Monday, January 4, 2010

Day 165 - do you hear what I hear?

Do you ever feel like... God hears the cries of your heart?

I know that I have lately, but I'm wondering if YOU feel it. I've come across a few people lately who have been struggling with discontentment. I'm guessing they're feeling like God isn't hearing them.

I dunno. I really really feel like God hears the cries of my heart, even the cries that I haven't even put into words. Sometimes it's just a thought or a musing... and then God responds.

For example, today... was kind of a blah day for me. Nothing bad happened. I just wasn't feeling chipper. Today more than any other day in the past few weeks, I've been sensitive and acutely aware of Anderson's absence in my life. Sometimes I can go about my day without even noticing it that much, but today, it seemed like everywhere I turned, everything I did, every thought that crossed my mind... reminded me that he's not here on earth anymore. I did my errands and missed him. I walked around here and there... wishing I could cry, but the tears just wouldn't come. It also seemed like chocolate was EVERYWHERE... begging me to buy it, put it in my mouth and let the smooth decadence melt away my sorrows. But I didn't give in to the cocoa. I did eat more-than-my-normal amount of cuties today though.

By mid-day I thought that today was just going to be one of those days... a day that came and went with nothing remarkable happening. But no. The day isn't over yet.

I haven't heard back from the nurse recruiter yet. Thank you for asking though. I think I'll try calling again tomorrow. I left a message last week. I promise to let you all know when I do hear back, either way. Whether or not I get the job, I think that God was glorified. Even in the process, I saw God's hand in it and I recognized that it was all Him and none of me... so... yeah. If I get it... super blessing! and my life will change pretty drastically... and if I don't get it... there's still plenty of stuff to do, lots of ministry opportunities, and very many things that I can do with my unemployed-student lifestyle. :)

So... yeah. I think I mused to God... or maybe even mused to myself... that it would be nice if something happened today... some little encouragement... something unexpected... but mostly expecting that it wouldn't come.

Then something came via email. Very small, but impactful... because of the timing. Remember that paper I wrote... on nurse's grief? Well, my professor sent me my grade tonight. I did get an A. :) That was nice. She also said that it was a great paper, that I should consider writing for publication, and that I should be VERY proud of my work this semester because it's very difficult to get an A (>95%) in this class. I also went through and read her comments... and also reread parts of my paper. Here's an excerpt:

Model Case

The death of my husband was not unexpected. He had been diagnosed with a brain tumor three years ago and we had decided to get married when we found out he had six months to live. During the last month of his life, I saw him lose one physical function after another and with each loss, I suffered deeply alongside him. Many people tried to give me books that others had written about their loss of their loved one. I read a few, but always found that although I could relate to much of what they’d written, I never quite felt that their experience fully mirrored my own. After he passed, I’d have a good day, then a bad day. Some days I’d laugh and then start to cry, and just as quickly, the tears would dry up. Everywhere I looked, everything I did, I couldn’t stop thinking about him. I missed him so much. I missed hearing his voice; I missed holding his hand; I missed everything about him. There was no part of my life that he did not touch and I was left with a huge vacuum in the deepest part of my being now that he was gone. I never knew what to expect when I opened my eyes first thing in the morning, and I think my family and friends never knew either. I struggled with so much emotional anguish that I felt physical pain. I had always been a spiritual person, but during this time of intense sorrow, I truly had to rely on God, my church, my family and spiritual support to get me through this time.

I flew back home to be near my family two weeks after he passed. I started classes and was back in the hospital a few weeks later. Going back to the hospital, I had a new perspective my role as a nurse. Having experienced receiving care from so many nurses during the last two months of my husband’s life, I was able to recognize the characteristics of the nurses who were able to truly care for and meet my and my husband’s needs physically as well as emotionally. I looked into the faces of my patients and saw loneliness, sadness, helplessness and fear. When other nurses would roll their eyes when a patient would cry out and ask them to stay, I chose to let them know that I had a few things to do, but that I would come back and talk with them. I closed my eyes and remembered that I was in their place only a few months ago and thought to myself what I could do, in addition to basic nursing care, to meet the needs of my patients.

And I cried. They were such small things... to want a little encouragement and then to want to cry, but not being able to... and in a 2-for-1 deal (God's very efficient), He gave me both desires of my heart.

And it's not even just this instance. I feel like almost every thing I think "oh that'd be nice if...", and then it happens. I sometimes have conversations with people and I wonder how I'd react if put in a certain situation... and then God brings me a situation to show me how I'd really react. Oops... not as good as I'd hoped so I'd better work on that. One day, I was looking at my calendar and wondering... how come I don't have any guy friends?... and then all of the sudden, I get a chance to hang out with some guy friends I hadn't seen in like 6 years. One day, I wrote a prayer request asking for more opportunities to share my faith with others... and then some random people email me about God and tough situations. So random... and I'm not even praying intentionally about some of these things... they just either come out of my mouth or the thought pops up in my head and God responds. It's super awesome.

God reminds me all the time that I'm taken care of... that I don't need to worry about anything... and that He cares for me and loves me. I'm very thankful and I feel VERY blessed. There really isn't a whole lot that I'm feeling discontent about. I still struggle with singleness and being widowed, but God keeps me company and He's promised to provide for my every need. He even provides for the things that I want, but don't need.

Faith is not sense, nor sight, nor reason, but but simply taking God at His word. -Christmas Evans.

There's so many things that I've wanted to write about... lots of thoughts to share... but I'll save them for another time.

Oh and just a side note... I really enjoy answering specific questions... much more than vague questions. If you really would like to know how I'm FEELING today, or whether or not I need anything on any given day, please ask specifically. I probably won't tell you what you want to know if you just ask me "how are you doing?" because I don't know if you want me to say "good" or if you really want to know something else. Thank you! Hope you had a happy Monday today...

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