I have cared for cancer patients for almost seventeen years. I felt called to nursing at the age of nineteen and by twenty-one, I was working on an adult oncology unit as a nursing assistant. I had very little life experience and even less faith in God. I was not equipped nor prepared for the ways in which God would stretch me and how he would use me. My faith grew because God continued to show up when I was at the end of all that I knew.
In my early years of nursing, God taught me so much about His character and His love for all people. He taught me about courage, dignity and living even in dying. I wrestled with God and I asked the hard questions and I cried loud in my anger for the injustice and the suffering. He was gracious and patient with me. He comforted me and taught me to comfort. He replenished me and taught me of His mercy. He restored me and taught me of His healing. He gave me His peace, that surpassed all understanding so that I was able to provide peace.
After finishing nursing school, God directed me to pediatric oncology. This scared me and broke my heart more than anywhere else and because of this, I knew it was where God wanted me. I had experienced God’s faithfulness and His presence and I had to believe He would continue to meet me in the hard and dark places.
The last several years on the pediatric oncology unit, God continues to go before me and I am confident that he is with me in my work. I feel it a privilege and an honor to be allowed to be of any comfort to others in their most vulnerable, intimate and sacred moments. I have felt God’s presence where sorrow loomed heavy and I have been given words and wisdom when I had none. I have witnessed God’s healing power and the strength and resilience of the human heart. I have watched lives forever changed and beauty come from the deepest pain.
My patients and their families have taught me that I must fight hard for what I believe in. They have taught me that even in hard times joy is possible. That I should never take for granted the precious time I have and the beautiful people I have been given. Even so, there are times when I must push back the dark. I want only to hold tight, knuckles white, to a safe and comfortable life. It is in these moments that I must remember God’s faithfulness and holdfast to the truth that He will always meet me when I am at the end of all that I know. He will never leave me nor forsake me. He will continue to fill my cup until it spills over.
“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Luke 6:38 NIV
Give us each the courage to stay strong in the hope we have in you, Jesus. Help us to fight hard for a life that overflows with your mercy and love for others.