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?



An Open Letter to My Little Sister

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When you were born, mom and dad handed me the best gift they could have ever given me: a sister, a lifelong friend, a second closet somehow equipped with clothes that seem better than mine. They let me choose your name and with the name I gave you, I believe you were also given every ounce of spunk and spitfire you could hold. The Good Lord knew I would protect you, but that you would be needed to protect my heart.

Little sister, I have watched you grow, attended every single birthday party, and tucked my secrets in your listening ears behind braided pigtails. I know your heart better than almost anyone in this world and I still don’t completely understand it. Maybe I never will, and maybe that’s how it’s supposed to be. But I’ve seen your heart love and I can’t wait to see all the souls it will love in your lifetime. Your heart is special, sis, it loves those who are misunderstood, those who can’t love back, and those that need it the most. I envy the depths of love that your heart radiates, but I’ve also seen tears flow from your bright eyes because of others’ hurt it allows you to feel. My prayer for you is that this rare and unique love is never wasted on anything that doesn’t love you back with as much unbridled sparkle as you give to others.

Sis, you have goals that are incredibly selfless and inspiring. I can’t wait to watch you serve this world even more than you already have. My friend, you are capable of doing whatever you put your mind to, and then some! So dream a little bigger, darlin’. When you think you’ve dreamed all you can muster, go just a little further. Push the boundaries of your imagination a little more, just outside your comfort zone, because that’s where the magic happens, I know, because I’ve seen you there before. You are courageous, never forget that. 

Sister, you are so beautiful. You are the girl that walks in a room and people smile. You carry all the grace of every beautiful woman that came before us. You have the same cheekbones as our great grandmother and the glimmer in your eye the instant before you sass someone matches hers too.  My friend, I’ve seen you at every awkward stage of your life: braces, bad haircuts, and our “Mary-Kate & Ashley” years, and you were as beautiful then as you are now. I promise. Your beauty comes from a place within you that is so good and so pure hearted that it cannot be ignored. Sister, you are beautiful. Promise me you will never, ever let anyone make you feel otherwise.

I am so proud to be your big sister and you are truly everything I want to be in a person. Because I’m the older one, everyone expected you to look up to me, but it’s me who looks up to you. I’m so thankful to have your hand to hold as long as I live and the love between us and before us to get us through anything this life could ever throw our way. You are forever my play mate, best friend through eternity and Sissies always.
“You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you.”
-Song of Songs 4:7
All my love and then some,