Finger Pricks

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I’ve been so blessed this summer. To be utterly honest, I started the summer doubtful and confused. I didn’t understand the Lord’s timing or will for this summer. I was scared and worried.

The campus ministry I’m a part of at college offers an incredible summer program project where students are immersed in discipleship and evangelizing; I was set on going– I had all my plans made; I had even started raising support to pay for it. Though my clothes may not have been all packed up, my heart was packed up and ready.

I was ready to go, and then it didn’t work out. Plans didn’t line up and things fell through, and I wasn’t able to attend this program this summer.

I was filled with doubt.

I was angry, honestly.

I became sorrowful every time I had to tell one of my friends I couldn’t go; I wanted to be in 2 places at once.

For 2 years, I had felt called to go on a summer mission trip to the DR to teach VBS and pour the new spirit God had given me out into the sweet children there, but I wanted to go to this project.

I was genuinely bitter that I could not do both. It was all supposed to work out so I could go to both, but it didn’t.

And that’s just how life is sometimes. Sometimes life just doesn’t work the way we thought it was supposed to.

I was confused because I was trying to be obedient and faithful, all of my friends would be there, and I couldn’t go. “What about all the community I’ll miss out on?” I would think as my heart sank. “What if my faith gets dry with bitterness?” I worried.

I felt the Lord telling me to be patient, to trust what He was doing, but my heart, oh it was so doubtful.

My grace-filled, kind-hearted mom would gently remind me I could go to the project next summer; she would tenderly remind me to keep my heart open to what the Lord would do right here in the mean time.

But I was still so angry. And completely doubtful.

Oh, you of little faith.” Me of little faith. To be precise. Only a broken, sinful human like me would be silly enough to believe that God could only work in one place at once.

As soon as I arrived back in the little suburb I grew up in, waiting for the day until we left for the mission trip, God immediately started provided community and fellowship opportunities; He started opening my heart and my doubtful eyes to all that I had taken for granted while growing up: parents who reflected the Lord’s love in every step of their life, friends–scratch that– sisters in Christ who were ready and excited to learn and grow right beside me all summer, a wonderful church I got to call home, and a job.

An incredible, incredible job.

This summer, God gave me a job in Pediatrics.

The sick kiddos, the grumpy, kicking, screaming, angry kiddos who needed antibiotics and tender love & care.

Now don’t get me wrong. I LOVE kids. Absolutely love them. But I was terrified. I didn’t feel qualified to perform any of the tests the nurses assigned me; I didn’t feel ready for this nurse tech job no matter what certifications I had on my resume.

But that’s what God likes to do, isn’t it? He likes to use the ones who aren’t ready, who feel inadequate. Moses, Mary, David. Normal people. But people who said yes. So I very timidly and shakily said yes to the kids nobody else wanted to deal with.

Jesus told us to love the least of these; I don’t know a ton of people who like blood, or tears, or urine tests. I know plenty of times I don’t. But I know everyone I’ve ever met would melt at the little face of gratitude when they realize you’re taking care of them. That simple look; I’d do the worst parts of the job all day long for that look. I would test urine and feces; I would treat ringworm, scabies, and lice, I would be screamed at and kicked every minute of every day just to see Jesus in those little children’s faces when they realize they’re going to feel better soon.

In nursing, God uses my hands and soul to serve and care for children; in nursing, the Lord is making me the hands and feet of Jesus.

The kids hate finger pricks. Let me say that again. The kids HATE finger pricks. They hate them even though they know that the finger pricks are for their own good. The finger pricks help, and even though they hurt, ultimately, the finger pricks are good.

And it reminds me of how we, as children of God, hate painful things too– even though we know God can use these things for our good, and more importantly His good. These things strengthen our faith and our relationship with the Lord. These obstacles transform us, and even though they hurt, ultimately, painful experiences are good.

Just like finger pricks.

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