With all that’s happening in our day-to-day lives, do we stop to pause and look for what God is teaching us especially during times of change? I ask this question with all sincerity.
There is so much happening in us and to us as a profession and as individuals – the rising rates of COVID-19, racism and riots, videos of excessive use of force by law enforcement, furloughs in our workplaces, and fluctuations in the stock market. New graduates are asking if they did all they could do for their COVID-positive patients…nurses who have worked years are asking the same question. Places of worship are beginning to open with a full range of reactions by members of their congregation and parish. It impacts our physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.
My “go to” reaction, like many nurses, is to push through. A little less sleep. A little more caffeine. Pray for strength. I close the door to my thoughts, emotions, and feelings for fear that if I open the door, I’ll never be able to close the door again. Staying busy keeps me in the familiar. It numbs me to what’s happening both inside and outside of who I am.
Two weeks ago, I crossed a tipping point. And like most of us, it was not a tipping point of my own choosing. They seldom are. A family palliative care conference took place for my “Daddy” where he made the difficult decision to go home on hospice. Hours after that conference, I found myself driving through the night from Minnesota to North Carolina stopping for a few hours of sleep at rest stops in Indiana and West Virginia.
I find myself living in a polarity of the upcoming loss of my Daddy as well as the blessing of being here with him. And in another season of change, I am learning. The biggest lesson has been this realization -- there is a sacredness, beauty, and holiness in the everyday things we do. Simple tasks we take for granted. Getting out of bed in the morning, making a sandwich, rubbing a back, holding a hand, or having someone scratch that itch you just can’t reach yourself. These moments occur all the time in the work we do – meeting with a student, dropping off vegetables to a community member, changing an IV bag, listening to someone’s story, or supporting a family member who can’t visit their loved one.
We are surrounded by the sacred. It’s in these moments, we find our purpose and connection to others as well as to the One who made us. I realize now I have often missed these moments in my attempts to plow through another day. And in doing so, I have missed the blessing and the ministry that was there. I have missed my purpose. I have missed His purpose.
May we each have eyes to see these beautiful, sacred, holy moments in our day. May God use these moments to be the men and women He has called us to be. Thank you for your prayers for nurses, this ministry, and for the work the Spirit seeks to do in each of our lives. You are indeed a blessing.
Christy Secor RN, DNP, CDWF, NCF Professional Ministries Director
July 1 – Pray for Christy Secor, NCF’s Professional Ministries Director, while she cares for her father who recently was placed on hospice. We ask God for grace, courage, and wisdom in the time he has left.
July 2 – Praise God for ministering to NCF National Director Kathy Schoonover-Shoffner during sabbatical leave. Thank the God of all grace who restores us and makes us strong (1 Peter 5:10).
July 3 – Rejoice with NCF that God brought in needed resources to complete our fiscal year that ended June 30. Thank you for your generosity and continued giving.
July 4 – As we Americans celebrate Independence Day as a nation, we remember our nurses of color who are experiencing great pain. May we as a profession be open to their stories and work together to be stronger as a profession and stronger for the communities we serve.
July 5 – Ask to God to enable Christian nurses to be peacemakers and reconcilers in this time of greater awareness of injustice and prejudice. Pray that God breaks our hearts with what breaks his heart, and moves us to act on his behalf.
July 6 – Ask God to give wisdom as NCF resolves complex information technology (IT) issues; pray for supernatural intervention to find excellent solutions.
July 7 – Pray for our two newest professional nurse groups in Oregon and in Florida. Pray for vision and direction for the leaders and for nurses in these areas to be drawn to them for encouragement and support.
July 8 – We’re thankful for partnerships with other organizations, and desire that glorifying God and servicing our members and the community would be our utmost concern.
July 9 – Ask God for endurance and support for nurses in other countries who are caring for COVID patients with fewer supplies and higher numbers of severely ill people. Pray that God will be glorified through the selfless care given by Christian nurses.
July 10 – Seek God on behalf of the NCF team for authentic unity as Kathy Schoonover-Shoffner resumes her role as NCF Director and Christy Secor transitions out of that interim position. Ask the Lord to equip Kathy with the time and vitality she needs to find a healthy balance with work, rest, and family time.
July 11 – Grace Tazelaar, retired NCF volunteer, asks for prayer for seniors who have been denied access to their family members during the pandemic. Many senior citizens are experiencing the consequences of isolation, including adverse health unrelated to COVID-19. Pray that Christian nurses would advocate on their behalf for compassionate care.
July 12 – Pray for faith community nurses as they provide insight and direction for the opening of their churches and parishes. Ask God to lead them as they navigate turbulent waters, recognizing the need for safety precautions while others may not.
July 13 – Praise God for steady flow of manuscripts to JCN. Ask God to use the journal to fortify nurses in their spiritual caregiving and personal pursuit of him.
July 14 – Pray for Katharine, incoming Campus Staff Minister, who is developing ministry partners to support God’s work among nursing students. Ask the Holy Spirit to inspire many to join her team and to give generously.
July 15 – Ask God to bless efforts to provide NCF members with helpful new benefits.
July 16 – Give thanks with Cathy Walker, JCN senior associate editor, for the teamwork and collaborative approach of the journal staff. The editors praise God for harmonious and complementary working relationships.
July 17 – Pray for public health workers who are leaving their positions due to being targeted by individuals and groups who do not agree with the precautions recommended because of the pandemic. We ask God to keep each of these workers and their families safe.
July 18 – Thank God for each new graduate nurse who has passed the NCLEX. Pray that each one will follow God’s direction in choosing a nursing position and that these nurses will receive courage and confidence in God as they launch their careers.
July 19 – Thank God for NCF’s creative marketing team—Jessica, Leanne, Karen, Christy—who faithfully and tirelessly prepare our website, eNewsletters, prayer letters, Facebook and Instagram posts, and blog week after week. Pray that God would provide everything needed (ideas, messages, graphics, content) to proclaim his good news to nursing students and nurses!
July 20 – The NCF Leadership team is meeting for a virtual retreat today and tomorrow to seek God. Ask the Holy Spirit to move among us mightily and to renew and restore us.
July 21 – We lift up those who are working in hospitals and nursing homes caring for patients who are positive for COVID and are feeling strained by the second wave of cases. Ask God for strength, energy, compassion, and insight for nurses across the nation and their leaders.
July 22 – Seek God’s compassion and perseverance for NCF staff and volunteers who have family members who are suffering, managing developmental disabilities, confronting addiction, and accepting limitations that come with aging. May God be gracious to these individuals.
July 23 – Pray for nurse educators and nursing students whose future is uncertain in the fall due to COVID-19. Ask God to give grace, wisdom, and courage (James 1:5).
July 24 – Praise God for NCF’s Journal of Christian Nursing editorial team—Kris, Cathy, Karen, Mary, Sharon, Beth—who carefully prepare each issue of JCN. Ask God to help NCF be a strong witness to our publisher partner, Lippincott.
July 25 – Jen Wojtysiak, NCF Student Ministries Director, asks for prayer for new student groups launching in the midst of COVID. Pray for these groups as they plan for uncertain times and for Jen to see fruitful results of her ministry to student leaders and faculty advisors.
July 26 – Ask God to make clear to each of us as Christian nurses where we need to draw closer to him rather than trying to manage in our own strength.
July 27 – Petition God to prompt Christian nurses to boldly begin prayer or Bible study groups with colleagues.
July 28 – We are grateful for your prayers for Nurses Christian Fellowship. May God continue to provide leadership, guidance, and direction as we connect students and nurses to their faith and their practice.
July 29 – Pray for godly wisdom for administrators of Christian nursing schools who are working to plan for the upcoming school year.
July 30 – Pray for self-compassion for us all as nurses, and that Christian nurses would give ourselves permission to care for ourselves. Pray for radiant joy in the midst of the challenges and trials we face—and that our God-focused perspective will speak silently to our colleagues and patients.
July 31 – Support in prayer and thank God for nurse leaders, executives, and administrators who follow Jesus—that they would uphold God-honoring initiatives and reflect Christ-like character in their roles.