Dear Kara, Here Goes Nothing

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So if you haven’t heard of her already, Kara Tippets from her Mundane Faithfulness blog, is an incredible woman going through incredible hard. And I’ll be honest, most of the time I don’t read it. Because I’m too fearful. Too scared that her story could be my story one day. But that is not how we are called to live. That is living in fear. And we are meant to go out and live each day that God has given us and live it well. And I think that is something Kara would want us to take away from her story. To love our people well and live in Grace.

So here I am, scared of cancer and being given an opportunity to live in Grace in a new and unique way. As many of you know, I am a nurse and my hubby and I have recently moved to California. I don’t know if you are aware of this, but California is expensive. Really, really expensive. So I needed a job.

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Well, God has a funny way of working things His way, and not ours. When I was in nursing school, I didn’t really know specifically what areas I DID want to work in, but I did know the areas I DIDN’T want to work in. Geriatrics and Pediatrics. My first nursing job right out of school was working Inpatient Rehab. And I worked with mostly geriatric patients. I gained a whole new appreciation for the geriatric population, and learned how to love them better. And here I am, having recently accepted a job in pediatrics.

But what does Kara’s story have to do with all of this, you ask? The job I have accepted is in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology. And I’m terrified of it. (Shh, don’t tell my new managers!) But there have been several things and people that have really encouraged me about taking this job and I want to share them with you.

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First of all, I found out about this job and basically got it, because of a friend I have met at our new church. She is a great woman and has such a sweet family. We have really enjoyed getting to know them. Well, this friend had an interesting point. I had mentioned that I would be willing to work in a pediatric ICU or work Medsurge, or the Recovery room; pretty much anything but Hem/Onc. Her response has kind of stuck with me. She said that when working Hem/Onc, it isn’t anybody’s fault. In the ER, a kid will come in that got into their parent’s drug stash, or an abusive victim, etc. But on this unit, no one is to blame. And then I noticed her passion for her job, and how much she loves getting to work in this field. That says a lot, if you ask me.

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I also spoke with my Aunt Mary Ann, who I talked about in this post, and she had a great perspective as well. She told me that regardless of whether I am working there or not, these kids are going through this. Those kids have cancer. Or a blood disorder, like Sickle Cell Anemia. Hard, heavy stuff. And they are going to be dealing with that story. So I have an opportunity to be a part of their story and to have a huge impact on their lives. And on the lives of their families. Because, as Kara knows, it isn’t just her story. It is her kids story too, and her husband’s story, and her friends’ stories. So I can either sit idly by, and feel sorry for them at a distance, or I can be a part of their story in a very real way. And I can love on them in a unique way that not many other people will have an opportunity of doing.

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I have also talked with my cousin Sarah about all of this. Because I know that working with these kids will be hard. But that’s okay. And Sarah knows about this hard. Her dear friend Shannon passed away this past year after a long fight with cancer. Here is a little bit about her story. So Sarah has much to say about nurses on a cancer unit. About being able to listen. And just be present. About how if you don’t know what to say, to just ask. Because we don’t always know what is to say, or the right thing to say. But we can ask. And when we ask, we love that person in our sincerity. I can love the kids, and the families, and the friends that surround them in their journey. And I can love them well and without fear, because I know that God has brought me to this place, and to this job for a reason.

I think I have a lot to learn about cancer. And a lot to learn about my faith in the Creator. The Loving God. And that He holds our story in His hands, and isn’t about to drop us, or let go, or forget about our story.

And in the midst of all of this, I am going to live. Not in fear of cancer, or sickness. But fully. Loving my little girl that I have been blessed with. Loving my man. Going on hikes, and adventures, and camping (!!) with those I cherish. Fearlessly loving those around me. Because that is what I have really been called to.

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How are you living and loving big today?