As I have stated in previous post, my husband and I run the PowerPoint (me) and sound board (him) during both church services. During second service I noticed my husband rise suddenly. I looked to my left to see a little bit of commotion in a pew towards the back. I tap Joe and immediately went to this poor guy and Joe took over the PowerPoint. Of course our associated pastor had started his sermon. The elderly man was fading back in when I knelt beside him. His wife was nervously trying to pick up his nitroglycerin pills which had been dropped. After assessing him as quietly as I could (of course this man was trying to tell me he was fine) my critical care nurse instincts told me different. I whispered to one of the elders I wanted him out in the lobby and so two of them helped him to walk out.
The drama continued in the lobby. As I continued to assess him and take his pulse constantly, I could feel his heart slow down and he proceeded to pass out again, and again, and again. Long story short, I had 911 called and somehow avoided having to perform CPR on this poor man. He had a pacemaker put in yesterday and He is doing fine now. My church got to see what a parish nurse in action would look like and now that ministry ball is rolling!
In my previous church I had a very active parish nurse/health ministry. When I moved to this church after my divorce and re-marriage, I avoided the ministry even though I heard the pastor request it on several occasion. I always had a reason-I was new to the church and needed to get to know it better, I was too busy with my teaching schedule at the college, we have outgrown the building and there really isn't a space for me to function effectively in this role.....God finally had enough....or maybe He knew that the timing was now. Whichever it was, He opened the door-He used me to minister and I responded. Now the pastor wants me to teach a CPR class for the leadership team (which I can do) and they are ready to pay for an AED for the church. This health ministry road has been paved and God has done all the footwork to get us to this point so quickly.
Lysa said "Our call to obedience may challenge our pride". I have been there. In my previous parish nurse/health ministry the first year was all about what I could do in the ministry. It was a tough year. I have learned it is all about what God can do through me in this ministry. No pride. I am called to use what I have been best equipped with-ministering to the body, mind, and soul.
"God uses our experiences to equip us for our calling". Long ago when I entered nursing school the concept of spirituality being important within this profession didn't cross my mind. I was there to learn to be a nurse and to care for the body. As I have grown in my relationship with Christ, He has also grown my interest in the role of spirituality in health care and it is now the core of my nursing career and my life. I have seen Christ more in the patients I have care for whether in the hospital or in the congregation.
Lysa also stated "Our obedience may inspire other to respond". I acted because God called me to. When I went over to this gentleman sitting in the pew I had no idea what was going on, I just knew I was needed, He lead me to it and everything went so smoothly because He was there with us. Now the church is responding and accepting a health ministry team. I am back to my calling I received and trained for back in 2002-my mission field. Since that year I have continued to train nurses in this ministry. I transferred into the role of faculty coordinator for the training of parish nurses, now called faith community nurses, in this area. In fact, I am coordinating and teaching in this course this very week! God's timing is amazing!!
My prayer comes from this chapter. This prayer fits anyone looking to keep focused on God's vision and not their own:
"Oh Lord, give me the desire to be too busy looking at You to consider anything but Your plan! Strip away my short and narrow vision to see the wonderful adventure of truly being Your follower. Help me to be like Your disciples who followed immediately and fully rather than like the people who simply played games at the foot of your cross." (pp.114)
If you are not looking fully at His vision, He will get your attention. Count on it!!
In His Graces~Pamela
The question came up: what is a parish nurse? A parish nurse is a registered nurse who works/serves in her church. As a parish nurse/faith community nurse I did blood pressure checks every Sunday, offered periodic screenings such as for cholesterol and blood sugar through the American Red Cross, taught health and spiritually related classes (ie: Nutrients for the Body and soul, CPR/First Aid, Home Care, etc), home and hospital visits, and so much more. It is a wonderful ministry!! You can find out more on: http://www.parishnurses.org/