Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Yes, my friends, it is true! I am an adult! I know this post will show up as February 1st, but I did start writing in January! :) (Okay, so I changed the settings so it would show as January, just because.)

January term is over, and Spring semester has begun. And with Spring semester, a required first-year class called Created and Called for Community. I've only had one class, but I think I'm going to like it. We had to write a "This I Believe" essay that is due tomorrow. I just finished writing it with the help of a previous blog post (yay for deep blog posts!). So, now, before I collapse on the couch in the Flounge (fake lounge), I shall post it for you all to see. It should look a little familiar, just spiced up a little bit. ;-)

This I believe

What is it about sacrifice that touches each of us to the soul? Whether it is someone taking the blame for something you did, or giving their life so you could live, it touches us. In a world that refuses to love simple, sweet beauty, why have we clung to sacrifice as such a beautiful thing? We see it if we look - a mother laboring to bring her child into the world because she cares about it far more than she cares about herself; a father crying out in intercession for his child because he would rather be in pain than see that young one go through it; a friend, a classmate, a comrade, who steps into our place to take the blame for something, or even to give up their life so we can live.

I believe that sacrifice is love.

Why else would sacrifice ring so deeply in each of us? Why else has pain not been eradicated? Oh yes, it hurts. It hurts from our fingertips and toes all the way down to our souls. But we see sacrifice throughout time.

We see Abraham crying as he lifts the knife over his beloved son, Isaac. We see Jephthah weeping when he realizes that, in order to satisfy a vow to the Lord, he must sacrifice his only daughter. We see a man – our Yeshua, our Jesus, our salvation – crying out in agony from the internal torment of the pains of the world being placed on him.

It is no wonder that we know sacrifice through our souls, for it has been planted within us. The seeds of sacrifice are there. It is love that makes those seeds grow. “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13, NASB).

Once upon a time, a man loved his brother so much that when the enemy aimed his gun at him, the man stepped forward and said, "Take me instead." The brother cried out in defense of his friend, but the man gently told him, "I want you to live. Go to safety." Weeping, the brother ran into the safe zone and watched as the man bravely stood his ground before the enemy.
Some time later, the brother and his friend were in another battle when the friend was shot. The brother crawled forward, cradled his friend in his arms, and brought him back to safety. In the process, he was fatally shot. He waved off help, saying, "Help him first." In the end, the brother died, and the friend lived, but he, like the brother once upon a time, held that sacrifice close to his heart. And, if he has to choose, he will choose sacrifice.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Called to Care

The past few days have been filled with readings for my January term class, Historical and Conceptual Basis for Nursing. It's okay, the class is not as difficult as the title makes it seem. It's not at all dull, which is what I thought it would be. What we have been doing thus far is going over nurses in the history of nursing who came up with legitimate theories about nursing and what nurses should do. It is really quite interesting. But since this is Messiah's nursing program I am talking about, there is another very neat aspect of the class. The relation to our walk with Yeshua!

One of the required textbooks is called Called to Care: A Christian Perspective for Nurses by Judith Shelley and Arlene Miller. It is an excellent text. One of the chapters I read related the theories that we talked about in class to Christianity and compared the usefulness of them. But the book has been doing so much more for me. There have been some very interesting quotes I have pulled from the book. I apologize, I do not have the page number since I am reading it on Kindle for PC.

“With a few exceptions, during times when the church remained faithful to Scripture and orthodox in beliefs, nursing flourished. When the church grew weak and corrupt, nursing suffered and declined.”

“Nursing is a ministry of compassionate care for the whole person, in response to God’s grace, which aims to foster optimum health (shalom) and bring comfort in suffering and death.”

And this is my favorite. We went over the nursing metaparadigm, which basically looks at four elements: person, environment, health, and nursing. The following is a combination paraphrase/quote of one section that talked about the Christian perspective on the nursing metaparadigm:
God created the world (environment). He created humans (person) and put them in the environment to live in shalom (health). This version of health “allow the person to live at peace in a God-centered human community with a sense of physical, psychosocial and spiritual well-being.” Nursing works towards shalom among the persons.

What I also really like the relation of health as shalom. Shalom is peace in Hebrew, but it has much more meaning than that. Actually, last week, I was talking with my grandmom, who is a retired nurse, about this. I was referring to how contentment was the thing to strive for, and she said that she had a slightly different take, that she knew something was right when she felt peace. Shalom is peace, but it is more than peace. It is wholeness. It is truly a remarkable thing for which we can completely praise God.

The book also talks about how the heart, mind, body, and spirit are all in conjunction with each other. We have all of those things, but we just are all of those things at once. I don't know exactly how to describe it. It was just really cool to read about the wholeness in all of those things at the same time. As a nurse, it is important to take care of the physical needs, but it is just as important to take care of the emotional and spiritual sides too.

Nursing is such a neat field. A couple of years ago, when God first told me to go into nursing, I kinda stood there in disbelief for a few months. "Really?" I asked him over and over. "Are you sure?" Every time I asked, it seemed like he laughed and said, "Sarah. I'm your Creator and Daddy. I know you better than you know yourself.  Don't you trust me?" "Well, I guess," I replied shakily. Then, with a wink and a hug, he added, "I know what I'm doing, my dear."

Well, he sure did. I questioned him so much, asking over and over for confirmation, and he continued to push me towards nursing. Well, now that I am here, I am so glad he kept pushing me. That's not to say there are still lots of things I am nervous about when it comes to the future of being a nurse. I'm no good at receiving shots or giving blood (yes... the truth come out ;-) ) but I just have to trust God. If this is really where He wants me to go, I will go, and I will step out in faith. If this is where he wants me, I am just going to have to trust that he will provide for me along the way. And so far, He has. He has encouraged me by pointing out my nurturing nature, and the desire to help other people in their hurts by ignoring my own pains.

Well! I need to get back to reading for class tomorrow, so until next time, shalom!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Coming Back to Normal

As I have been brainstorming for a new post, I realize something. Not only have I strayed from the original purpose of this blog, I want to return to it. I wanted to use it to give my perspective on spiritual matters and deep topics. Topics that had lots of significance in the world today. I have failed miserably. I'm not going to make this a New Year's Resolution, because I don't want it to be happening just because 2012 has rounded the corner. I want this to be happening because I have changed.

I spent the afternoon of the 30th through today at White Sulphur Springs. This place is one of my favorite places to be because of the amazing community and opportunities for service. But I'm not going to talk about the things I did or that happened while I was up there (as awesome or hilariously stupid they were).

The speaker we had talked about normalness. That is, referring to the fact that we are far from normal. Look where we have strayed when it comes to Christian families. It is the norm for churches to host divorce-recovery retreats, single-parent meetings, or even encourage homosexual ministers within the congregation. But it is not right! I come from a divorced home, where my dad attended a single-parent group before he got remarried, and then he and my step-mom now run a "blended family" group. I smile sheepishly when I tell people I have six siblings - because two are step-siblings, three are half-siblings, and one is my blood sister.

But I don't like it. What happened to the families that stayed strong through hardships? What happened to the mothers and fathers who fought to save their marriages? What happened to the slow and God-scripted love stories that happened when we focused on God?

Anyone in the church will say it is because we are all sinners. But that is wrong. We were all sinners.

Some people have expressly fought against this. Some have said something to the effect of both sides. But very few hold the fort with me - that sin should be something of the past.

Christ died to save us from our sins, 'tis true. 'Tis completely true. I would be a fool to deny it. I would be a fool to say anything but that. But Him saving us from our sins does not mean we should get up and go drown ourselves in them the next day!

Sin is disobedience of what God has told us. What is the reasoning behind a certain action? Is it in line with the way a servant of God should be thinking? If it is not, it's time to put down the computer, the video games, the books, the pens and papers, and spend some time examining yourself in God's presence. I shall do the same.