Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Reality Check

Today I feel frustration. I feel stressed. I feel anxious. I feel overwhelmed by the horrible things that people deal with in their lives. I feel sorrow for the generation which doesn't seem to care about the "right" way to do things. I feel fatigue in dealing with people who make bad choices and then don't understand why their lives are so rough. I feel pain for the children I work with whose PARENTS make bad choices and those kids are left to teach themselves (generally without success).

I wonder if anyone will ever be able to make a difference in their lives. I wonder about the difference I make. . .I wonder if I just talk and explain and care and worry in vain. I wonder how they will cope in their suffering. I wonder if some of them will ever find God and trust in Him.

I pray. I know fully that God is in control. . .I know fully that he uses me as his tool in people's lives. . .I know that fully that my words are His words, speaking to hearts what he needs them to hear at that moment. I pray that my words and actions are right. I pray that they can see Jesus in my eyes or that they can feel Him in my presence. I pray. For wisdom and truth.

But still. . .I find myself wondering. . .and feeling.

In the last two weeks I have cared for a 15 year old who was 2 months post-partum. I have cared for MANY women/girls who are so lost in the sins of sexual immorality that I wonder if they will ever find their way. . and if they do, will they be remorseful and repentent, or will they even know that they were wrong? I have cared for teenagers whose family life is completely INCOMPREHENSIBLE to me and I wonder how they could ever possibly grow up "normal." I have cared for women who have their had their hearts broken. I have cared for non-compliant people that make me want to gouge my eyes out. I have cared for long time patients now facing terrible and terminal illnesses. I have cared for their families that have to cope with, not only a changing family member, but the fact that the life they love so much, may be gone more quickly than they ever dreamed. I have cared for families dealing with more than one devastating disease within their family unit at once. I have cared for friends to whom I have had to explain their new chronic disease processes, diseases that make them face their own morbidity and mortality. I have cared for so many people that are breaking my heart, that I feel emotionally wasted. . drained. . dead.

Please don't get me wrong. I love my job. I love my patients. I love what I do. That love is what makes me who I am, and is the driving force behind what I do. But today my heart feels heavy. Heavy with questions for God. Why?? It's not my job to understand, or to see the big picture. It's not my job to judge people. It's not my job to question God. It is my job to pray; and my job to listen for God's soft whisper; and my job to say the things he lays on my heart to say.

The thing that I LOVE most about blogging, is that I can be me, talking about what I want to! I can be silly if I want, educational if I choose, serious and reflective if I need to be, but it's always MY choice. I enjoy telling stories on my family, and love talking about gardening or cooking or the latest projects. As I have grown in my career over the last 15 years, it seems more people can relate to me only on a medical level, and less people can relate that I am just a plain, ole ordinary person who doesn't LOVE to talk shop always and everywhere. I am not tougher than anyone else, not cooler than anyone else, not a hero. I am just me; just a human; one who hurts like you, bleeds like you, and screws up DAILY. .just like everyone else!!

SO, as I moped around my kitchen this evening in my heavy-heartedness praying for wisdom and answers and peace, I felt the urgency to blog. I argued with myself for over an hour. No one wants to hear that; no one will understand; TOO HEAVY. The soft, familiar voice that I hear so often spoke: "I need you to write." And here I am. Not sure why, other than that God told me to write. I hope the writing will benefit someone. But even if it doesn't, it seems to have benefited me!! I am feeling better, and more courageous, and strengthened. Thanks for listening. . and I promise not to make a habit of this! Tomorrow will be fresh and new and better!

1 Peter 5:6-11

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.


  1. Some days you just have feelings that you need to get off your mind! The medical field is such a challenging place at times. I know that you are an inspiration to many people--patients and co-workers alike. I've come to realize that although it seems like no one is taking your advice, they always hear what you say, and what they choose to do with it is up to them. You can only help someone as much as they are willing to be helped!

  2. You are a blessing! To have given so much to so many for so long and not have become detached from those you're assisting is a gift. It's a good thing that you feel as much as you do. Here's hoping you always find a way to recharge your soul (your family, your garden, this blog, etc.) so that you can continue to help others. You may not see immediate results but I guarantee you've made a difference by being the example some have never had in their lives before.

  3. Well, *I* think your awesome and very cool, if it helps! ;-)
    Go get your fingers in the dirt, and recharge. You are a blessing to all of us-- and even if it seems we don't listen, we do. Sometimes, after a bad day, all I have to do is talk to you, about nothing--flowers, rotten boys, hilarious little girls,-- and I feel better. You just rock like that.
    And ALWAYS listen to that soft voice...that's the one that matters the most.

  4. Caring about of the best qualities of a medical professional, and you make a great medical person! And, it's okay to feel, it's okay to dump your feelings into a blog, or even onto a caring friend's shoulders...but most important, God lifts those cares from your shoulder & carries them for you. As you know so well. Keep writing & keep listening as God continues to guide you!

  5. You are who you are Mel. A person of many qualities. Even though you have seen me through many difficult times, I see you more as a friend than anything. And writing is good for the soul. I just started my own blog back up again.....just needed to write. If someone enjoys it...fine.....if they don't, well that is fine as well. We each have our own special journey's in this world and it is okay to question ourselves at times. But, God has a way of showing us that yes, indeed, we are doing what we are supposed to be doing.
    God Bless!!

  6. It takes a special person to work in your field and deal with all that you see and hear about. You are a very special person and that is why God led you to your occupation. At least you are trying to make a difference in those girls' lives, which does mean something.


  7. Thanks everyone for their encouraging words--they are MUCH appreciated!! Today was a good day! I felt relieved and refreshed and ready to do what I do--good outcomes or bad outcomes. Will be posting this weekend. .with a little lighter subject! Blessings!

  8. Boy, how I relate. You have such a gift with your words. I loved the verses from Peter, they were timely. Dale

  9. And read your doggone e-mail........I sent you a "free" psychology consultation!! :-)

    Well, not really.......just some more words of encouragement for ya. You would do the same for me.

  10. Interesting that you would write this! Just a few days ago I was telling someone that I had been in the clinic so long now that I remember when I started I was getting to know people of the generation older than my parents. I have now been there long enough to see that generation leave us and now my parents generation leaving us, yet at the same time being there to experience the joy of a new generation arriving and now seeing them with families of their own! Even though my job is not to heal, consult and teach as you do, I can relate on the caring side (although some might argue that!!!). Even though my job is certainly not a physicial one, many times I come home emotionially drained to have been only a small part of someones life who is struggling with problems of their own or of their loved ones. Just know you are wonderful at what you do...that even if it's one person out of three that you have have made a difference in at least ONE persons life. Hang in there! You are allowed the kind of feelings you had! I'm surprised they don't happen more often! And you are allowed to vent!

    And, by the way, you will probably only be known for yourself by a few people. Most of the time you will be "Dr." Melanie, Jeremy's wife or Tristen/Grant/Devin/Camille's mom! Have a wonderful Mothers Day and be ready to do it all over again next Wednesday!!!!

  11. Clearly God has you placed in a strategic position! Our son is a youth pastor and has some of the same frustrations and heartaches as you express. It surely does keep us on our knees. It is encouraging to know there are faithful men and women in communities all over our world - being the hands for and expressing the heart of Jesus.

  12. Thank you for sharing this. Yes, no matter what we do or how good we are at it, we are human beings with thoughts and feelings and emotions. Our strength gets tried. God and friends help share that burden. Thank you for being you!

  13. Mel, I saw this "Father's love letter" on a google search and wanted to share it with you. sending hugs and love and thanks and smiles and warm wishes and a love letter written for you!!! C

    My Child, (melanie)

    You may not know me,
    but I know everything about you.
    Psalm 139:1

    I know when you sit down and when you rise up.
    Psalm 139:2

    I am familiar with all your ways.
    Psalm 139:3

    Even the very hairs on your head are numbered.
    Matthew 10:29-31

    For you were made in my image.
    Genesis 1:27

    In me you live and move and have your being.
    Acts 17:28

    For you are my offspring.
    Acts 17:28

    I knew you even before you were conceived.
    Jeremiah 1:4-5

    I chose you when I planned creation.
    Ephesians 1:11-12

    You were not a mistake,
    for all your days are written in my book.
    Psalm 139:15-16

    I determined the exact time of your birth
    and where you would live.
    Acts 17:26

    You are fearfully and wonderfully made.
    Psalm 139:14

    I knit you together in your mother's womb.
    Psalm 139:13

    And brought you forth on the day you were born.
    Psalm 71:6

    I have been misrepresented
    by those who don't know me.
    John 8:41-44

    I am not distant and angry,
    but am the complete expression of love.
    1 John 4:16

    And it is my desire to lavish my love on you.
    1 John 3:1

    Simply because you are my child
    and I am your Father.
    1 John 3:1

    I offer you more than your earthly father ever could.
    Matthew 7:11

    For I am the perfect father.
    Matthew 5:48

    Every good gift that you receive comes from my hand.
    James 1:17

    For I am your provider and I meet all your needs.
    Matthew 6:31-33

    My plan for your future has always been filled with hope.
    Jeremiah 29:11

    Because I love you with an everlasting love.
    Jeremiah 31:3

    My thoughts toward you are countless
    as the sand on the seashore.
    Psalms 139:17-18

    And I rejoice over you with singing.
    Zephaniah 3:17

    I will never stop doing good to you.
    Jeremiah 32:40

    For you are my treasured possession.
    Exodus 19:5

    I desire to establish you
    with all my heart and all my soul.
    Jeremiah 32:41

    And I want to show you great and marvelous things.
    Jeremiah 33:3

    If you seek me with all your heart,
    you will find me.
    Deuteronomy 4:29

    Delight in me and I will give you
    the desires of your heart.
    Psalm 37:4

    For it is I who gave you those desires.
    Philippians 2:13

    I am able to do more for you
    than you could possibly imagine.
    Ephesians 3:20

    For I am your greatest encourager.
    2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

    I am also the Father who comforts you
    in all your troubles.
    2 Corinthians 1:3-4

    When you are brokenhearted,
    I am close to you.
    Psalm 34:18

    As a shepherd carries a lamb,
    I have carried you close to my heart.
    Isaiah 40:11

    One day I will wipe away
    every tear from your eyes.
    Revelation 21:3-4

    And I'll take away all the pain
    you have suffered on this earth.
    Revelation 21:3-4

    I am your Father, and I love you
    even as I love my son, Jesus.
    John 17:23

    For in Jesus, my love for you is revealed.
    John 17:26

    He is the exact representation of my being.
    Hebrews 1:3

    He came to demonstrate that I am for you,
    not against you.
    Romans 8:31

    And to tell you that I am not counting your sins.
    2 Corinthians 5:18-19

    Jesus died so that you and I could be reconciled.
    2 Corinthians 5:18-19

    His death was the ultimate expression
    of my love for you.
    1 John 4:10

    I gave up everything I loved
    that I might gain your love.
    Romans 8:31-32

    If you receive the gift of my son Jesus,
    you receive me.
    1 John 2:23

    And nothing will ever separate you
    from my love again.
    Romans 8:38-39

    Come home and I'll throw the biggest party
    heaven has ever seen.
    Luke 15:7

    I have always been Father,
    and will always be Father.
    Ephesians 3:14-15

    My question is…
    Will you be my child?
    John 1:12-13

    I am waiting for you.
    Luke 15:11-32

    Love, Your Dad
    Almighty God