God is seriously amazing.
My previous post was published early Wednesday morning before I finally fell asleep. I had been praying that God would make His love real to me and that He would change my attitude. I wanted to wake up and be excited to start the day, instead of feeling burdened or tired or guilty that I wasn’t doing enough–that I made the wrong decision coming here, that this isn’t worth it. I wanted to feel like I belonged here. I wanted to know that I hadn’t misheard God when He told me to trust Him–that following Jesus is worth it.
I woke up and didn’t want to get out of bed. But I prayed and decided to choose joy. Mentally I was trying to train my thoughts to be positive, but totally not feeling it emotionally. But God is seriously amazing.
He moved in incredible ways that day. As I was walking to the lounge for our morning meeting, I was asked to help lead worship (3 minute heads up). That was SO a God thing. I instantly felt joy. Music is one of my passions, I had just been wanting to feel like I belong, and suddenly God drops this opportunity in my lap. That set the tone for the rest of the day.
During my quiet time, God once again brought me to my knees with the song “Not For A Moment” and reminded me that He’s here whether I see/feel/acknowledge Him or not. My feelings on the subject don’t change the fact: He is with me. The very next song on Pandora was “Beautiful Things.” I broke down even more. I was just feeling so empty, like I had nothing to give…and in that moment I was reminded: “All around hope is springing up from this old ground. Out of chaos life is being found in You. You make beautiful things out of us.” And I prayed and cried that God would make something beautiful out of me. That He would use me when I feel useless. That He would take brokenness and make it beautiful.
I left for the hospital feeling refreshed. I knew God was with me, I knew He makes beautiful things. I had started out empty that day, but God in His kindness had filled me up. So I entered the hospital with a full heart.
During this preceptorship, we’ve received training to go to the hospitals and offer spiritual care to patients, if they want it. Spiritual needs are often overlooked, even though studies show that 77% of patients want physicians to consider their spiritual needs (King DE & Bushwick B, J. Fam Pract, 1994 Oct;39(4):349-53). I don’t know why I just cited that study—this obviously isn’t a term paper. But definitely an applicable and pertinent statistic.
Before seeing any patients, my 2 friends and I pray that the Holy Spirit would speak through us. We’ve been taught that we are only a moment in the patient’s spiritual journey. That takes away a lot of pressure. We know that the Holy Spirit is working on that patient’s heart before, during, and long after we talk to them. So we want to be receptive to the Spirit’s leading.
I can’t give too many details (HIPAA and all that jazz), but let me just say: God was in that room. I don’t know if I’ve ever had such a surreal experience. The three of us had never seen patients together, yet God used different aspects of each of us to speak to the patient with such clarity and unity. Clearly this was all Him and not at all us. He gave me a specific story from the gospels to share with the patient. And as I’m sharing this story, I almost feel like I’m just in the room as Jesus talks to the patient, using my voice. The words I was saying were perfect, but I knew I had absolutely nothing to do with it. How could I? I didn’t know this patient’s heart and struggles…all I had done was make some small talk. But Jesus knew. He saw the patient and He spoke words of life, acceptance, truth, grace. The voice was coming from me, but it was totally Jesus speaking.
My friends felt the same way. We were so aware that God was in the room and we were just observers watching Him love on this patient. He used each of us and it was amazing to watch. We even ended up singing with the patient–something I will never forget in my life. I will be eternally grateful for that opportunity. In fact, we ended up going back to her room later and singing “Beautiful Things” because I just knew God wanted the patient to hear the same thing He had told me this morning.
You guys. That’s an amazing God we serve. He filled me up and poured me out in the same day. And it was amazing.
I realize this sounds crazy. But take my word for it: God is on the move. I’m so incredibly grateful to be at this preceptorship. Satan was clearly attacking in the beginning and I was letting him win. But Jesus had the victory. I have learned so much here already. I have been amazed at how much I genuinely love the other people at this preceptorship. It’s very rare to meet a group of people and be filled with this pure, overflowing love for each other. But that’s what has happened. Jesus’ love has been made real in our lives and we can’t help but love each other–because we see Jesus in each other.
One thing God has revealed to me within the past few days: He loves me and likes me. I often feel like I need to change things about myself to be more likable/attractive/pleasing. But God has used people here to speak truth. God has used His Word to speak truth. He doesn’t just love me, but He likes me. He likes the weird quirks. He likes the fact that I’m not very coordinated. He likes that I’m not the most athletic person. He likes that I get way too excited way too easily. He likes that I laugh for no reason and sometimes I can’t stop laughing. He likes me. He doesn’t think I need to change those things–He sees those things and takes joy in me. He created me, and likes me as I am. As I start to understand that truth more and more, I’m overcome with joy. And I start to like me a little more too. I start to like my weaknesses. I start to embrace my strengths. I start to see myself like Jesus sees me. And that’s an amazing thing.
I could go on and on about how blessed I’ve been here, but I’ll try to keep it semi-short (in hopes that y’all will email/text/ask me questions later!). God is on the move, and I’m so excited to be along for the ride.
Much love. xoxo