because He would wash feet with a cheerful heart and be blessed because of it.

Often times, the clinic becomes incredibly busy. If you ever see me working on a weekend, you’ll see me running around like a chicken with their head cut off. It can be very stressful, and my mind often races with an ever growing to do list of patient needs. When a patient asks for a glass of water, my first reaction used to be less than enthusiastic. However, when I consider how Jesus could do my job better, I am reminded that although I may give a patient a glass of water, Jesus gives living water, which is exponentially more beneficial.

“But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.”  John 4:14

As a nurse, I may hand a patient a glass of water to relieve their thirst, but Jesus does my job so much better by giving anyone who asks, the gift of living water; eternal life.

As a nurse, the most basic job description I could offer would be to help promote healing. Whether that is through administering medications, cleaning wounds, or giving injections, I am assisting patient’s in their healing. But Jesus could do my job so much better because He is the Great Physician. While I can help promote healing, I can never provide the healing power that our Lord Jesus can. Jesus can do my job better because He can truly heal.

And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me.And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling down before him, she declared unto him before all the people for what cause she had touched him, and how she was healed immediately. And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace.” Luke 8:46-48

My touch will never heal, but Jesus’ hands truly heal. 

I find an amazing amount of comfort that Jesus could do my job better than I can. From here on out, my daily prayer not only begs Our Lord to let me love people like He loves people, but also allows me to thank Him for doing my job better and guiding my hands and heart to become a better nurse.

So let me ask you, How could Jesus do your job better? Because I know He can. Because in the end, it isn’t about me or you, or even about our patients (What?). Instead, it’s about doing the work for His Kingdom. And the hands and feet of Jesus are blistered, callused, and dirty. Let your work look more like His. How can you show others more of Him in your life?

I pray that Jesus does your job better than you do. I pray that Jesus guides you to be more like him, in your career and in  all aspects of your existence.

He must increase, but I must decrease. He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all.” John 3:30-31

How is Jesus doing your job better? How can you show the world you are Christ like?

Love,

cassie

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.

IMG_4655 (1)

                            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