Tag Archives: disappointment

When winds turn turbulent the One who calms storms is still Lord! Wave after wave buffeted the hull of Noah’s ark, yet all mankind still descends from his sons. Joseph, though tormented in dungeons, still brought to bear his ministry of deliverance for Israel. Persecuted and scattered, Christ’s own disciples wondered if they’d come so far for nothing, yet they sit as fathers of the Church. “In his heart a man plots his course, but the Lord determines his steps” (Proverbs 16:9, NIV 1984). Special waypoints confirm themselves, but the steps in between call for faith in the One who set the stars.

When winds turn turbulent the One who calms storms is still Lord!

In July, I reported a miracle of God’s providence when He landed me an unimaginable job ("Nurse Todd takes a Job"). The Lord planted me in an intensive care unit when I had never dreamed of asking for such a distinction. Since then, I have toiled, wrestled, grieved, and strived, only to find myself involuntarily moved to another assignment less demanding. I grieve the loss of the work family I developed in the ICU, and the blow to my pride since I can no longer say, “I am an ICU nurse.” I would be remiss, however, to think that such was never His will. Any one of the patients I’ve served, the families I’ve comforted, the coworkers I’ve encouraged, the complex health issues I’ve studied, the severe situations I’ve experienced, or even this recent lesson in humility I’ve been dealt could be reason enough for me to have been brought through this season.

I can no longer say, “I am an ICU nurse.”

I well remember that a missionary is not called to do what is easy, but what is necessary. That very notion has helped me to make a decision about where to plant my next footfall. Given the option of a sparklingly attractive job in predictable, routine orthopedics or a more clinically demanding medical-surgical unit, I have opted for the latter and have already joined the ranks of my new work family. They seem to be happy to receive me and, only two days in, I’ve already had an opportunity to make an impact on patients and coworkers alike.

a missionary is not called to do what is easy, but what is necessary

I am learning that the key to living through loss with grace is gratitude. I am grateful for the knowledge that God is sovereign over my circumstances and has a plan for me. I am grateful that my end destination is not God’s only plan, but that every stepping stone en route is no less carefully designed and appointed. I am grateful for relationships built, experiences had, and ministry opportunities capitalized. Today, I honestly thanked God for the lesson in humility represented by my reassignment. I don’t need to know what lies ahead to trust the Navigator.

the key to living through loss with grace is gratitude

Whether you are experiencing turmoil in your life or not, I hope you will remember that the Master of the waves and wind is also the Architect of your soul, sinews, and senses, and He will plant your every step if you surrender your course to His will. That said, I cannot overstate the value of faithful encouragement. The words of my friends through this have really propped me up when I needed it. My hope is that every child of Christ has a family of encouragement to prop them up. The entire purpose of the Church is to glorify God by caring for one another in the manner Christ taught us.

the Master of the waves and wind is also the Architect of your soul, sinews, and senses

three strikesIt is said that bad news comes in threes. I hope so, because today I received a gut punch that wears that number, and I could use a rest.

It happened this morning when I confidently strode into the Nursing School Administration office to submit my application for the Fall semester. It was promptly rejected by the director of the program, who informed me that the classes in which I am currently enrolled must be completed before I submit my application. This sets back my admission into Nursing School another semester, to Spring, 2016.

Bad news number two was the kind that rattles faith and shakes foundations. I have been engaged in what can only be described as fervent and faithful intercessory prayer on behalf of my cousin, who was expecting a child with complications. I was forced to concede the battle Tuesday, when the news came that my unborn second cousin graduated directly to Heaven without taking a breath.

Bad news number one was merely an appetizer for these later two disappointments. It had to do with a mechanical failure on my 1997 pickup truck that amounted to about $1,200 in repairs. This seems trivial next to the loss of a baby and a rejected Nursing School application, but when one doesn’t have $1,200 and is trying to find a way to pay for school on a fixed pension income, it at least constitutes bad news number one.

I know that God’s will is better and higher than mine, and that there is surely some concealed reason for these hiccups in what I would vainly call “my plan.” I am certain that I am doing what I was called to do, and that God’s purposes, not my vanity, will be served. I am critically searching myself for any sins of the flesh to which these annoyances may be trying to direct my attention. Perhaps I said, “I start Nursing School in the Fall,” too many times without adding, as James 4:15 exhorts, “If it is God’s will.” Maybe I suffer from a case of overconfidence in self. Maybe God is just trying to protect me, my cousin, and my budget from unseen struggles we will never be fully exposed to. Whatever the case, I am content to offer up my expectations as sacrifices to God, and to let Him operate the universe as He sees fit rather than as I would have it. Still, though I am not a superstitious person and do not believe in luck, after this very disappointing week, I sincerely hope that three is the limit of my bad news for a while.