Many of you know I have spent the last month working in our NICU (neonatal intensive care unit). It is a place filled with so many things....love, heartache, struggle, fight, triumph, sadness and joy. Talk about a roller-coaster :-). Also as many of you know, it is one of my least favorite places to work. Well, it used to be. Not only is it a hard month for the reasons above but it is a month that takes me away from Matthew and Ryan quite a bit.
4 weeks ago I was DREADING being there. (I capitalized dreading because I cannot even begin to tell you how much I mean that word) However, our God is a big God and He did things in my heart over the past 4 weeks that only He could do. As the weeks wore on, I found myself praying over the babies, praying for myself, the nurses, the neonatolgisits, the parents, etc. I decided it was the only way I could survive without being completely depressed :-).
Well, one I realized something astonishing. I WAS HAPPY!!! And then I almost passed out, haha. God had completely changed my heart. It was the first time I had been up there and formed amazing relationships and bonds with the babies, their families and the staff. I loved it! I couldn't wait to see them everyday and help them (if I could). I seriously was laughing out loud in the middle of the unit when this realization hit me.
Now, I could never be a neonatologist but it is a place I will continue to pray for as I complete my training and years beyond. It takes wonderful, special people to work up there and even stronger families to endure the road with their baby fighting to live and grow.God also changed my heart about how I approach my calling in medicine and position as a physician. I have such a greater responsibility than simply helping heal physical needs. Now, this is something I've known with my head but never truly experienced with my heart...until this month. Thank you God! I hope that each month I am blessed to practice medicine I will remember this and practice it.
I want to share one example of how God grew my faith this past month, just to give you a taste of what He did to my heart. I only feel comfortable sharing because the others involved shared the story with our entire church this morning and changed my heart forever.
During my first week on service, I happened to be on call and wandered over to the L&D "board". This board lists all of the women in labor, how many weeks along, complications, etc. In the unit, we look a lot at those under 35weeks because this means the baby will come visit with us for some time after they are born. I happen to notice a woman who was only 20wks along with the following after her name...IUFD or "intrauterine fetal demise". My heart right then completely broke for her and her family. As the night wore on I continued to pray for this woman I didn't know at all but knew she must be dying as her labored progressed. I thought about how she would deliver but her baby would not be living. He or she was already with Jesus.
I finished my call night and moved on. This was almost 4 weeks ago. This morning, Matthew and I were sitting in our worship service when a couple stood up to share how God had worked in one of the darkest moments of their life together. They shared how almost 4 weeks ago they went in for a routine ultrasound of their 5th child and later than night were put in the hospital to deliver a child who was already gone. They shared how awful a feeling to not hear a heartbeat they had heard at all previous visits, how wonderful the mother had felt during the pregnancy and how they already had a name. It was then that they shared their name and I gasped out loud, in the middle of the serivce. This was the same woman I prayed for almost all night. She was a member of my church, my fellowship and I didn't even know!!!
What an amazing God we serve and what an incredible Love, agape Love He gives and lavishes on us even on our darkest days and through our most difficult trials.
Thank you Father for changing my heart, growing my faith and allowing me the privilege to be your daughter!
Included are some pictures from our Halloween festivities thus far :-). Even more evidence of His Love...A beautiful healthy daughter and wonderful friends to share life with! I am one blessed girl indeed.
Happy Halloween to all!
All is Grace. His Grace.