Friday, April 11, 2014

Three Lives Held Together by Shared Prayers

I watched her transition confidently into what she thought was a Christian marriage and a career. Too soon, she discovered her marriage was little more than a fa├žade for a bridegroom bent on living as a rebellious child focused on ignoring the restraints of monogamous marriage and anything resembling a Christian lifestyle. Her new life was totally foreign to her heritage, from the indiscretions of his sexual flirtations among the brides maids to his bar-brawling.

For fifteen years she lived in a hell of infidelities, trying to glue together a fragile relationship stretched to the limit by his indiscetions. Two ectopic pregnancies nearly killed her, leaving her struggling to survive nearly bleeding to death. Throughout those years she affirmed her mate, yearning to have her own “ball team” but never being able to complete a pregnancy. Putting her school loans on hold, she worked and paid off his debts.

When family members caught him in bed with her best friend, they forced a confrontation. As part of the divorce settlement, she accepted the heavily mortgaged house as part of the settlement. The laws of that state, however, allowed her no credit as a single woman due to his bad credit record, so her parents covered the mortgage.

With no support system, except her aging parents, she fell back on the faith with which she had grown up: achieve what you can and never give up. Tired of the politics of the small town hospital where she nursed, she launched into occupational health care, pursuing it with all the vigor she could muster. Her mom came up with funds for preparing and certifying nationally.

Preparing according to her custom, she took the test then concluded that she “blew” it. Calling her mother in desperation, she confessed her failure, and her waste of mom’s time and money, only to learn a different story when her test scores finally came back. She aced her test, passing with an exceptionally high grade. Later, she was privileged to assist that Agency in improving their program for preparing candidates for their testing.

What had begun as a very young “deep Dixie” girl’s dream - to become like “Grandpa Doc” now moved toward reality. She was certified nationally as an occupational healthcare specialist (COHNS). In time, she found herself caring for the medical-safety needs of three thousand people in a globally-connected network of highly specialized civilians and Special Forces personnel. She loved working where she could make a difference in people‘s lives.

Stories are too numerous for me to repeat here; but, she having been born to a woman that doctors said could never bear a child, following complications of a botched surgery, enjoyed the common bond she celebrated with her mother. That bond became rock solid when she was a two-year-old and her mother spent five days and four nights helping her fight for life after her heart literally ran away with itself--uncontrolled.

This bonding increased into adulthood, reaffirmed by repeated bouts of lifelong asthma, during which mom stubbornly battled to keep her baby breathing. The two women enjoyed lived under the long shadow of a Granny who prayed at 5:00 o’clock every morning of every day of every year--at the end of the path out back from her rural southern home.

In such times, our young nurse, like her mother, found strong power in the prayerful presence of Granny’s faith-driven prayers to the Almighty, nonetheless complicated by a second marriage to a deceptive alcoholic. Although Granny has now gone to be with God, mom now accompanies her grown baby in a fragile day to day existence, each life complicated by several afflictions, any one of which could be fatal on any given day.

After thirty-five years of nursing, she finds herself on disability herself, drawing strength-to-survive in knowing that no problem she faces can prevent Mom’s prayerful presence and support. When burdens become insurmountable barriers, Mom’s counsel still affirms Paul’s biblical confession that, “I can do everything through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13 NIV, italics for emphasis).

Throughout her life, she has reinforced her self-doubts by watching Mom go the course, after learning the 
route from Granny. She knows she can go as far as she needs to go, because she knows the value of “can” 
when challenged by “can’t”. Can will conquer can’t every time. Living a day at a time, putting one foot 
ahead of the other, she finds frequent renewal in touching others--like the day she met a new and 
unconscious patient at the hospital.

The patient had been unconscious--comatose for three days, when she took up her new duties. Searching to find something especially meaningful to the patient, Lyn entered the room on the third day softly singing a medley of old hymns she had sung in church from her childhood. Shortly, the eyelids of the ninety-three year-old fluttered--opened slowly--and began mouthing the words Lyn was softly singing.

Soon, they were singing together and strong faith suddenly linked two strangers who needed each other. The patient; a lonely widow, and the hurting nurse found each other in that hospital room and God affirmed his purpose for each of them. She was the lonely widow of a minister in the same church as her preacher-parents. Each found new awareness of God that day as each understood where the other was in life.

The aged widow ministered wonderfully to her young private duty nurse, so filled with hurt and bitterness. Each gave the other the unique attention needed at this specific time of their lives. The young nurse accompanied her aged patient in her final steps through the valley of death and into the beyond. She felt privileged to further serve the needs of the patient’s family as they celebrated their faith in their loss. 

Death left a thankful family that felt no doubt whatsoever that God brought into their lives this young nurse from their own faith community; they gratefully praised God for the extraordinary companionship of their patient and her nurse, and the nurse quietly thanked the God of her parents for the refreshing shower of Godly awareness she had experienced throughout her young life.

Deteriorated lungs from life-long asthma now leave her with greatly reduced breathing capacity—disabled from nursing; but she presses forward with but one assurance: prayer empowers “can” to overcome “can‘t” when God is in it. 

Observing this three-some revealed a priceless display of God's wonders amid broken lives bonded by the powerful wonders of prayer among three of God's choice creations.          

From Warner’s World –

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