Will God Provide?

October, 2001

Dr. T., my manager, called me into his office. “Pam, I’m afraid I have some bad news for all of us. The parent hospital has decided to close this campus in the next few months because they are losing so much money at this facility. Next month, they will decrease our hours to 20 hours per week. They have offered us positions at the parent hospital on the psychiatric unit, but we will need to be on call at night and weekends. Let me know what you decide to do. I think I’ll be looking for another job closer to my home.”

This news took me by surprise. I knew the hospital was struggling, but I didn’t know it was this dire. Three years ago, I built my dream house because Dr. T. told me my job was totally secure. I so enjoy living here because it is close to church and work and I host guests frequently. But I will not be able to pay my monthly bills on half my salary. I think this is a good time to leave psychiatry since I don’t want to work weekends and night shift again.

When I arrived home, I opened my Bible and asked God to show me the next step and to provide for me. Certainly God, who created the universe, can supply my every need. This is my time to trust Him and see His provision.

God calmed my heart as I read Matthew 6:25-34, “Therefore, I say unto you, Be NOT anxious for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than food and the body than raiment?…For your heavenly Father knows that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye FIRST the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you. Be, therefore, NOT anxious about tomorrow; for tomorrow will be anxious for the things of itself. “

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God. And the PEACE of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus…. But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7, 19

God encouraged me with Philippians 4:19

Dear Lord, You know all about this situation and my finances. Show me the next step. I’m trusting You to provide my every need. Use me for Your glory and honor. In Christ’s Name, Amen.

December, 2001

I have had a desire to teach nurses again in some way, so I applied to teach at a Christian college 1000 miles away. I visited the campus for ten days  to observe the classes, speak with the nursing professors, meet with the Dean, attend several different churches, and look at a few houses to buy. The Dean said they would love to have me join the faculty.

I returned home and asked God to show me His will. If I joined the faculty, I would not have time to keep working as a Nurse Practitioner and would eventually lose my NP license. Because it took me so many years to become a Nurse Practitioner, the Lord did not give me peace about giving it up. So I wrote the Dean and declined their offer.

I applied to a home care agency and was hired as a RN to do psychiatric home visits after I finish my four hours daily at the psychiatric hospital. I drive to the worst parts of the city, enter smoke filled apartments with blaring TV, assess the patient, and fill his locked med box for the week. Some of the patients are quite unstable mentally, so I ask God for protection as I quickly work. The agency said I can leave a patient’s home at any time if I do not feel safe. I always keep myself between the patient and the door and keep my cell phone in my pocket. How I thank the Lord daily for His protection! I continue to look for a full-time job as I know this is not the right job for me long term, but I thank God for His provision in the interim.

May, 2002

I interviewed for a job as a Nurse Practitioner to run the employee clinic of a large insurance company. The manager grilled me on how I would handle emergency situations. She said I answered all the emergency questions correctly and offered me the job. The pay is more than I made at the psychiatric hospital, but I’m a little hesitant about the 45 minute commute. I will need to leave my house daily at 6:30 a.m. to arrive in time. But since this is the only NP position God has opened, I accepted the offer.

August, 2002

I was trained at the downtown office by an experienced NP, and then was sent to the suburbs to run a busy clinic alone for 4000 employees.  I have a receptionist, but no medical assistant to help me with vital signs or electrocardiograms (ECGs). The supervising MD comes to the office once a week to review my notes. He is also available by phone whenever I have an emergency.

I am amazed at all I am expected to do. For every new employee, I do an ergonomic assessment of their desk, chair, phone, and computer to make sure it is in proper alignment for them to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome and other repetitive use injuries. The majority of the employees work in a cubicle and are on the computer and phone eight hours daily. We also hold health fairs for the employees periodically where we check their blood pressure, cholesterol, and glucose.

And then there are the daily clinics. Sometimes I have a line of 15 employees out the door waiting to see me. They come to work so sick because they don’t want to use any of their sick time or waste time going to their own doctor. If a Vice President comes in, they get to go to the front of the line. In the four months that I have been here, I have had to call the ambulance about a dozen times for emergencies ranging from chest pain and asthma attacks to hemorrhaging.

I also draw routine labs for patients who bring a prescription from their regular doctor, give vaccinations, and run and interpret ECGs. Since I did not need to read ECGs in my other job, sometimes I need to fax them to my supervising MD to have him confirm the interpretation. But if I don’t have time and it is an emergency, I just call the ambulance. “When in doubt, send them out” is what my boss told me.

Every morning I ask the Lord for wisdom in every decision and a quiet heart in the midst of whatever emergency situation walks through the door. I don’t enjoy the stress of this job. I have never worked in the emergency department or intensive care unit. Some days, this feels a little too much like that.

Reflection

How I thank God for carrying me through that challenging period of job changes and providing so wonderfully for me. Little did I know that an even more difficult trial lay ahead of me where I learned to trust Him in the midst of utter weakness.

Time to Move?

Midwest to New England – June, 1991

For some time now I have felt stuck in a rut, and I have been asking the Lord if He would have me move to a new location. I have lived in the Midwest since I was two years old. One wonderful thing about being a nurse is that I can get a job anywhere in the world. I attended a weekend Bible conference last fall in upstate New York which was excellent. I had the privilege of taking the Bible teacher and his wife to the airport after the conference, and I was able to ask their counsel. They suggested I move after they heard that I was the only single lady in a small Bible church with only a handful of people remaining.

I investigated being a missionary in eastern Europe in helping teach women and children the Bible, but the Lord did not give me peace about it nor did He put the pieces together.

By faith, I put my house up for sale in January. People told me this was not a good time to sell a house, because it was the middle of winter, the time of the Gulf War, and during a recession. But I know that if God wanted me to move, He would sell my house. If not, I would stay in the Midwest. I didn’t want to rent out my house and be a long distance land lady. Nor could I afford to pay for a mortgage and rent at the same time.

I have met several people in New England who have invited me to visit the church they attend, so I decided to take a survey trip in February. I visited New England once on a family vacation and found the region to be beautiful with mountains and ocean, and filled with sites of American history. They also have more snow so hopefully I can go cross country skiing more often. I visited three churches, and was so richly blessed at the second church. They had a choir that sang a beautiful hymn about the Lord’s coming that moved me to tears. It has been so long since I have heard a choir sing. They had a guest speaker in addition to the pastor who had 2 messages Sunday morning and 2 messages Sunday evening all about the rapture! (I Thess. 4:13-18) I felt very well fed spiritually at the end of the day. The people warmly welcomed me.

Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord. I Thessalonians 4:17

The assistant pastor’s wife kindly drove me around the city so I could look at various neighborhoods where I could possibly live. The cost of living is so much higher here than in the Midwest that I probably will never be able to buy a house again on a nurse’s income.

I interviewed with the head nurse of the dialysis unit at the local hospital, and she seemed excited to meet me. They also just bought new Cobe dialysis machines just like the ones I use in the Midwest unit, so she was thrilled that I would not need much orientation. She offered me a job at the end of the interview! I told her I needed to sell my house in the Midwest first, and I would pray about it. I was also offered dialysis jobs in the other two cities I visited. But I did not feel at home in the churches in those cities.

I returned home and amazingly received a full price offer for my house 40 days after I listed it! This was confirmation from the Lord that He was opening the door for me to move. We set a closing date for the end of April and they asked if I could rent back from them for one month since they had to complete their rental lease. I agreed to this since June 1 would be a nice time of year to move to New England. I gave my notice at the dialysis unit for the end of May. My head nurse and evening staff were sad to see me leave, but understood that I felt the need to move.

I called various moving companies and chose the one with the best price per pound of goods. I will need about a quarter of a cross country moving van. It’s shocking how much stuff I have accumulated in the eight years since I built this house. The goodbyes are so hard to all my family, friends, and coworkers. Many of them think I am crazy to be leaving everything familiar behind. My financial planner is very concerned and said I will never be able to retire at age 57 as we had planned.

Goodbye to my coworkers in dialysis was tough.

Goodbye to my coworkers in dialysis was tough.

 

My dog Sandy and I bid farewell to the house I built 8 years ago.

My dog Sandy and I bid farewell to the house I built 8 years ago.

Three weeks before the move, the phone rang. It was the Director of Nursing from the hospital which promised me a dialysis job. “Pam, I’m sorry but we had to close one of our units and we had to place all the nurses in empty positions in the hospital. One of the nurses chose the dialysis position so we can no longer offer you a job.” I thanked her for calling and hung up. My heart sank as I thought about moving across the country without any friends or a job. I have already paid the deposit to rent a one bedroom condo for a year and have sold my house here, so there is no other direction to go but forward.

Dear Father, Thank You for closing the door to this job and that You have something better. You have promised to provide for me, so I’m trusting You to give me a job when I get to New England. Thank You that You go before me and prepare the way. Thank You for the peace that passes understanding. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus….But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7, 19

To be continued….