Dearest IBC family,

Hello all! For those of you who do not know me, my name is Grace. I’ve been a part of Immanuel for about a year and a half now. I’m married to Jeffrey (the good-looking guy with a smile that takes up the majority of his face, and who occasionally plays guitar on Sunday mornings). You might be surprised he’s married, as you may not have ever seen me before. Getting to church can be difficult at times, since I work the grave-yard shift as a registered nurse at RushUniversityMedicalCenter. Which leads me to this week’s episode of ‘Vocation Vignettes’…

Besides being a wife, I have been a RN for about 9 months now. I work on a Critical Care Unit, caring mostly for neurology, cardiac, and thoracic patients. I do a lot of stuff… anywhere from suctioning the snot out of people’s lungs (yum!) to giving chest compressions to dying patients. (If you want more details, just ask) In addition to caring for my patients’ physical needs, I also have the opportunity to be a source of emotional and spiritual support. Some of my favorite moments at work have been the times I have been able to encourage and pray with my patients.

Although nursing can be really rewarding, I’ve quickly learned the exhausting and stressful side of it. There have been more than one occasion when I have come home crying, totally at the end of my self and asking God, “Why did you put me in this profession?!” But it is with this job that I have learned so much of my sinfulness and shortcomings, and even more of God’s character and abundant grace.

For instance, once I was helping this 400+ lb man get cleaned up. He wasn’t my patient, but the patient care tech (PCT) needed a hand, so I offered to help. As soon as I walked into the room, a wave of body odor filled my nostrils. I wanted to gag. Before I even asked, the PCT handed me a face mask. During the entire bed bath, the man cursed at us and complained about anything and everything. I was glad half of my face was covered, because I just wanted to scream at the guy and tell him to shut up and be grateful. As soon as we were finished, I stepped outside and was about to say something ‘non-Christian’ under my breath when the Lord spoke so loud and clear to me. He said, “Gracie. That’s you. You once were dirty and smelly. And I forgave you – and I still see you as clean, even though most of the time you are ungrateful and you do the same stupid things over and over again. Love this man like I have loved and forgave you.”

It is moments like these that I experience God’s mercy and faithfulness in really powerful ways. Everyday, I feel as though the Lord is refining me and making me more useful. I definitely mess up though (just ask Jeff). If you think of me, pray that the Holy Spirit would continue to work in my heart and life, and that I would be a strong witness of God’s love and grace at work.

As for future plans, Jeff and I really want to serve the Lord doing medical missions overseas. We are hoping to work with the underserved in a developing nation. Timing and place are still up in the air. Let me know if you want to come along!

Well, that’s all for now. Thanks for your time and for being such great family!

In Christ,

Gracie