Our lives took a dramatic change a little less than a year ago when we decided as a family that I would go back to work.   Not that I have not worked (very hard) all my life, but actually working a job where I would receive a steady paycheck in order to help our family in a dwindling economy.  This has been an incredible learning curve for me.

Over the last nearly 4 decades, we have voluntarily served our hearts out on the mission field.  However, during the pandemic, like so many other missionaries and ministries, our income shrunk considerably.  So after much prayer and planning, I went to work as a Phlebotomist at a Baptist Hospital in Texas.  It has been here, working early mornings in patient care on the busy floors of a hospital, that I have learned a whole new level of God’s tender love for all of humanity no matter their background or beliefs.

The precursor to any patient care in the medical field is AIDET.  The acronym AIDET stands for the five communication steps: Acknowledge, Introduce, Duration, Explanation, and Thank You.  It is simply a communication tool that helps medical professionals interact with patients in a way that explains procedures and eases anxiety.  That being said, I spend countless hours introducing myself to patients, explaining what I need to do and asking their permission to do it, trying to reduce their anxiety (so many people are afraid of needles) drawing their lab work as well as thanking them for allowing me to do so. 

There are many times when a patient may be gravely ill and I have been called in to draw their labs in a quick and efficient manner.  That being said, I am required as a health care professional to use AIDET each and every time I interact with a patient, even if they are unable to respond.  Although I am fully focused on the job at hand as well as patient care, my spirit feels compelled to pray.  Yes, I firmly believe that it is possible to do those two things at the same time and as a matter of fact sometimes it is imperative that one does.  The Bible tells us to pray without ceasing and I honestly could not do what I do without the grace of God helping me each and every day.  

You are wonderful

Occasionally there will be a patient in our care for a long period of time.  Recently, one particular patient who suffered from dementia stole a tiny piece of my heart.  Every time I came to draw their labs, I followed protocol and reminded them of who I was and what I needed to do.  Sometimes they remembered me and other times, usually before breakfast, they did not.  Each time I told them that I was praying for them and that the Lord loved them dearly and that He would never leave them alone.  Each time they would express their gratitude with a lovely smile while reaching for me with weathered hands. 

One day when I went into their room I was greeted with, “Oh it’s you.  Come here and help me with this drawer before I forget to give this to you.”  As I opened the drawer, those precious wrinkled hands reached for a small slip of blue paper where three words were written.  “You are wonderful.”  They explained to me that they had written it down the last time I had visited because they didn’t want to forget to tell me and that they felt so much better each and every time I reminded them of His love.  Although they told me to put that piece of paper somewhere special where I would not lose it, they didn’t need to because I would be treasuring that little note for the rest of my days.  It is now in my Bible, a constant reminder of His great love for us all. 

Do you need a little reminder of His great love for you today?  Sometimes, I write a verse on my bathroom mirror (with a DRY erase marker) and other times I make little notes for myself.  The most precious times of remembering His wonderful love for me seem to come when I am sharing His love or serving others.  When I see how much the Lord loves others, I am reminded of how much He loves us all, no matter our circumstance or station. 

“If God had a refrigerator, your picture would be on it. If He had a wallet, your photo would be in it. He sends you flowers every spring and a sunrise every morning… Face it, friend. He is crazy about you! ” Max Lucado