Walking on water

It was dark.  I remember because the cross on top of the building was aglow.  It was raining too, causing the white lights to warp.   My small fingers traced the uncommon path of drops that slid down the outside of my window in the back seat.  The street lights around me blurred in the haze, but I could clearly see that cross standing distinctly above The Christ Hospital.  I told myself I was going to work there someday.

I don't remember the why, but I can go back to remembering the when.  It must have started during my first year of school as I filled out the question in a little book my mom bought me, "What do you want to be when you grow up?"  Always, every year, it was a nurse.

There was a small space in time during my senior year of high school when I thought that I would like to go to school for writing, but I didn't have the courage to change course so late in the game.  I started at the University of Cincinnati that fall, and shortly thereafter at the age of 20, I started working at The Christ Hospital as a nurse's assistant.

Nearly sixteen years later, I am walking out its doors for the last time.  I am leaving behind a dream only to realize another.  I don't know where this road will lead, but I am confident in the One I am following.

Slowly we have been cutting ties to the life we have known, slowly we have been removing the safety net and the back up plans.  Soon we will be walking on water, eyes fixed on Jesus, trusting that he will not let us sink.

I will miss it.  I will miss them; the patients and all of those I have worked alongside for so many years.  I have learned a lot about birth and death and all of the living in between.  I have spent many nights listening to unhealthy lungs and hurting hearts that were broken in more ways than one.  Sometimes people just want their voice to be heard.

I want to listen.  I want to speak on their behalf.

And if I could walk away having learned that there is no cause for fear when I allow my heart to mingle with another's suffering then I would consider this time of my life a huge success.  I haven't always been so brave.  I see now how success has nothing to do with a list of letters following your name.  Sometimes success looks a lot like sitting with the dying, the hurting, and the broken so they do not face such things alone.  This kind of work will change you if you are willing to give yourself to it.

In many ways my new life will mirror the past.  The circumstances are different, but my calling has not changed.  My eyes are still looking up to the cross.


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