There is Hope that is Rising
Friday, July 8th, I ran into a guy I barely even know. Though in my spirit, I know he is my brother. Kenric is a guy I know from Cottonwood Leadership College and from church. I don't really know him but I know he goes to the same class as me and often shares in class. I had an urge in my heart to help this guy out ever since I found out that his mom was at the hospital where I work.
About two months ago, he shared in class what his mom was going through. I prayed and thought during that time, "if she was at the hospital where I work, I'd love to help her or even be her nurse. I know I can help her get better or I would like to at least be a part of it!"
As a nurse, I have certain values that I would always carry. Though money was one of the reasons why I went to school to become a nurse, it is no longer my drive to go to work everyday. My perspective in my career changed when I met Christ.
It came to my surprise that two months later, she would end up not only in the same hospital that I work at, but in the exact unit where I work in. I have been working at this hospital for four years and not once did I encounter a patient that I have previously known.
As I was taking my afternoon break that day, I ran into Kenric by the elevator. At first, I didn't recognize him. But I figured that he recognized me so I made the choice to say, "hey!" without even thinking it was him. I just knew he looked familiar. It took me a second to realize it was him. So I introduced myself and told him that I knew him from school and I heard about his prayer about his mom a few months back during our Holy Spirit Lab. I told him I work in the ICU and he told me he was actually going there for his mom so I walked him to the security booth to get him into ICU. I sent him a message that night and I told him I am willing to help in any way I can. Monday morning, he texted me back and said he was at the lobby but the security was not there. So I left my patients to my other coworkers and walked him in. He mentioned about his FMLA papers that he needed done. As I was walking him and talking about these things he needed to do, I can only imagine how it would be if I were in his situation. He had to go through all this on his own. He is a pretty strong dude as he completely leaned into God through these hard times. I honestly feel my faith is not as strong as his in times of need. I have no idea what his support background looks like. I just know that right at that moment, he was by himself, making decisions for him and his mom. I know how people can get overwhelmed when their loved ones are in ICU and I just felt that I really wanted to help him even more. My thought exactly was, if I can help other people through their lowest times being in ICU with their family members, I told God I really want to help this guy out. I know him. He's my brother in Christ. My spirit cries out to God without any words. There are times when you don’t know exactly what to pray for, but deep inside, your spirit cries out to God to ask for what needs to be done. (Romans 8:26) I just know I wanted to help him in any way I can. I have advocated for as much patients I could think of and it always resulted in God being glorified. People loved me for taking care of them and their loved ones as if they were mine. As we walked into the unit, the multidisciplinary rounds were still going on. Everyone was busy. I had no idea who to call to take care of FMLA papers because the last time I remember helping someone, the intensivist and attending physicians turned me down. So my next thought was the social worker. Without knowing anything about it, I interrupted Cecille from the multidisciplinary rounds. She was the nurse practitioner for Palliative Care. I asked her if the social worker was around to take care of the FMLA papers and I mentioned how my friend's mom was admitted. I know how frustrating hospitals and healthcare can be in general. If you didn't know anyone, or worse, if you have no idea how things work in that field, things can take days to even weeks to get processed. I was surprised at her response to me. She told me, "she's your friend's mom? We take care of FMLA papers. We usually do." I was amazed at how God is on point at taking me to the right direction without consciously knowing where I'm heading. To my surprise, I asked her, "Since when did you guys do this?" and she replied, "we just recently started doing it." (In my mind, I was blown away at God's perfect timing! God works to make things work together for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purpose! (Romans 8:28)) God had just directed me to the right resources to help out my friend! I realized that when you just really treat people with love and compassion, it creates a good relationship that when they know you are the one in need, they don't hesitate in helping.
Kenric's mom was transferred out of ICU because she was no longer critical. She was getting better. I found out later on that my friend Tiffany was the one who took care of his mom in the floor she was transferred to. Tiffany was the only one I know from that floor. It's so awesome how God makes things work out! She's one of the charge nurses I used to work with. I was so happy and I told her to take good care of them.
God's plan could be out of human understanding. I have seen and experienced so many things about ups and downs in my six years of nursing experience. I know for a fact that she was getting better at the time I visited her. Her vital signs were great, her skin color was better, she was communicating well, she ate her meal, and the fact that she was transferred out of ICU, I just know she was getting better. Our intensivists have been great at screening patients who will be transferred out of ICU. But God made it to a point that no matter what we know about science and how things normally work, HE is still in control of everything. After lunch, Kenric told me that he finally found a translation of the gospel of John into the dialect that his mom spoke. I kept her in my prayers as well as her whole family.
That same night, I knocked out at 10pm. For some odd reason, I woke up at midnight and I saw that Kenric called me at 10:42pm. I thought maybe it was a mistake he called me so I didn't even bother calling back because it was already late. I checked my Facebook since my mom sent me a message through it. (My mom is in a different time zone and she usually sends me messages randomly.) Without expecting it, I saw Kenric's post that he was called by the hospital because his mom's heart stopped. I WAS COMPLETELY SHOCKED. All of a sudden, I was wide awake. This was after the fact that I just worked five 12-hour shifts in a row. I don't usually wake up in the middle of the night after three days of work in a row. For some reason, I woke up. I suddenly felt like I had a shot of adrenaline. I called him and asked what happened. He just finished writing a blog/letter to his mom when the hospital called. She had gone to be with the Lord. I felt that he was at peace when I called him and he just told me the amazing works of God through his mom's journey. I was blown away by God's sovereignty above all circumstances. Kenric's family all came to accept Christ through this journey.
There is hope that is rising for me. I don't know where my own family is at with the Lord. I was raised in a Catholic belief and although I've planted seeds about my faith--about the gospel, I don't know what's in their hearts. I know for a fact that God is in control. God made me realize through this that all I have to do is believe in what He can do. He is all powerful and all knowing! My faith might be smaller than a mustard seed, but this encounter with Him made my faith grow. I am holding on to His promises. I know He is at work in my life! I know He is alive! I know He is there! All this could not have happened if it wasn't allowed by God to happen. His mom could have been at other hospitals. There are so many hospitals in California. But why St Francis, where I work? I didn’t realize my thoughts and prayer that day when Kenric shared about her in class and how I prayed that if she was just in the hospital where I work, I can help her and make a difference in her life. I have helped so many people above and beyond their expectations in this field of profession, so I thought I will do everything for a brother/sister in Christ. God confirmed why he called me to this kind of profession. When I was in the Philippines, I went to pursue a degree in Architecture. People wonder why I went for a nursing career after that. God planned it all along. He confirmed that this is my ministry. My purpose became clear. As I work and make a difference in people's lives, I bring God the glory. I worship him through the work that I do. I have become sensitive to the fact that I carry the Name of Jesus. I always pray that in the little decisions I make at work, I bring him glory.
I am in awe. I am speechless. This encounter is something I will never forget.
The worst thing we can do against Jesus, is sin against Him. Sometimes, the sin that tempts us, becomes an action that we choose to do. After that action has been done, guilt floods our hearts and our soul seems like it cannot breathe anymore. You shut Jesus out, filling yourself with guilt and the feeling of unworthiness. But His voice is more powerful. His voice can pass through those walls to tell you this:
“Look at the cross, look at My blood that was shed for you. I did that because I love you, and I still do. Despite of what you’ve done, I love you. I came for you, and I died for you. My blood can wash away all that guilt, My blood can save you, and will save You. My love will never walk away from you. Come to me, and I will make you new. Nothing can ever separate you from my grace, not your sin, not your flaws.”
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