I don’t know about anyone else, but when I’m in the middle of a bad situation, I tend to focus on everything that is going wrong – from the major points to the minutiae. Heck, I’ve even gone looking for potential issues so I can worry about them, too. But the problem with this method is that I get so wrapped up in myself that I often miss the bigger picture.
One night I went to work as I usually do. Now, I know what you’re thinking, but please bear with me, I promise this story is going somewhere! The night didn’t start out crazy. I had two kiddos and was admitting a third, which was going pretty well at first. Then during the admission exam and labs we found some concerning stuff that sent everyone into hyperdrive. At first I was able to keep up pretty well, but then things began to move into unfamiliar territory for me. My new baby was getting sicker, and I still had two other kids to look after. (*Side note: I was later told that if we had know that the new kid would be so sick, I wouldn’t have had the baby in a three-combo. It was an unforseen situation, not purposely unsafe staffing*).
As things began to move faster and faster, I started to focus on everything that was going wrong. I was worried about the baby, stressed about my two other kiddos, having to ask for help from certain people who didn’t really want to help, being expected to know things I’d never seen/done/heard of before… I was also tired and didn’t get any breaks that night, which always makes things seem so much worse.
At the end of the shift I gave report as best I could, knowing that I would have a massive amount of charting ahead of me (when things move quickly, you really don’t have time to sit and chart as you go along). I remember walking out to my car and feeling like I had just come out of a hurricane. I kept reliving the night, thinking of all the things that had gone wrong.
When I got home, I did what I usual do when I’m stressed – I called my Mom. I told her about my night (all HIPAA approved, of course), and when I finally paused for breath, I began to realize something.
“But Mom,” I said, “The strange thing about this night… I wasn’t hungry during the shift, even though I didn’t get any breaks. I’m ALWAYS hungry at work.”
“Sounds like a God-thing,” Mom said.
As she said these words, I ran through the night in my mind and remembered:
- My kiddo was still alive (quite a miracle, actually)
- I wasn’t hungry during the shift, nor did I feel any low blood sugar symptoms
- Several coworkers willingly and gladly stepped in to care for my other two babies when I was otherwise occupied with the sicker one.
- I got my first successful IV start (on a notoriously difficult type of patient, no less!)
- Our clinical coach being a great encouragement, letting me vent a little at the end of the shift, wordlessly bringing a box of tissues when I needed it.
- Comforting the scared new mom when she came to see her baby. Having the right words to say to explain the situation and ease a little of her anxiety.
- Mom being home – and not out at her usual activities – when I called for a much needed venting session and pep talk.
Looking back, I could see the clear pattern of God’s handiwork – his fingerprints, if you will – and I was humbled. Why had I ever doubted that God had everything under perfect and complete control?
Heavenly Father, thank you for giving me these little reminders of your goodness!