Friday, January 21, 2011

Friday

Whew, can't believe I made it through another long week! Actually, what's sad is this was only a 4 day week and somehow I am utterly exhausted. This was my first week of clinical, and I must say I was shocked by what I experienced in my psych clinical (shocked in a good way!)

I suppose our society promotes this image of psych wards as these scary places where patients are put in these padded rooms, or perhaps tied down to their chair in restraints. What I found this week though was something so completely removed from this image that I was simply amazed. I found beautiful people who were hurting from substance abuse, physical abuse, depression, and suicidal thoughts/attempts.

I talked with several patients throughout the two days we were on the unit and I was surprised with how open and willing to talk they were. To be honest, I loved every moment of clinical this week, which scares me a little bit. I know that I like to give a lot of myself away through nursing because I consider it a way to serve God through my career; however, I can see myself giving so much of myself away in psych nursing because the patients are in such desperate need of someone to do so. I always want to help people and "fix" their problems, but this is a heavy task to take on with a psychiatric unit.

I am praying for guidance as I make this journey to figure out what type of nursing I am called to. I originally thought pediatrics was my home, but I quickly discovered that almost every nursing student at UNC has this same aspiration. For some reason, I feel that there is something for me in geriatric nursing now. I think that would be amazing because I can combine my compassion and my interest in psych nursing to this field, since a lot of elderly patients suffer from some sort of mental illness.

I am so thankful to be on this journey, and sometimes I forget how truly blessed I am that God made this happen in my life. I wish I could make all of my friends understand how excited I am about my future profession and how passionate I am to make a difference in people's lives.

Grace and peace to you, my friends.
Have a beautiful weekend.
C

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Your love.

Hello dear friends!

I come to the new year, 2011, with an open mind and a heart ready to serve. 2010 was a year of immense learning for me, but I think that I made it too much about myself. My running journey that I embarked on last year was phenomenal, but this year I want my life to benefit others instead of only myself. It seems that it would be a simple task; after all, I am pursuing a career in which I serve people 12 hours a day, 3 days a week as a nurse. I want my life to mean more than that though. I know that God has so much to teach me this year and I am ecstatic about it. I am so tired of being a lukewarm Christian. It's easy enough to go to church on Sundays, say a quick prayer before bed at night, and occasionally crack open a Bible... but is that really what it means to be a follower of Christ? For me, it isn't at all. As I was reading in Matthew today, I read and re-read Jesus's call to His first disciples. It doesn't say that they followed Him when it was convenient for them, or that they sat around for a while and considered whether Jesus was worth giving up their entire lives for. No, friends. Matthew 4:20 reads, "At once they left their nets and followed him." A few verses later, in Matthew 4:22, James and John "immediately left their boat and their father and followed him."

My mind can't comprehend what that must have been like, to leave their families, friends, and ways of life to follow Jesus. But even though I can't comprehend what that means, I know that I am called to it myself. Maybe not by the same means as these first four disciples, but I am convinced that God has called me out of my ordinary life to serve Him as I have neglected to do for the past 20 years of my life.

Hope you'll join me on the journey.
As Paul always says in the New Testament, grace and peace to you.
-C