A few words from your Wesley Nurse: God’s garden

What a beautiful spring we’ve had. I am blessed to have a firsthand view of God’s garden along the country roads I take to work. When I arrive at the church, I am greeted by God’s beautiful handiwork: the lovingly cultivated field of poppies, an assortment of bright, sunny-colored flowers, and the serene beauty of the tranquil prayer garden tended by a few of our dedicated congregation members. We’ve been fortunate that the rains came in at just the right amount so that wildflowers that normally await their turn to bloom are all clamoring for attention at once. What a sight to behold! But of course, to have this beauty, we must endure some adversity – thunderous storms, power outages and flooding. That’s springtime in Texas!

Like the ebb and flow of nature, human existence similarly goes through ups and downs. Although God gave us the beautiful gifts of forgiveness and unconditional love through His Son, sometimes we must go through some adversity and trials to see and appreciate the beauty of it all. We need the ‘watering’ of God’s love, and His word to thrive and carry us through rough times.

As a Faith Community Nurse for Methodist Healthcare Ministries (located at First United Methodist Church, Luling), I give new patients a brief spiritual assessment containing these three statements:

  1.  I find comfort in my faith or spiritual beliefs.
  2.  Difficult times have strengthened my faith or spiritual beliefs.
  3.  Even during difficult times, I know that things will be OK.

This helps me learn how to best approach a patient’s visit and get a sense of their spirituality.

Typically, most of my patients, as dire as their situations are, still respond that they do have faith. Which is why I was heartbroken when I recently met a new homeless patient that had lost his. He told me he used to attend church, but for a long time now he has felt “like gum on the bottom of God’s shoes.” He didn’t think God cared about him anymore. For me, that’s where the ‘faith’ in Faith Community Nurse kicked in. We talked for some time. Given his circumstance, it was easy to understand why this man felt abandoned. Together, we talked about God’s love and forgiveness — that no matter what may have happened in our past, we’re fortunate to have the forgiveness of a loving Father.

Moving forward for him will be challenging. It’ll also be a work in progress building his trust. But I felt hopeful and uplifted when we parted ways and I reached out to shake his hand. Instead, he hugged me like his life depended on it. He was so thankful we’d gotten to talk.

Our meeting and conversation must have meant a lot to him because the next day when I called him, a friend of his answered and thanked me profusely for taking the time with him that I did. I felt happy that I made a difference. I felt I was the vessel being used to ‘water’ his soul, and I believe in time, he will blossom again.

Until next time, be well and be blessed.