So Yesterday I shared with you that I had a very stressful week. That was the absolute truth. However, my attitude toward it didn’t help. In fact, quite the opposite. The busier I got, the more stressed I became and the more I responded to the negative chatter in my head. You know…my stinkin thinkin!
It wasn’t until late Thursday afternoon the Lord allowed a situation to give my thinking a little realignment……
I have a friend whose husband is critically ill. His prognosis is very poor. In short, he will need a miracle to survive. This couple attended our wedding. We had gotten busy with careers, kids, and life. We had not seen each other in a long time.
I had heard he was not well, and Thursday he was my patient. At first, I was a little apprehensive to care for him. I wasn’t sure he would even want me to be his nurse…but God is always in the details. Being a nurse is emotionally draining at times. It is a career in which you can have a profound impact on peoples lives…Often in a physical, emotional, and spiritual way. I try to always leave my patients better than I found them, and many times it is by meeting their physical needs, but more often than not, it is by meeting their emotional and spiritual needs. This particular day…the patient became my Teacher…..
When he arrived, I entered the room and explained I would be his nurse. As I said, I wasn’t sure how he would feel. He was very happy, and said he was glad he had a chance to see me….”It’s been a long time” I said…”it sure has”. We made small talk…caught up on kids and family…then we talked about his procedure. He was very worried it would be painful…I assured him we would do all we could to make him as comfortable as possible. The doctor came in explained the procedure, obtained consent, and left. We were left alone again to await his procedure time. I sensed his heart was heavy and I asked if there was anything I could do for him. His speech was soft…reflective…He said “We got time…pull up a chair” so I did. It was crazy busy in the unit, but I knew my gift to him was time. So often people just want the gift of your time. To be “present” for them and with them.
He began to share the heavy burdens of his heart, and end of life thoughts. He began to cry. He knew His family was struggling with watching hI’m be so sick. He couldn’t understand how he had come to this point. “I’ve never drank or smoked. I ran and ate very healthy…I just don’t understand” and…neither did I. I couldn’t help him answer the question…Sometimes this side of heaven we will never know…but I could listen, and I did. Many times patients don’t want to burden their families with their thoughts and fears…yet they need to share, to be heard…it is often in the sharing that they find answers for themselves.
He spoke, and I listened. Giving him as much support and encouragement as I could. He cried, and I cried. It wasn’t to long and we were called to the procedure room. I assured him we would get him through this, and we did. He was very grateful when I woke him up and told him the procedure was over. We went to recovery, and he was in the good hands of the recovery staff, and I was assigned to another procedure. Carrying the burdens of our patients and their families is a daily reality for Nurses. I sent prayers heavenward for him and his family as I left him, but my heart was very heavy for the remainder of the day.
I realized my stress was absolutely minimal compared to the burdens the majority of my patients and their families were carrying that day. My heart was smote with my complaining spirit. I asked God to forgive my whining and complaining. The majority of what I was complaining about were blessings in my life…
“I’ve got to clean the house” I have a house to clean
“I don’t have enough time” I’ve been given today…it is a gift
“I’ve got to pay the Bills” I have money in the account to pay them
“I’m working too much” I have the health to work and make a good wage
“I have to study for an upcoming test” I have been granted the ability to read and understand
“My Husband needs me” I am blessed with a godly husband who loves me
“I have so much laundry” I have plenty to wear….I have all I need
“I have new obligations at Church” I have a place to worship and praise with people who care for me
“I have to make dinner” I have food and my stomach does not know hunger
“I have a trip to plan” God has seen our Son through 4 years of College!
“My friends need me” I have the gift of friendships
It wasn’t long and gratitude had changed my attitude! I have so much to be thankful for and changing my thinking gave me new perspective. I am thankful God is longsuffering with me. I was complaining about the very blessings God has so graciously given me!!!
I am busy no doubt…but because God has given me a life full of blessings! Thank You Lord for your unfailing love & grace!!
Replacing Complaining with Gratitude was the first step in getting back on the THM Journey…stay tuned for my simple reset plan and menu!
May your Attitude be elevated by Gratitude!!