How do you feel on those days when you're doing all the right things, but not getting the results you expect? Recently, I was working on an important project for Nurses Christian Fellowship (NCF). I downloaded my Excel document and began adding pages to the information. Periodically, I'd double-check to make sure my AutoSave feature was on. A couple of hours later, my project was complete, and I turned off my computer for the evening.
The next day as I began my work, I went into the file I had saved—only to find it wasn't there. Hours of work... simply gone. It left me with a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. I knew I had a choice. I was tempted to have a meltdown but decided I didn't have time to spare. So, I began to recreate the lost work. This time I not only verified AutoSave was on, but I clicked the save button throughout the process.
I would like to say the problem I had experienced with the document I was working on was corrected. But after closing the file and then going back to it, I realized my work was now gone a second time. I contacted the tech team for support; they had no answer for my dilemma.
We've all encountered similar experiences at school, work, and with our families. Sometimes the stakes are much higher than an important work document. Sometimes the loss involves the death of a patient or a relationship. We doubt ourselves. The critical voice inside us shouts out blame and accusations. We look up and ask God, What are you doing? Some of us experience so much pain we begin to insulate ourselves from the pain and discomfort of caring.
Unfortunately, we are not able to insulate just one side of our affect. Brené Brown, research professor at the University of Houston, shares from her book, The Gifts of Imperfection, “We cannot selectively numb emotions, when we numb the painful emotions, we also numb the positive emotions” (p. 70). How then do we begin to address the needs and wounds we nurses each carry?
FOCUS ON CONNECTION
Connection fosters the relationship we all need. We were created for relationship: relationship with Jesus Christ, relationship with each other, and relationship with the individuals and communities we serve. Connection is a part of healthy relationships. John 15:4 (NIV) says, “Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.”
Our foundation and the source of our strength rest in Jesus Christ. We know this to be true. But with the hectic schedules we lead, we can too easily lose sight of his presence and the plans he has for us. There are times when we are so weary, we need others to remind us of his truth. We need to be able to share our stories. We need the fellowship of other believers.
This focus on connection is what makes NCF unique. Our more than 130 nursing student groups and 40 professional nurse groups provide opportunities for fellowship, prayer, Bible study, and support. One of our nurse group leaders recently shared this:
Our NCF group is a place for nurses to connect with people who understand nursing roles and the day-to-day experiences of a nurse. It's a place where we can discuss the highs, lows, tears, and joys of being a nurse. NCF group meetings are a place to receive encouragement and be reminded our identity is found only in Christ and not a title, a role, or a position.
Nursing is not an easy profession. Daily we face obstacles and barriers that challenge our skills, knowledge, and communication in the care of others. But we also serve a God “who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3:20, NIV). He is able. He does not lose those whom he saves. Remember that the next time you click “save.”