Compliance and Conincidence

04Feb11

When I was in Cape Town last October, there was one evening that still stands out to me.  Remarkably, it wasn’t after a particularly excellent or moving speaker, nor was I pondering the wonderful worship music we enjoyed during the plenary sessions of the Lausanne Congress.  It was actually our day “off” in the middle of the Congress, and though I was dead-tired, I joined my roommates in the common area of our hostel and we just talked.  We talked about all the usual things girls talk about, but what I remember most was when we began to talk about serving at the Congress.  The seven of us girls had a variety of jobs within the conference – everything, basically, from security detail to personal assistant to one of the congress organizers.  Despite the wide variety of our job descriptions, hours, and interaction with congress participants, we all expressed the same sentiment – we were awed that we had the opportunity to serve at Lausanne.  In fact, most of us (including me) got rather teary as we shared what the Lord had been doing in our hearts during the Congress.  It was one of the sweetest times of fellowship I’ve ever experienced.  Here we were, seven girls from five continents, we’d known each other only a little over a week, and yet God was moving powerfully in out midst.  I was completely overwhelmed with the sense of God’s over-arching plan, far bigger than I could ever imagine, that had brought me to South Africa.

Since coming home from Cape Town, I’ve wondered every now and then how my experience at the Congress will shape the rest of my life.

There are other things that make me wonder what God may be preparing for me down the road.  Looking back over the past few years – even the past 12 months! – I have seen His hand on my life in some pretty amazing ways.  The Holy Spirit has been working on me – whether through my decisions or in spite of them, and He continues fitting everything together in a way that frequently doesn’t make sense. :-)  Since I firmly believe that God knows everything that will happen to me before it happens – and that He has planned it for His glory and my good (theologically speaking, I think this is called believing in the Sovereignty of God; the simplest Biblical definition for this view comes from Romans 8:28), life has become an adventure of anticipation.  I don’t know what He’s going to do, but I trust that what He does (or allows) in my life will ultimately benefit His kingdom.

There have been times when I’ve tried to resist that plan – knowingly or unknowingly.  I’m beginning to learn that “resisting” (or “non-compliance with God” – a phrase that speaks especially well to the healthcare provider in me!) fits in the in spite of category, and, like Jonah, I’m a human and can only run so far (and never all the way away from God!).  Take, for instance, my new job.

Last month I was offered a job at Esperanza Health Center – a combination of triage, OB, and education/administration.  Though I love the people at Esperanza, I’ve worked there before, and I love the fact that it’s a bilingual clinic, I desperately wanted to not accept the job.  Why?!  Even people who didn’t know me (or Esperanza) too well thought it was a good fit.  After all, I speak Spanish, do OB, and love administration.  And, I pointed out, I love my current job as an L&D nurse – I know what I’m doing, I’m comfortable in the role, and I love my crazy coworkers.  The very unknown-ness of the Esperanza job was frightening.  I couldn’t imagine what it would look like.  And worst of all, I didn’t want to imagine how God might use the skills I would learn in the job at Esperanza once I got overseas.  Joining something that’s up and running was one thing, but being on the launch team for a new prenatal program scared the living daylights out of me.  What will Jesus call me to do if I’m equipped like that?!  I didn’t want to find out – and I thought I could avoid it by saying “no.”  Ha.  Nope.

I’ve begun working a couple of days a week at Esperanza.  In March, I’ll significantly reduce my hours at the hospital so that I can be at EHC 3-4 days a week.  Since starting, I’ve actually gotten more scared about what God is preparing me for.  For example, the first few days I was there, I participated in vaccine training.  I learned a lot.  More, probably, than I wanted to know.  For instance, I never really cared about Haemophilus Influenzae type b or Rotavirus.  I knew both were something babies were immunized against – but I didn’t know that the Hib vaccine prevents bacterial meningitis or that Rotavirus is the leading cause of diarrhea (which is the leading cause of death) in un-immunized children ages 1-5 worldwide.  The trouble is, now that I know this stuff, I may at some point be called to do something about it.  Eeeek.  I wanted to stay in my little L&D comfort zone.  I’ve also been learning triage – talking to patients on the phone and figuring out if they need to go to the ER, come in to see a provider today or tomorrow, or wait until their scheduled appointment in the next few weeks.  Besides learning a new computer system and the individual scheduling preferences of about a dozen providers, this has pushed me into speaking non-obstetrics-related Spanish.  Whoa.  I’m fine when it comes to contractions or other pregnancy-related complaints, but chest pain?!  I don’t do chest pain.  Or earaches.  Or colds.  Not in English or Spanish.  Or at least I thought I didn’t.  Seems God has other plans…

For the time being, I’m learning to enjoy what God has for me right now.  I’m learning to take notes on life, because there’s no such thing as coincidence.  Serendipity, perhaps, but not coincidence.  God’s too big of a God for coincidence.  There are, no doubt, a lot of serendipities ahead. :-)  Rather than pushing the non-compliance, I’m praying I’ll respond with excitement and eagerness.  Adventure shouldn’t be feared or avoided – it should be anticipated with joy!  Especially when the Leader of the adventure is God.

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3 Responses to “Compliance and Conincidence”


  1. 1 Plans, Proverbs, and Scary Stuff « musings along the way
  2. 2 The Bulletin Board (and other motivational topics) « musings along the way
  3. 3 Hugs, Tears, and Goodbyes: Episode Two « musings along the way

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