Labor and Delivery Student Nurse

Junior in College of Nursing – Winter Quarter, 1976

Another quarter has passed with its joys and trials and my junior year is completed! Only three quarters to go before I graduate in March 1977. It’s hard to believe I have completed three years of college.The Lord kept emphasizing to my heart again and again that His grace is sufficient and that He wants me to enjoy Him and glorify Him forever.

My nursing courses were excellent this quarter! I studied Reproduction the first half of the quarter and had my clinical days in labor and delivery and post postpartum. Since I only had an 8 hour shift two days in a row, I never was able to see a woman in labor from admission until the birth. But I was so excited when I finally was able to see a baby born during my clinical hours! What a miracle to witness how God brings us into this world! I also sadly witnessed a therapeutic abortion to save the mother’s life. She was 16 weeks along, but her blood pressure was so high that they were afraid she would die from seizures or a stroke, so they did a caesarian section to take the baby.

During the second half of the quarter, my clinical days were in Nutrition and Elimination, so I cared for patients after their gastrointestinal surgeries, urology surgeries, and those who had absorption problems requiring tube feedings. My other two classes were Microbiology and the Modern History of the Nation of Israel. It was fascinating to study how modern day Israel was formed in 1948 and how God has been bringing the Jewish people back to Israel from all corners of the world just as God prophesied! “That then the Lord thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations where the Lord thy God hath scattered thee.” Deuteronomy 30:3  I wonder if I will ever visit Israel before I am there in my glorified body during the Kingdom Age?

My greatest joy is simply the Lord. It is so wonderful to be truly satisfied with Him and to be learning more about Him every day. The joy that surges through my heart as I study the Word and meditate upon Christ is indescribable! My greatest trial was when I had a virus the last two weeks of the quarter, and I was too weak to do anything but simply lean hard upon Christ. But it was a privilege to see my nothingness and Christ’s all sufficiency. II Corinthians 12:9-10 became very precious to me: And He said unto me (Paul), My grace is sufficient for thee; for My strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore, will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore, I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.”

Reflection

Little did I know in 1975, that the Lord would open the door in 1981 for me to work full-time on night shift on a very busy ten bed labor unit that had 4000 births annually. I witnessed about 2000 births during my two years there, and it never ceased to amaze me the wonder of how God brings babies into the world and that the great majority are healthy. When I studied to become a nurse practitioner, I took a graduate course in Dominican Republic in 1994 and was able to deliver a baby on my own since the nurses do all the normal deliveries.

Pam holds baby boy she delivered in Dominican Republic as his Mom looks on.

Pam holds baby boy she delivered in Dominican Republic as his exhausted Mom gazes at him. 1994

God also gave me the great privilege of taking a Bible tour of Israel for ten days. It was truly the trip of a lifetime and helped me “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem” as it says in Psalm 122:6. In preparing for the trip, I read many books on the modern day history of Israel. I highly recommend Zvi by Elwood McQuaid, which is the true story of a ten year old Jewish boy who survived the holocaust and found his way to Israel and faith in the Messiah. He was one of the freedom fighters in 1948 and the other wars that followed. (available as e-book or from http://www.foi.org) Our tour group had the joy of meeting one of his sons who is involved in a Bible ministry in Israel. Shalom.

Zvi, the true story of a holocaust survivor.

Zvi, a true story of a holocaust survivor.

School of Nursing Begins!

Autumn, 1974- College Sophomore

At last! I finally began studying in the School of Nursing with my 200 classmates. The lecture hall is huge where we had our nursing theory class (5 hours) and Growth & Development class (3 hours). My most difficult class by far was Physiology (5 hours). They split our class in half so one half started with 2 quarters of physiology and the other half started with 1 quarter of Anatomy. I wish I could have started with Anatomy. It’s difficult to figure out how our bodies work if I don’t even know where the body part is located that we are studying. I also continued with my violin lessons (1 hour) and started group Piano lessons (1 hour) for my electives. We went to the Nursing Laboratory and started learning our skills such as how to take blood pressures, temperature, pulse, respirations, give bed baths, and make beds. Then we went to a nursing home for our clinical time and took care of our assigned two patients. It was like when I was a nursing assistant last summer, except it was daylight and the patients were awake.

School of Nursing!

School of Nursing!

This is a huge football school. In fact they are ranked number 1 in the country! But since I don’t understand the game of football, I didn’t go to any games. Instead I went to the Health Sciences Library and read all my required readings that were on reserve. It’s difficult to access the articles in the evening when all the other students are reading them, because they only have a few copies on reserve. This new library is right beside the University Hospital so all the medical disciplines use it. It is supposed to be one of the best Health libraries in the country. Because the books are so expensive, all the book shelves are behind glass. When I check out a book, I give them my student identification card, the employee enters the request in the computer, and then I wait while the huge mechanical arm gets it from the shelf and puts it on the conveyor belt. It’s really amazing to watch! I like visiting all the different libraries on campus to study. I think they have at least 10 different libraries which I have discovered so far.

Campus Aerial View: 1-School of Nursing, 2-Hospital, 3-Sophomore Dorm, 4-Bible Class, 5-Lake, 6-Main Library, 7-Freshman Dorm

Campus Aerial View: 1-School of Nursing, 2-Hospital, 3-Sophomore Dorm, 4-Bible Class, 5-Lake, 6-Main Library, 7-Freshman Dorm

It was a real blessing to continue to teach the women’s Bible class weekly in my dorm. This quarter we averaged 5 women attending who seemed so eager to hear God’s Word! The Lord also blessed me with a godly roommate who also attends the Bible class. We had such precious times of fellowship and prayer together. We also enjoyed sharing the gospel door to door with the other women in our dorm. Because my classes require so much more studying time than last year, I quit my job at the library and stopped teaching the children’s Bible clubs.

I have continued with the home Bible study program and was so encouraged when I read the biography of Amy Carmichael, a missionary lady to India. She rescued orphans from the Hindu temples and started a large orphanage for them where she and her coworkers taught them the Word of God as they raised and educated them. I also read a biography about Isobel Kuhn, missionary with China Inland Mission to the Lisu people in western China. What godly examples both these ladies are to me! Isobel Kuhn taught a women’s Bible class in Canada before she went to China and challenged them with Hebrews 6:1 “…let us go on unto perfection (maturity)” which I passed on to my women’s class.

Reflection

About 10 years after I graduated, a friend kindly taught me how to understand and enjoy watching football so I am an avid fan of my Alma mater now! I regret all those games I missed while studying in the library which I could have attended as a student for a few dollars. During my college years, they won the national championship and their star player received the Heisman trophy (the highest award in college football in the USA)

My brother and brother-in-law are also alumni, so about 15 years ago, we and their spouses attended a game with 100,000 other fans on a gorgeous autumn day and had excellent seats. Our team won, so it was worth it to fly there for the game. I thank the Lord for the times He also gives us to laugh and relax!

Here in Central America where I currently live, I was even able to watch my team on the computer through digital TV. How things have changed since 1974! I have also learned that their term for “futbol” actually means soccer which is the preferred sport here.

Image result for Central America boys playing soccer images

“Futbol” in Central America is the term for soccer.

“A time to weep, and a time to laugh.” Ecclesiastes 3:4

Sleeping in Statistics Class

College Freshman – May, 1974

“He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might He increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary…” Isaiah 40:29-30

“Pam, Can you please see me after class?” announced my statistics professor. I nervously approached Professor L. who had shared at the beginning of the quarter with the class that he was a Christian. (He was the only professor in my four years of college who claimed to be a Christian.) He said, “I noticed you have been falling asleep in class. Do you have a job where you work at night?”

Sleeping in Statistics Class

Sleeping in Statistics Class

stat class

I explained that I worked ten hours weekly at the main library. The statistics class was from 4-5 pm Monday-Friday when I was most weary. I had also just missed a week of class because I was sick with the flu. We reviewed my midterm grades of 96% (A) on the first one and 6% (F) on the second one. I had never failed a test before and was horrified when I saw the F! I had reviewed my classmate’s notes for the week I missed, but I guess I didn’t understand the material. He kindly said, “Pam, get a tutor to review the material before the final exam. If you do well on the final exam and remaining quizzes, I will drop your F on the midterm now that I understand your circumstances”. I thanked him profusely for his consideration and advice.

In addition to working and taking classes, I was teaching the women’s Bible class weekly and children’s Bible Club every other week. It was no surprise that I became ill, because I was simply doing too much! I found someone else to teach the Bible clubs, found a tutor, and did my best on the statistics final exam. In June, I apprehensively opened my grades when they arrived in the mail.  B in statistics!!! Thank You, Lord, for your grace and strength! My courses this quarter were: statistics – 5 hours, chemistry- 5 hours, violin lessons – 1 hour, logic – 5 hours, tennis – 1 hour.

Reflection

So ended my freshman year of college. It still remains a constant balancing act between worshiping and serving the Lord, working, maintaining my home, and getting enough rest and relaxation. I ask the Lord daily to help me put Him first and do all things for His glory and honor while resting and delighting in Him. When people ask me to do something, I pray about it first and ask the Lord what He wants me to do. As nurses, we are used to always helping people and our automatic response is “Yes”. But I have slowly learned over the years to say “No” if God does not give me peace about going forward.

Many times in my nursing career when I have been totally exhausted, I have cried out to God to strengthen me and ask Him to do my job through Me, while leaning hard on Him. A favorite poem of mine is “Lean Hard“.

Child of My love, Lean Hard, and let Me feel the pressure of thy care;

I know thy burden, child, I shaped it; Poised it in Mine own hand, made no proportion

In its weight to thine unaided strength. For even as I laid it on, I said,

I shall be near, and while he leans on Me, This burden shall be Mine, not his;

So shall I keep My child within the circling arms of My own love.

Here lay it down, nor fear to impose it on a shoulder

Which upholds the government of worlds.

Yet closer come; Thou are not near enough; I would embrace thy care

So I might feel My child reposing on My breast. Thou lovest Me? I knew it.

Doubt not then; but loving Me, Lean Hard.

(unknown author)

“Cast thy burden upon the Lord and He shall sustain thee.” Psalm 55:22

“Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you.” I Peter 5:7

Rest in the Lord