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LIVING INSIDE THE LINES

By trade, I am a registered nurse. I would like to say that I had a story much like my mother’s where I felt I was born to be a nurse; that nursing chose me. Although this may be true, I am not completed vested in this idea. I believe it is more that I chose nursing. The science of medicine fascinates me. I am a person who digests statistics, numbers, and evidence. I enjoy problem solving, and the idea of helping navigate people from places of fear and confusion to freedom and peace. I am a person who thrives in environments of change and controlled chaos. These items considered, I found myself in a professional corner with other likeminded people; and chose to pursue a career in medicine. When I began this journey, we had twins that were one and a six month old baby. Did I mention that I have a thing for interesting timing?  Feeling as though I had missed the boat to apply to med school (don’t worry I did that after having our second set of twins and cannot say that idea has ever left the table) I thought nursing would be a wise decision, and this was affirmed by my husband. Seven years later, here I am.

I think it is important to lead in with that information for a snippet of where I tend to operate from. A place of puzzle piecing together information. Collecting data, sometimes too much and other times not enough. A place where it is not always an immediate solution that is available, but rather bits and pieces. Nonetheless, it is all done with the intention of getting to the desired answer. Diagnosis. What I am learning about myself the longer I walk with Jesus, is I can treat my faith like this. Like a puzzle I am responsible for putting together, or an answer to a question that it is my job to find. Diagnosing my faith if you will.

I become so captivated by relying on my own knowledge, my own strength and my own decision making that I cannot hear what He is saying. I am trying to learn how to manage the moments of my life as if my eternity depends on it. Learning to endure temporary discomforts for permanent blessings. Trusting the whispers, and not chasing the “whys.”

When I am writing these things, it is always as though Jesus himself has written the words first and I am tracing the letters. I always imagine the worksheets our littles bring home from school from handwriting class. You can see how hard they press as the tops and bottoms of the letters to try to stay within the lines. In the middle, the lead marks are lighter because in between the lines they feel more confident. They feel the license of freedom. This is no different from when I know I am skating a little too close to my God given margins and my actions are a little more vulnerable. My words, a little louder as if God is flashing the “YEILD!” sign warning me I am a little too close. When I am in a healthy rhythm, I am farther from those margins. My words and actions more freely flowing as I allow the Holy Spirit to guide them.

tracing

When I am trying to “figure out” God I find myself close to these upper and lower limits. Just like a nurse interprets laboratory values or generates an excel spreadsheet of outcomes I try to assess what God is or is not doing as if I can put it into a format that makes sense to me. I think things like, “God, what is this trial?” or “God, I know you say this but…” and my more frequent “God, what are you waiting for??” I allow myself to fall into the trap of pursuing knowing what God is doing, versus pursuing a deeper mission of knowing more of who God is. Knowing that He is always working. Knowing that He is in our yesterday, our today AND our tomorrow. No surprises, only promises.

Whatever it is you are facing whether it be loss, poverty, defeat, division know that God wastes nothing. That although we cannot understand these things, God can. That we cannot put them into a chart, spreadsheet or graph and interpret them because God is bigger than any of those things.

When the fear, the lies, the anxiety and the guilt come please be sure to remember that this may in fact be your circumstance, but He assures you this is not your identity.

Equally so, if you are a doctor, nurse, engineer, sales clerk or laborer that none of those are your identity either; they are simply your trade. The only business Jesus is about is Kingdom business; stay within your God given margins and allow yourself the freedom in operating as he created you too. Freely in the middle and aware of how large your grace space is. Not with a responsibility to know it all, but trust that He knows all; and that is enough.

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