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My life has gone through many changes. In the past few years, some very dramatic and renewing life changing events. It was when I lost everything that I actually found so much more than what I lost.

I was a hospice nurse. I loved my patients, the families, and my job. For me, I was a  career hospice nurse ,and I loved it. It brought me much satisfaction in my inner self. I learned so much about people, compassion, families, family dynamics, pain and suffering, and most of all Spirituality. I was comfortable in knowing I did my job well. I took good care of my patients. I was committed to making them as comfortable as possible.

I have learned so much from my patients and their families. I am so very grateful for the privilege of caring for them.

When I first began caring for hospice patients I prayed often. For them and their families and also for myself. I asked God to help me be a good nurse and to be what He wanted me to be.

I prayed quietly to myself at the bedside of the dying. I prayed in my car, at home, in church wherever I was. I asked for understanding. When I had questions I prayed for answers. He ALWAYS delivered the answers to me in an “ah ha ” kind of way. I saw the answers right there,  right at that moment. It was always “wow, I can see what you mean”.

Somehow I began losing sight of Him. Oh I went to church, I still prayed, I was still a good nurse but slowly I got caught up in the world. The world of taking care of myself. Of making a living, taking care of my house, truck, pets and yard, paying my credit cards and household bills, the list goes on . I coveted things, I actually  worshiped  idols. The idols of capitalism. Don’t misunderstand me. I enjoyed shopping, hunting down things. Even though it was mainly thrift  and discount stores. Owning second hand items didn’t bother me. But putting work, the house, yard and material items before God is a big no-no. God is a jealous God. Even though they were not golden calves or statues of other gods, I put them first.

I still helped people though. I enjoy helping others. Helping others is a big part of my life. I feel it’s something I’m supposed to do. Not realizing I also needed help.

 Being blindsided. I thought, “I want to be like everyone else, a good citizen, have a good credit score, my own home etc”.

I didn’t realize at the time that it was okay to be me.Where I was in life, it was alright, hard working, dedicated, aspiring, alone but not lonely, always trying to do the right thing. I kept myself busy, not afraid to take little adventures. Go places near and far by myself. I learned not to depend on others for my happiness.

As much as I wanted to be like others I was deep down glad I was not. I never realized how much I was putting on myself. Proud of my INDEPENDENCE. I can fix almost anything. I can work more, I can do this, I can do that. Being independent I thought was a good thing. Actually it alienates people. Others think you never need help with anything so they stop asking you. They get put off by your independence, thinking you can do so much more for yourself you don’t need anyone.

Actually, I find that my  independence came from loss. No help to do things, to help get stuff done, to go places with, no one had time to comfort or console, to bounce ideas off of, or to share with. I became stronger in my resolve that I didn’t need anyone, I can do it. I became more independent. A cycle round and round. All the while praying to God,asking and asking so many questions.  Looking for why me, why not, how come?

Then my life changed. I got hurt at work. Went through all the required rehabs, surgeries, rehab again, insurance and job requirements.  Ultimately due to “economic forecasters” ( my terms) I and 26 other people, mostly nurses and home health aides were laid off.  Oh my gosh what a disaster! My life passed before me at the speed of light. What about my home, my credit, my, my, my. All about me. To make a very long ( 5 year or so) story short, I lost my career, my home, my physical self and wound up with a physical disability from my injuries, and severe arthritis from long years of hard  work. But yet I still wanted to go back and continue what I was doing just as before.

I had to accept my many losses. It was hard to do. I grieved often, prayed often and hoped for answers. I dealt with my grief, yes I grieved. I went through the grief process for each of my losses. I had to change.  I did that with God’s help. He put wonderful people in my path along this very painful journey. I became a born again Christian. I saw that God was always there, I had to get ME out of the way. I prayed the confusion to be cleared and I that I would have wisdom and healing. I have been fast tracking, hungry for the Lord. I realize my thinking before was corrupted by worldly things. I understand now what principalities are. I know I am a warrior bride for Christ. I have purpose and meaning in my life. I am into the Word first thing every morning. I get up earlier to do that. I verbalize my praise and thanks all day long. What I gained is so much more empowering. Life affirming. The veil is lifted.

I am on the biggest adventure yet! I don’t have to just survive or try to be like the other fish in the fishbowl. I trust in God, He will provide for me, He directs my steps. I am not alone, my eyes and heart are open.  I am on an awesome journey. A marvelous adventure! And I just love new adventures!

Blessings, Mary

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