Saturday, June 09, 2012

Prayer and a Telephone Call

I had an unusual thing happen this week..

Sometimes I am really quick in making decisions but sometimes I am faced with a big decision that is painful to make.  That happened this week.  It wasn't anything bad, in fact probably either way I chose it would end up fine.  It was certainly going to have a huge impact on my life,though.   

I have a place I go when I need to just think.  I go to my friend, Sara.

Actually, she's not there.  I go to Sara's grave.  Sara was one of my early chemotherapy patients and I ended up taking care of her for years.  Sara was also a nurse and we became friends. I adored her.

This is not Sara's grave but it was a pretty photo 
depicting a quiet, peaceful graveyard.  
I don't want you to think I am creepy 
because I find peace in cemeteries.

When Sara's cancer returned, it was sad but not unexpected.  Sara handled it all so well; she taught me a lot about putting faith into action.  I miss her but now, several years after her death, I go to her grave to think, especially when my thoughts are about my life as a nurse.

On Wednesday, at Sara's graveside, I received a phone call.  I didn't recognize the voice right away but it was from another former patient.  I'd run into her on several occasions over the years but we've never been phone buddies or anything.  It was right at noon when she, Barb, called.  She told me that I'd been on her mind for a few days but that she'd suddenly felt the need to pray for me.  She said she was going to wait until after lunch but felt she needed to call me right NOW!

I wept a bit.  You see, I was standing there pondering an unexpected opportunity to change employment.  The new opportunity came out of the blue and I was going to reject it.  I felt that I should stay at hospice, even though there were many signs that I should move on.  My issue was that I felt hospice was where I could have the biggest impact on people, be the biggest help.  The call from Barb made me remember that there are other jobs where I might be able to be helpful.

Yesterday I went to work, still unsure of what I'd do.  In the morning I kept thinking of how much I loved hospice work.  I prayed over and over as I worked, asking that God show me what I should do.  Well, I am convinced that God has a sense of humor.  They day just got worse and worse.  One of the hardest things for me at hospice is the 12.5 hour shifts.  I have some arthritis issues, maybe associated with Crohn's but I don't know that for sure.  I also have degenerative disk disease so my back sometimes gets pretty crabby as well.  I end up aching with my joints crying out for mercy.  Yesterday I ran my legs off for 14.5 hours!  By the end of the shift, I knew what I had to do.

So, there you have it.  I was sad to give my notice but the calm I felt afterward makes me think I have listened to God.  I am so grateful for the time I had working with the dying but I guess it is time to move on.  I don't know if it is because there is somewhere else I am needed more or if it is just because God is being kind and leading me away from something that is so physically demanding.  Either way, I just want to do his will.


EJN said...

Dear Susan,
Isn't God amazing in the personal ways he deals with us. Blessing and peace as you transition to a new stage of vocation.
Love to you,

Emily said...

Praying that God continues to reveal his plan for you step by step! :)

Maria Rose said...

so glad you are feeling peace with your decision!

Annmarie Pipa said...

thank you for your example of kindness to others. God bless you!! My daughter is considering switching from a high intensity ICU to hospice...

Pam Brewer said...

I worried about you working those long night shifts. I did that years ago and it took a lot out of me. I'm glad you're going to stop that nonsense! But I'm curious, what will you be doing?

Susan Struck said...

Annmarie, that would be quite a switch for your daughter but I can say that working with the hospice patients brought me much satisfaction.

Pam, I know. Night shifts are rough and it took me an extra day to recover. Those day shifts are even worse when they are so busy I have to stay 2 hours afterward to chart! I am following Donna M. (from RMOC) and will be working at the surgical hospital. It will be a lot like my job was in New Mexico. She tells me management is GREAT there and things are very well organized. That really appealed to me. It is a weird switch for me as I love the long-term relationships with patients but I have to believe it will be a good move.

AKM said...

It's so good to feel certain that we've made the right decision, isn't it? Many blessings to you as you begin the new position!

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