Confessions of a human nurse
To the Children I Never Got to Meet:
We were never officially introduced, so it may sound strange when I tell you I took your first and last pictures. You were in your own little world at the time, some of you weren't much more than a flicker of a heartbeat. Some of you were trying to suck your fingers with varying degrees of success. Some of you were sleeping. Others were doing somersaults and wiggling non-stop, stretching and pushing on the new restraints of your surroundings. Some of you waved for the camera while others turned your backs or covered your faces with your hands.
It may seem strange that I can tell you all this and yet have to admit I never met you in person. I don't know that you have any memory of your time on earth. I hope you don't. The ending of your story here wasn't pretty. Whether it was six weeks or five months, you were here, you existed. You made your mom and dad parents, for the first time or the fifth. Each tiny hand, each tiny face, each kick you tried, each bubble you blew happened and was not erased when you left.
Thank you for showing me the wonder of your Creator by doing what you were created to do for those few weeks or months. I wish we could have met in person and someday I believe we still will. Just not here. For now, you have an eternity of glory and worship before your Creator and I have a life of worship through service on this earth to complete. Maybe I'll get to meet some of you here in person. I want to so much, though I know you who are gone already wouldn't come back even if you could. So stay there. Someday, I will join you and the thousands upon ten thousands who have gone before and are still to come. And may God be able to say "Well done, good and faithful servant." Until then, forgive me. For thinking of myself and for holding back only to cry when it's too late. For not being able to stop what happened to you after the pictures. Remind me that the God you now see face to face is able to save no matter what and is worthy of more than I think I have to give. Remind me that you have and always will be His children.
The Nurse Who Saw You on Ultrasound
When you stand up and hold out your hand/In the face of what I don't understand/My reason to be brave ("Brave," Josh Groban)
Growing up shy, I came to dislike certain Bible verses/phrases such as "God has not given us a spirit of fear" (2 Tim 1:17) and was frustrated by others such as "perfect love casts out fear" (1 John 4:18). It frustrated me as a perfectionist that I struggled with fear. I didn't want to be afraid. I wanted to talk as easily as friends and family could. But fear always found a way. People "felt lead" to share the above verses with me a remarkable number of times. I was good at being properly ashamed at my lack of faith and abundance of fear, but nothing changed.
Growing up didn't help. The monsters in the shadows turned into bills, loss, change, bullying, and culture shock. God may not give a spirit of fear, but I managed to find a few along the way and they were gregarious little creatures. Nothing like a fear to attract more fears. Fear turned to anger, anger turned to… oops, wrong story.
And then I got it. Fear is a natural human feeling, a survival instinct (don't believe me? Check the stats on male to female longevity. Bravado is not for the mortal).
Love comes in and gives you something to look at besides fear. Fear is a part of human nature, but love can keep it in check.
Love says trust. Fear says control.
Love says protect. Fear says hide and fortify.
Love says you are worth it. Fear says you don't deserve a chance.
Love walks into a crowded room and sees someone to care for. Fear can't see farther than the crowd.
Love sees reality and works with it. Fear is blind and delusional.
Love makes a difference. Fear won't even try.