Friday, August 10, 2012


      Intense. That’s my summer in one word. It was intensely hard, intensely full and intensely thrilling. From spending 75 hours doing clinicals in an advanced special care unit, to putting in 10 hour days at work, to spending some of the best moments with family and friends during trips all over the midwest, God sustained me. He taught me about loving others, working hard and learning to say, “See ya later.”
        Many of the best experiences of my summer took place at the long term care facility, earning my CNA (Certified Nurse's Assistant) license. At the same time, those days were the hardest. The aging process can be cruel. I stepped in all kinds of body fluids. I was nearly beat up (my CNA took the punch.). I was cussed out. I never cried when I was there, but when I came home, I couldn’t help myself. Despite all of the bad times, I came to love my residents. To this day, I still think of them: their unique personalities, their way of bringing laughter to all the staff, their feet tapping along with the big band music they loved so much.
     Second, God taught me about working hard. 10 hour shifts became the new norm for me, and I knew that as soon as I’d sit down, my feet would throb. Sometimes it was better just to stay standing; but during those shifts at the library and at the long term care facility, Galations 6:9 came to mind, “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”
     In between all these commitments, God gave me opportunities to say not goodbye, but see you later to my dear family and friends. Saying see ya later meant slathering on face scrub and topping it off with cucumbers and taking funny pictures with my ‘twin’. Saying see ya later meant dancing to salsa music on the circle in downtown Indianapolis with friends. Saying see ya later meant lying underneath the stars in northern Michigan with my sisters, feeling really, really small.
     For those who’ve claimed Jesus’ promise to forgive repentant sinners, there's eternity to look forward too. This summer, God gave me strength to accomplish the work he’s given me, courage to do what’s right and a vibrant relationship with him through all of the thrilling moments. More than anything else, he showed me my sin through all these stretching experiences. Despite my sin, he wants me to share the gospel-the fact that Jesus' died for sin, with others. Matthew 9:12-13, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”