Verb:Be afraid of (someone or something) as likely to be dangerous, painful, or threatening: “farmers fear that they will lose business”.
Noun:An unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.
I used to be fearless. Whatever it was, I always dove headfirst, even if it’s the unknown. No hesitation, no reservation. Then somewhere along the line, I got fearful. Fear of the dark, the unknown. Fear of disappointing and failing others. Fear of being inadequate and incompetent.
I had once heard that it’s ok to have fear and to be scared because that means you have something to lose. To an extent, that helped me with my nursing studies and now, nursing career. Fear that because you slack, you can potentially harm or kill someone was definitely a good motivator to study and be the best that I can be, and have the humility to admit when I don’t know it all or have it together.
There was only a handful of times where I recall being fearful. When I had my rotation with Hospice, I was scared of encountering death and the dying. When I was in the emergency room, and staff were being physically attacked even though we’re just trying to help medically. And of course, when it turned out that a friend of mine became a patient.
As a nurse, you are trained to have a poker face. Even if you are scared out of your mind, you are generally expected to not express in front of patients or their family in the name of professionalism. Because as the nurse, you are the one that’s supposed to be providing the comfort and guide, not adding to the stress and distress. I often wonder how non-Christians in the field handle this? I know I can surrender my fears and burdens to God- that even though I have absolutely no clue what’s going on or why it is the way it is, that in the end, God has a purpose and meaning for it all..
Perhaps the reason why I have become so fearful is because I’ve learned that there’s much to lose. I have learned to attribute value and meaning to a lot of things, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. My family, friends, and career- these are all precious to me and I am glad that I have finally started to learn how to love without reservation.
But still, to be honest, I am fearful because I am scared of putting in so much value to the point where I would grow discontent with God should He decide to take it all away. That I will hold on to these things so closely to the point where I become unwilling to let it go.
I feared the nursing board exams, but never doubted that I would get a job. Whether it was in Buffalo or NYC, I knew and trusted that God who had brought me this far, will help carry me through to the end. And He has proven to me over and over that He is faithful. That He alone is God and He reigns.
I know God will never give me a load that I cannot handle. I know that God gives and takes things away, and that I will never be in want or be lacking because He knows my needs. I know that everything happens for purpose, for His purpose, that His glory and majesty may be demonstrated.
Why is it then, knowing these truths, seeing how evident it has been all throughout my life, that I am still fearful when the slight possibility that what I have now might be gone tomorrow?
There has been layoffs and a lot of rumors of what is going to happen in my hospital right now. Being new, and not under the protection of the union yet, there is no guarantee that I will be spared. After all, it all comes down to numbers and figures, and reality is, there is a huge deficit and the easiest way to resolve that is by downsizing.
It took only a few minutes of “hearing things” to send me into a slight panic mode for what can possibly come. However, what scares me now, beyond being unemployed, is the realization that my attitude and response will not be glorifying to Christ or edifying to the body of Christ and being a poor witness to the world.
There is no doubt that I love my job and my career. Or that I love being in Buffalo and cherish all the precious friendship and relationships that I have here. I would have no reservation or hesitation if God permits me to stay here longer, working and serving.
However. I have realized tonight that if the rumors of layoffs and changes to come are true, that I need to start praying for that as well. That the prayer not only be, God please let me hold onto my job, but that despite what circumstances or situations are set before me, I will have the ability to say: God, it is well with my soul. May all that was, all that is, and is to come, it be to Your glory alone.