I’m the kind of woman who draws her strength from the Lord, but after an especially difficult shift as a registered nurse I will sometimes find myself feeling weak. I may even feel defeated, as if I am an absolute failure at what I’m trying to do. Or I may feel like I just don’t have what it takes to give my patients what they deserve.
It’s in these moments of occasional, but understandable discouragement over a very difficult vocation that I must remind myself of the solid truths about myself and my profession that can be found in God’s word.
Here are 5 Biblical truths I try and remember, and that I repeat to myself in those moments when I need encouragement the most.
I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
Y’all, nursing is hard, and that’s why this is my power verse. I will never know all the answers, catch every problem before it becomes a big issue, or get every single thing right. It’s just too complex of a position to expect perfection of one’s self. But I can rely on the one who is perfect. I can pray to hear His voice as I go about my day, and I can agree to trust the Lord to supply me with the resolve I need to do my job well.
When I cannot, he can. I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.
2. Remember why you’re doing what you do.
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,
As a Christian I believe that every move I make and every action I perform is a direct representation of who I am in Christ. Every task I perform is for his honor and his glory. So in essence everything I do should be done unto him, in his honor, and for the furthering of his kingdom.
What I do matters. Whether it’s wiping someone’s bottom, holding a frightened woman’s hand, titrating dangerous cardiac medications, or even charting, I am doing it for the Lord. I am serving his people, and I would like to think that makes him proud.
In this regard it only makes sense that I try and do what I do with a joyful heart. This isn’t always easy, and I fall short often, but that’s why it’s a good reminder. It’s a great thing to keep in mind that my actions are working according to his purpose, that my attitude represents his kingdom, and that God can use even little ole me to accomplish wonderful things. Now that’s encouraging.
3. Remember that fear isn’t necessary.
The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?
It’s really easy to become fearful in the frightening world of healthcare. There’s so many unknowns, so many things that can go wrong. I find it extremely helpful, though, when I remind myself that there is no unknown to God.
He knows what assignment I will receive, how my patient will react to intervention, and what the eventual outcome will be. He holds it all in the palm of his hand, and as I trust in him, he will guide me.
In nursing fear will come, but it’s not necessary to hold onto that fear when you remember your trust lies in the creator of the universe. When you rest in the shadow of the almighty he will give you peace, not fear. Fear is from the other guy.
4. Remember that God has you where he wants you for a reason.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
It’s easy to get frustrated at times with where we are in our career. You can begin to question if you’re in the right setting or field all together. It’s easy to become discouraged, and in those instances it’s imperative to hold tightly to the calling God placed in your heart in the beginning.
Sometimes we are where we are for a season, or we must transverse a difficult, dry patch to get to the other side. But whatever the situation you can always trust that God has control of your destiny. He will open doors, and he will close others.
He will guide us to new places if and when it is his will, but he will always provide us with what we need for where we are. And his purposes are always fulfilled where he has placed us. Even when we cannot see. You just have to trust that he is working it all towards your good, in his perfect knowledge and time.
5. Remember who’s in control.
This is a hard one for nurses. Nursing is a field where your actions and decisions are a huge deal, and in reality they can mean life or death for someone. In that line of thinking it’s easy to become stressed out as you feel you must manage and control everything. But when it comes down to it you don’t have control. You just don’t.
While this is a hard thing to admit, I find it’s actually easier when I can remember that the outcome of my patient isn’t really in my hands. I can do the best I can do, but in the end I have to surrender my performance into the Lord’s hands. And when I do that I can actually catch my breath. He’s in control; he’s got this! Thank God.
“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD . “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.”
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.