About six months ago, I received a call offering a graduate nursing position in another part of the state. At the time, I had felt prompted to add in another section into my draft manuscript. This section was about belonging to a church and how the enemy will twist the truth – ever so slightly to make you believe that you don’t. At this time, I can also recall being led to passages of scripture that was about standing firm – standing my ground. I didn’t know what this meant – until I got the call for work and to move. Even at that time, I couldn’t see that I was being told to wait, to stay put – that I belonged in this town. Instead, I freaked out and reached out to a body of people – of prayer warriors to pray into this situation for me – and with me – because really, I had no idea what to do.
I had three days to make a decision; to say yes or no to this call.
It wasn’t an easy decision – because on one hand – I could see it was a good thing – it was a career progression; a foot in the door. However, it would have meant uprooting everything that was starting to become established here; friends, church, my son’s school and friends. It meant starting everything again, but it also meant we would be moving back to an area that we moved from. I felt like we would be going backwards rather than forwards by moving back.
I discussed this with a friend and in a matter of hours, I knew I could not accept this offer. I allowed the decision to sit until the deadline and sent the declining email. It felt right, I was not riddled with any kind of unease. Every now and then, I wondered if it was the right decision – it was out of curiosity more than anything – not out of regret.
Then covid-19 hit us all – and in a big way.
Quarantine and lock down happened.
Everything closed up except for the essentials.
The end of April came round – expected start date for my grad-position. It then occurred to me – it was in fact the right decision to stay put. Moving and starting a new job in the middle of a pandemic would have been a logistical nightmare – from organising removalists, to finding a new rental accommodation, to a new school – and we wouldn’t have found a new church as they had all closed down too (but moved onto on-line platform). In that moment, I could see – I was exactly where I needed to be – I belonged here, in this town with our church, friends and support network – even though we were limited to what or who we could see due to lockdown. We belonged here.
Retrospectively, I can see that I didn’t need to freak out and reach out to friends for a prayer request – as I had already been told what I needed to do, (to stand firm and know I belong here) – it was preparing me for the moment that followed with the (phone) call into action. But had I truly heard what God was saying to me in that moment, I would not have needed to reach out to others…
Ok, so – fast forward to now and to my last post: ‘Jesus is in this season. He moves amongst us’ which was on… a few things and also included answering ‘the call’ and questioning – ‘will you say, I am welcome here?’
So, this is really exciting!
I wrote that post in my journal the night before typing it out to post. I didn’t really know what it meant – it was purely the flow of the Holy Spirit – and I certainly felt a great sense of urgency as I wrote it and I almost struggled to keep up with the flow. It wasn’t until the next day, I checked my emails and there was an email from the education unit co-ordinator from the local hospital asking me to contact her. I had been waiting for months to get into this acute program and suddenly, it seemed like it was about to happen.
I thought, I will finish typing out this post and then will call her. I did – and it hit me – that whatever she asked, I needed to say yes to it. It wasn’t just about saying yes to the work, it was about saying, yes to Jesus – it was about saying – yes Jesus – you are welcome here.
In short, I was recruited into a testing clinic for Covid-19 as a registered nurse… (This was something that I was being sent into.) … I said yes to this call. I said yes to taking the kingdom of God with me. I said yes to allowing Jesus into this space. I said yes when I was asked: will you answer my call? Will you say, I am welcome here?
… To this, I say- Jesus you are welcome wherever I go – for I carry you with me. I don’t fly solo – for you are my pilot and it is you I follow. It is you I follow. I carry you with me and you carry me and give me strength when I am weary. You give me the words I need and the ability to build rapport with patients and children who come for testing – you ease their anxiety and make what could be a traumatic experience and turn it into something a little more enjoyable. Your presence flows through me in showing grace and patience when things do not flow smoothly- you give me peace to flow through it!! Even though my focus is on the task at hand and I seem to be far away from you, I know you are still working through me and you’re not far from me at all. Your work flows through me.
Your work flows through me.
Your grace, your patience, your love and your peace flows through me. Thank you for giving me this opportunity- thank you for entrusting me with this job….
On the Saturday, before starting this job, I was led to Luke Chapter 10. The verses that stood out to me, were about taking the kingdom of God with us – to say, the kingdom of God has come near you – and if someone, rejects you – know it is not you they reject but Jesus and the one who sent Him – the Father… Even, in this – I felt great pressure in knowing that I carry Jesus and the kingdom of God with me. I thought, what if I mess this up? What if I don’t say the right thing – or miss moments to minister to the people I work with? A thought that rose above all of that was, ‘your presence alone will be enough’. But this thought was not just referring to my presence – it was about carrying the presence of Jesus and the kingdom of God with me.
Somewhere here, it occurred to me that I was meant to be working here and I was reminded of what happened six months ago – when I was called into action but told to stand firm. This time, I was being called into action and being told to – go. The only difference this time around, was that I didn’t freak out nor did I reach out to others for prayer. I prayed into it myself… but over the last few months, I had developed a stronger relationship with Jesus, the Father and the Holy Spirit – and I knew with certainty that this was where I needed to be for the moment. I knew He was in it because so much had been bypassed, such as the application process. I can remember seeing position advertised for testing nurses, however it required at least two years clinical experience. At the time, I thought I could apply for that and do it but was put off by experience needed – so did not apply and let it go. But God is in the detail and in the process and sometimes He will fast-track that process.
Even leading up to this moment, I had the dream about being asked if I was ready to go? I can remember thinking – what is this about? Is it about work? If so, the answer would be no, I am not ready. At that time, I was still waiting for my uniform to arrive (the second time around – as I had to send it back as I had ordered the wrong size.) Also, legally, I cannot practise without professional indemnity insurance – and at the time of being asked: are you ready to go? I hadn’t finalised my insurance – but shortly after submitting that documentation – my uniform arrived and my application for registration renewal was approved. So, then, in theory, I was then ready to go… Somewhere after that I received the email – my call into action. I was ready to go (although incredibly nervous).
So, I could see I had a full circle moment – it started with a word – a word to stand firm, followed by a call into action, followed by listening and responding in faith by declining the offer. To then being given another word – a word to go – followed by a call into action and responding in faith and saying yes. I look at both of these situations – and in both instances, I could have changed my decision – I could have said yes to the first call and I could have said no to the last call out of my flesh – but… it changes my heart from trusting God to trusting my own choices. I could have said yes to first choice, I could have said yes to career progression in a supportive environment and yes to regular income. However, it would have come at a cost and with great difficulty in moving during the middle of a pandemic. God knew what was going to happen and was telling me what I needed to do – stand firm. In this second call, I could have said ‘no’ – out of fear – fear of unknown, fear of potentially contracting the virus and not wanting to place my family at risk either… both instances were preceded with a word and an action – I was already informed of what I needed to do and all I needed was to listen, be obedient and step out in faith and trust that God is in it.
To be honest, I have no idea what God’s plans are for the immediate future – what my role is (outside of my clinical role) – or how He wants me to impact others… but what I do know, is that He has plans to prosper me and not harm me – and I rest my trust in him.
I wanted to write this, to pass this onto you – may you be encouraged – and step out in faith – into whatever you have been called into; whether it’s a call into action or to stand firm in where you are.
And know, God’s timing is always awesome, and your situation will be made beautiful in His time.
May you, my dear, walk by faith and with the spirit of God who leads you.
“Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. 7 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.
9 You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you….” (Romans 8:5-10 NIV)
Until next time, dear Reader (God willing), W.A.R on with praise and prayer and stay safe. Xx.
Author: Elizabeth New
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