Miss Tressie Myers wrote this "Dear Girls" letter to many NCF friends to celebrate 25 years of NCF ministry in a special anniversary edition of The Nurses Lamp, September 1973. God used Tressie to encourage hundreds of people through her labors of love, steadfast faith, believing prayer and godly example.
Tressie grew up in Iowa where she taught school for 10 years before she studied nursing. While instructing at Michael Reese Hospital School of Nursing, some of the Christian students introduced her to Christian Nurses Fellowship (CNF) and invited her to be their faculty advisor. She also became involved with the Chicago Area CNF. Several months after resigning from the faculty, God led her to become the second staff worker in the newly formed national movement in 1948. After 18 years as NCF Director, she retired in 1968 but worked three more years in the Development Department for NCF. She then moved to Keokuk, Iowa to live with a sister where she had a vital Bible study ministry within her church.
Hebrews 13:8 - "Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and today, and forever." How exciting and comforting to know that the Jesus Christ who led in the establishing of the national Nurses Christian Fellowship in 1948 hasn't changed one bit. Nor will He change in the years to come, regardless of how many more 25 year periods He allows N.C.F. to carry on. His unchangableness has meant so much to me, for this quality affects every aspect of His character such as His love, compassion, mercy, and forgiveness. No need to wonder when I awaken in the morning, "How much will He love me today?" How often do you really thank Him for His steadfast love, which has never changed one tiny bit? How about making this a part of your daily prayer life!
As I reflect on the more than 20 years that the Lord permitted me to be involved with N.C.F., I must give all the credit to Him for anything that was accomplished. During those early years with the Fellowhip I'm sure I was a greater liability than an asset. More than once I wondered why I ever left active nursing to become part of an embryonic organization which was less than one year old. But each time, I couldn't wonder too long; for I knew the Holy Spirit had led me into it. Even though He gave no blueprint concerning the future, I knew I could do nothing less than follow in obedience. (Let me just say here that I am so grateful for what I have learned over the years concerning stepping out in faith and obedience, even though the future looked uncertain.) Incidentally, I'm continuing to learn this lesson. But the Lord is patient and doesn't give up on me; nor will He forget you either.
I, like many of you, often had a tendency to measure the effectiveness of my ministry by comparing myself with some other person and the results of her labors. Or have you never been guilty of this? Finally I heard what the Lord had been trying to tell me for a long time, "Tressie, look to Me and not to people for your stands of life. I want you to be faithful and obeident, and I'll take care of the results". What a precious release from the bondage I had been enduring.
In all my years with N.C.F. I have been so thankful to God for the privilege of knowing nurses who committed their lives wholly to Jesus Christ. Their commitment was not only verbal but a day by day experience. I vividly recall a Christian nurse who worked in one of our large med-western hospitals. Over the years she received a number of substantial salary increases. Her commitment was always, "I'm very thankful. Now I'll have more to give to the Lord." Never once did she use the increase for herself. She wore the same clothes and lived in the same simple but comfortable apartment. God's work was able to expand because she lived a life of genuine commitment to Christ. N.C.F. needs this kind of person as we continue to look to the future; the nurse who will be committed 100 per cent to the Lord Jesus, who will not be satisfied with being a Convenient Christian, but a Wholly Committed Christian.
Let me share with you one more truth about the unchangeableness of our Lord. Even though I am now officially retired, (in fact I've reached my three score and ten years of allotted time), yet I am continually discovering that God still has a plan for my life just as much as He did when I joined the N.C.F. ranks in 1948. My involvement is different now, but the need for living by faith and in complete obeidence has not changed. There is no place for a "retired" Christian in God's program. I pray that every Christian nurse will be keenly alert to the voice of Christ Jesus, and respond totally to Him who is "the same yesterday, today, and forever."
Tressie V. Myers
Read more of the history of NCF and God's work among nurses and nursing students.