I rarely like to share such personal experiences in such a public forum but I have felt prompted to multiple times so here goes. As many people know Jerry is in the process of being laid off from his job. It is not the end of the world but it has definitely strained our spirits a bit and definitely left us wondering what's next. For now, he is finishing up at Belle Foods and I am working full time hours at a per Diem job in Birmingham. We have been a bit stressed but we have also been blessed in numerous ways. One of those ways has been in the peace that we both feel. We know that we are in Birmingham for a reason and while we don't know exactly what that reason is, we feel like it is all part of the Lord's plan for us. I am very grateful for the Spirit of peace that we have right now and don't know how we would get through the trials of this life without it. In speaking of the Spirit I would like to be able to say that my most spiritual experiences happen at church or in the temple, but in reality most of them happen at work. Working in the Intensive Care Unit I see a lot of people in their most vulnerable state and I see many at the end of their lives. The veil between this life and the next is very thin and the experiences at both birth and death tend to be very spiritual for me. Last week I just happened to have one of those days.
It was Tuesday, I arrived at work (not a scheduled shift) and got report on my assignment. One of my patients was very stable and expected to transfer out of the unit. The other was extremely unstable and not showing any signs that she would improve. I started in the room of the unstable patient and spoke to the family. She was a Full Code which means we would resuscitate her if and when she her heart stopped. Given her condition I knew we would be coding her during my shift and I also knew that coding her would not change the outcome of the situation but merely prolong the inevitable. Her husband and daughter were at the bedside. I introduced myself and updated them on her condition. In the first few minutes of being with the family I knew that they didn't want the patient to suffer and that they had a strong faith so I approached them about her code status. Long story short, the family made her a Do Not Resuscitate and she died very quickly into my shift. I was the nurse more for the family than the patient and that was OK. My other patient transferred out of the unit and by noon I was patient less but expecting another very unstable patient from the ER. I got report and went to have a quick lunch. In the 20 minutes I was off the unit for lunch I got a call that the patient had been emergently dialyzed in the ER and had improved so much that she was going to a regular floor but that I would be receiving another patient. I got report and the patient arrived. In admitting him I came to find out that we share the same faith. He too is Mormon. He immediately perked up and thanked God for this small gift. For him it was a reminder that God was aware of him and his needs at that very moment. As I sat at my desk to chart I started to think about how chance could have played NO part in our meeting. For starters I wasn't scheduled to work on Tuesday. If it weren't for a last minute need, I would not have even been at work. Secondly, I started the shift with two patients and most days finish with the same two. And lastly, the first admission from the ER miraculously improved and had her orders downgraded. (This NEVER happens) Usually even if they improve they come to the unit first and we transfer them out. As I thought about all of the days events, it struck me that only one being could have manipulated all of those pieces so strategically, and that is our Heavenly Father. And then the aha moment......He is doing the very same thing in ALL of our lives. We just can't see it. And at that moment I knew with the utmost assurance that we are going to be fine. That God is in total control of our lives right now and that he is manipulating the puzzle pieces of our lives in just the same way he had for my patient. We just need to continue to exercise faith in His plan.
I want to share my testimony. I know that God lives. I know that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world. I know without a shadow of a doubt that they are aware of each and every one of us. That they know our needs even before we do. I know that they want us to have joy in our lives and that the trials we face are for our benefit. They make us stronger and better and I am grateful for the chance to improve. I am grateful for my Savior who has provided a way for me to return to the Father despite all my imperfections. I am even more grateful for their influence in my life and for the plan they have for me. And I leave this with you in the sacred name of Jesus Christ, Amen.