Woman in the Workforce

Think back on your life…

what are some of the most natural character traits you have possessed since childhood?

Interests, or attributes you never had to work to become or decide to take hold of-

it was just always you

–  –

Most likely,  these are the points God has most tested in you,

and the enemy has waged strong war against.

For as long as i can remember mine were  care & creating.

These were two things I did

not on purpose.

I loved new life and art:

babies, drawing, thinking, colors, placing things in some order.

As a teenager, the enemy attacked these things strongly.

he called them weak and pointless.

he said womanhood was silly.

So in confusion I often fought, and strived to be something else.

to find identity.

to be strong.

I worked to develop the practical and logical in me.

(Which in itself has been beneficial).

However, since confusion was my reason for searching, I  became filled with fear and sadness.

In college The Lord brought me through an intentional season of care and identity.

I was able to return in my spirit to the things He placed in me as a child.

He healed me. He said they were not weak or silly.

It’s been so important to me since I was young, to know what it means to be a woman.

and the closer I’ve become with the Lord, to know what it means to be a woman – According to HIM.

and finally to know what it means to be this woman- Michelle-according to Him.

Its been so interesting to see that much of what He shows me comes back to those two things I always was.

but for many years of my life fought so hard against.

care and creativity.

As I move forward in growth. I see my desire for these things intensify.

desire to care for things,- specifically new life- and to create.

to form, and place things, to order, design, clean, and remake.

I never thought much of myself in the workplace.

I became a nurse because my dad suggested it. I can’t say I ever felt specifically called to it.

and I’m rather embarrassed to say, through college I gave my studies about 20% of my energy; because somehow, most days, I never believed I’d actually work as a nurse.

But here I am.

The first year and a half of my nursing career is a story in and of itself. It showed me that even though care and creativity were in me, and I desired quiet and order most naturally,

that God could genuinely take over my nature to carry me through the dirt, grime, pain, addiction, paralysis, poverty, sickness, complete chaos of surroundings. and unwanted leadership positions.

He said you can do this because I can. and now you know Me better.

But I prayed and wondered so much, Lord when can I feel like I’m functioning more within the role of the disposition you gave me and healed in me.

then He allowed me to leave.

Now I take care of newborns.

and I learn about The Lord through them.

and I love them.

I love them so much and every single one is my favorite.

I see them raging with life.

screaming the creativity of our God.

the freshness of His fingertips on their faces.

their squishy heads.

they kill me, they really do.

I’ve seen their life leave them.

with tears and anguish in my heart.

I’ve felt the presence in the room as they take a final breath.

and endlessly ached in my heart over their passing.

and I know to fight for their life is the calling of every believer.

So many of my patients are born at gestational ages that are aborted every day in this country.

and they are real people.

with real personalities, and faces.

they are the handiwork of God.

and of all the things He made.

He said— I love this the most- these humans.

anyways.. I digress.:)

I could probably talk about newborn life and the spirituality surrounding it for an hour.

My main point is that care and creativity are what I feel most comfortable in and drawn to.

the things the enemy most tried to undermine in my life.

and what I’ve had to trust God the most to provide and continue to provide an outlet for their practical use.

I never thought that the way I would do this at the age of 25 would be to work 12 hour shifts in a NICU and Nursery.

but here I am.

I don’t know if this will be the outlet God gives me forever.

or if there will be some seasons I feel He takes every outlet from me.

But just an encouragement.

that those things God put in you to be.

those ways you function most joyfully,

He wants to fulfill in you.

it might not always look how you planned.

But it is right.

And the journey is His plan.

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Lady in Waiting?

When I was younger, we had a book called “Lady in Waiting.”

I don’t remember what it said or if I actually even ever read it.

But as I’ve grown,

I’ve noticed this concept of ‘in waiting’ is rather repetitive in the Christian culture;

And perhaps not always in a Biblical or productive construct.

In the age group I am currently a part, this concept is most generally applied to the waiting for a spouse.

I admit I have felt like I was in this season of “waiting” for him.

Waiting for him to appear on the scene as a result of God’s provision at last.

I understand it differently now.

God is just and God is perfect.

He is not slow.

The undertone of ‘waiting on the Lord’ to provide a spouse often seems to imply that we, in our efficiency and progressiveness, have checked everything off the list that was included under ‘our part.’

And now, we are in the season, of waiting for God to catch up to our timeliness.

God, who existed before time ever was.

Who’s holiness causes mountains to quake and through Whom all creation is permitted to exist.

I am not in a season of waiting for God to complete tasks.

He is complete in Himself.

And I in Him.

He is always fully on time in completing His redemptive plan for my life, for yours, and for all of human history.

I am currently and always in a season that is not only purposeful,

but purposed.

and in every season, I wait for Him in an alternate sense,

because, certainly the concept of waiting on the Lord is indeed Biblical in a truer context.

David says,

“I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning.”

We wait for The Lord.

our true Bridegroom.

We long and anticipate His appearing.

We meditate, plan, and hope.

and our hearts leap within us

for His return,

For His presence to come to us in the morning.

More than we wait for a spouse, or companionship, or a honeymoon, We wait for this ultimate union. We wait for this God.

For which the anticipation of all things are merely meant to shadow… and indeed,

pale in comparison to.

a few sentences.

She opens her eyes

She has life.
tiny baby

I call her princess.

Her mother looks older than me
she is younger by a few years

but her face carries decades.

I think she cries a lot.
She delivered this baby and then went back to prison.

Her baby sleeps and looks for my voice when I talk to her.
who will tell her where to go?
who will answer her questions about forgiveness?

We are born and then we look for God.
creatures carrying pain and wondering and creativity.
Can we face it? We’re dying every day unless we see

This One we crucified.

and how will they know if they do not hear.
Cry for the lost.
Father, come.

Father

When I was little I remember wanting him to like me.

Wanting him to think I was pretty or funny.

Or good at playing piano.

The more self aware I became, the more I hoped he thought these things,

So I could know the worth of me.

————

————

As a teen, I felt the world press in,

A strange, exciting, confusing scene,

And at moments I wondered if he knew what it was really like.

I questioned if I would raise my kids this way.

Sometimes I wondered, how outdated was his thinking?

————

————

I thought love was him trying to make me happy.

but sometimes he rebuked me.

Does he still like me?

Well… he’s still here.

————

————

High school was strange.

what do I think of boys?

A lot of things.

Maybe I like that one..or that one?

3pm I come home.

and realize my dad is different than all of them.

————

————

College. I leave.

and his absence makes me realize.

He was my stability.

How can I fulfill this absence, created by distance?

————

————

That was 7 years ago.

And in that time I found, no matter how far, he is always there to answer my questions.

never angry.

I realize all those times growing up, I thought I was right.

He  was.

And when I don’t know how to prepare for the future unseen.

Still, I can call him.

He’s not too busy,

and he’ll be right.

And anyone else is wrong,

if they disagree.

————

————

In the midst of all this, I had fallen in to God.

The one I had known since age 6

but with some distance.

————

————

It’s our time now.

I walk with Him.

5 years now.

————

————

The journey of my life.

His character.

His love.

Seeking His approval.

realizing I already have it.

————

————

Why isn’t He giving me what I want?

If He loves me, doesn’t He want me to be happy?

realizing He loves me too much not to change me.

————

————

Learning to trust.

Prayers

Tears

He asks for everything.

I wonder what He will do with it.

Moments of surety, moments of questions.

Does He realize what I need for my future, Does He care?

Will He take care of me?

He has.

————

————

I failed, does He still like me?

Well.. He’s still here.

and for some reason, He’s smiling still.

————

————

And in this journey,

pages of stories, personal psalms.

dark nights of the soul,

and heights where joy soars from His presence known.

I realize all the times,

in learning to trust God, I have consciously thought of the stable effortless nature of my earthly father

and “if your earthly father knows how to give you good things, how much more will your Father in heaven.”

————

————

And this knowledge enlarges my trust.

This experience of ‘father,’

strengthens my feet to step bravely into God,

The place I come alive.

and find that all else is but loss to me.

————

The One presence that brings life to me,

and water to my soul.

The most prized possession of my existence.

————

My Heavenly Father.

…and I think of my daughter.

And one day I want her to know God this way.

Because the presence of her earthly father.

prepared the way.

Lessons from the hospital

This newborn baby.

I’m his nurse on his first day of life.
“Welcome to this world,” I say.
And he thinks about opening his eyes.

I think of all the life he will live.
And wonder who will tell him of His God.
Newly made.
I touch his tiny feet.
Toes sprawl out.

I tell him who is Jesus is.
Just because it seems natural,
For creation to hear their Creator’s Name.
On the day they first touch His earth.

I know he won’t understand.
But how many of us, fully grown,
Still don’t?

And I feel like a mother.

Then news comes from his.
A man from her past who threatens his newborn life
Is here inside these hospital walls.

And my body refuses his harm.
I set into motion every precaution available.
And recognize a disposition inside me.
That my life feels gladly disposable for his.
That I would relinquish guard of my own before witnessing his harm.

What is that?

Hands to heaven.
O God.
That is your reminder to us.

That if we, being evil give good things to our children.
How much more will Our Heavenly Father give to us?

And the questions that seem to threaten my future
Are quieted by this innate feeling in me to love this helpless life.

An inherited trait.
We- crafted in the image of God.

And I smile when I see him swaddled there.
His hat is too big.
It’s a little precious when he fusses
or sleeps with both chubby arms lifted above his head.
And I recognize that he does nothing intentionally
But his life gives me delight.
And I can’t believe that is how The Son of Man thinks of me.
And I can’t believe this is only a glimpse of what He feels.
Though I am undeserving and often despondent.


And suddenly
I trust Him more,
And fear falls behind me.

A Personal Account

In regards to relationships,

A few years ago, I did everything “right”

There was nothing necessarily self seeking or blatantly Biblically adverse about my heart towards this person.

Time passed, it ran its course.

All the while, I was diligent in prayer and requesting guidance.

When the chips fell into place and it proved dead-ended,

I wrestled over many questions concerning the ways of God, and on a practical level I wondered:

 

Would we not have served God well together?

Did I make a mistake?

Did I interfere too much or not enough?

Did he have some sort of character flaw outside my vision?

 

 

Honestly, I was very discouraged at my failed ‘work,’

My failed prayers and all I had dedicated to personal and spiritual growth.

 

No fruit… or at least not the expected fruit…

 

From the start to finish of that event in my life and even continuing on through now, however, The Lord has shown me so many faces of His character and movement through our life and desires.

Honestly, probably more through this than any other situation in my Christian life.

 

 

And I am so incredibly glad for this event in my life

And I am so incredibly glad that it failed.

 

Let me be clear, it is not because I have found some reason to disrespect him, or realized some blatant incompatibility.

It is not that I see him now and suddenly find in unattractive or off -putting.

 

 

It is because I realized I don’t have to work for a blessing.

 

Looking back, I realize I was actually quite stressed out.

Stressed in prayer, and in trying to ‘deserve.’

Stressed in putting all my chips in the right place,

And figuring out where that right place was.

 

Trying to live out God’s idea of femininity and self sacrifice. Basically…it was laborious for my spirit.

 

Now I realize something beautiful about the Lord,

That He desires to bless me.

And thankfully, He is not controlled by my desires or my prayers

 

He did not owe it to me to cause this situation to play out just because I had prayed that it would.

 

He wants to bless me, and as My Father, He will.

But He wants me to know its not because of me or what I do, or sacrifice, or pray for, work for, or improve for.

 

It is just because of Him.

 

Honestly, it causes me to tremble to think if God had allowed this relationship to cumulate.

The pattern that it would have set in my prayer life would have been suffocating.

I would feel a burden to cause right circumstances in my life through dedication to prayer, self improvement, and study.

 

 

I use the example of a relationship because this is how God taught me this lesson, however, it could be anything you are trying to pray to receive or cause to line up in your life through your own dedication.

 

We should pray and share our concerns and requests, and desires with God not because we are worried that if we don’t pray enough He wont give it to us or He will forget that we want it.

We should pray because if something is on our hearts,

He wants us to talk it over with Him, in fellowship, trust, and a desire to be close and walk this life with Him.

 

God is good. If He wants you to have something or doesn’t want you to have another thing.

It is because it is good for your life to be that way.

If you are married, it is good

If you are single

It is good.

And when God, through the outpouring of His love for you, provides some sort of path or desire of your heart.

It is because He is good.

Love through the Lifespan

I walked into his room

And it was heavy,

Like the whole place was thinking of death.

 

 

He was a man so distorted by life,

He said,

“Death is what I deserve”

 

“You know what you need to do” I said,

Spoke the name of Jesus and

“He’s waiting for you like the first day of your life”

 

 

“It’s too late now, if He ever wanted me it was before… but not now.

I’ve made more mistakes than one person could be allowed.”

 

 

He was drug

A dead daughter

He was alcohol and self-abuse

He was false religion

Isolationism

Violence

and God hating

 

…a deviation from what The creator had created.

But that’s the wonderful thing about a God who lives outside of time

 

He died for you just as much on your last day of life as He did your first,

When you were perfect and new, and you looked just like what He made,

He died for you.

 

And when you ruined yourself,

Cut yourself

Hated yourself

Indulged yourself

Numbed yourself

Changed yourself

Despised yourself

Worshipped yourself

 

He died for you.

 

 

 

Perhaps you feel you have distorted your image

 

Such a deviation from what your Creator created and said was good.

 

“But I am not that any more”

You say,

“I am not the one He formed in my mother’s womb. Look what I have made myself”

 

 

When Jesus looks at you.

He doesn’t just see you today.

He sees you lying there just born, new

 

 

And He sees you lying there

Dying

Like one day you will,

With all your past misuse of life and body

 

And you are the one He loves

You are the one He came to save…The entirety of you.

 

 

And He has loved you with an ever – lasting love.

And He has come to make all things new.

 

 

As a nurse who previously worked with adult patients, I saw the hardest things to love.

The most self abused and world abused,

The lying, the addicted, the hateful, the rotting, the rejected.

 

And I went through many processes with Christ, learning about who He was,

That He could love and still see His image in the distortions we become.

It shocked and rocked me, to learn the love nature of the God we serve.

 

 

Now I work with newborn babies.

It is easy to understand How God loves them.

They are beautiful.

They make you cry just to look at them,

Want to speak softly to them,

Touch them gently and save them from everything.

 

But God sees something I don’t see,

He sees the day many of these babies will become the struggling adult patient I have seen.

He sees the day they are dying of AIDS or self hatred

He sees the day they are lying and rejecting Him

As they walk through a disfiguring world.

 

 

And He doesn’t change His mind

Now that’s a God

I want more of.

 

The God who hasn’t changed His mind about me or you.