Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Another post on death

When I was in nursing school, I thought I was special... I believed that I was going to, somehow, some way, never lose a patient. I was going to save them all! People would be amazed and awestruck by my ability to heal! God was going to use me in this way to show everyone just how good, and awesome He is... and then, I graduated, started working in my little slice of MICU, and I've learned that my grandiose plan of exactly how God would use me was just plain wrong.

I lose a lot of patients. Above the average among my peers. For awhile, this kind of bothered me, I thought maybe I was doing something wrong... I easily joked with others about the numbers, there is even an angel of death that greets me on my locker every morning, but in actuality, it bugged me for awhile. Until I started seeking God in this area of my life.

The vast, vast majority of the patients I have lost have been due to withdraw of care. Families deciding that we are moving beyond the wishes of their loved one, and opting to stop and let them go. This is not the easiest decision to come to, and as I have become more comfortable in my role, and how God is truly using me, I am realizing the depth of importance that exists in the nursing care of the patient and family during these times.

A deeper understanding of my place in God's will came recently with the passing of a patient, as well as discussion with some close friends...

We all can usually recognize one thing, we are all going to die. And until that time comes, we are in a state of always being in the process of death. We feel our own bodies, and can easily see others', breaking down over time. We know that no matter what we do, this physical form that we indwell is destined to decay, break, and wither. It is the recognition of this finite timeline of our brief life on earth that can often cause us to look into eternity and try to figure out what is there. For the Christian, we must recognize that the soul that resides in each and every physical human body has eternal life. We will all live forever, somewhere. Jesus reminds us over and over again that He is more concerned by spiritual health. He, being God incarnate, knows how much longer each of us will be dying, how much more decaying, pain, and brokenness we have left to endure... He also knows that at the moment that our physical life ends that we are either healed to the uttermost, perfected in glory with Him... or we endure torment and pain apart from Him for all eternity in a place called Hell.

With a better and deeper, and much more cognizant, recognition of this truth, I am more readily available to take part in helping with this transition. It's humbling to help these people understand the truth if passing from this life, as a believer, and into heaven. I can now gladly accept Christ's working through me, to comfort, support, and ultimately help people as they pass from physical life into their eternal destiny. For those who do not have a personal, saving relationship with God... It serves as a reminder to seek to build relationships the way Christ did, keeping their spiritual life the priority over their physical.

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