This week’s blog is nothing fancy, but at the same time, it is everything fancy. I am going to share a true story from this past week, and I want to leave you with the disclaimer that I am sharing with vulnerability and humility.
Now that August has arrived, it means that my to-do list for graduate school has increased drastically. You can imagine the level of anxiousness that has built up inside me for the merely because I AM GOING TO GRAD SCHOOL!!! In addition to that, I am anxious because if it were up to me, I would have gotten my medical requirements taken care of much earlier in the summer. However, the program asks that students wait until August so that everyone is on the same timeline. Okay, okay. I get it. Entering the medical field means that we have much to be concerned about for the well being of ourselves, in efforts that we can be at our best status to care for all of those around us. Nonetheless, for a planner, waiting until August feels like waiting until the last minute. Due to my lack of procrastination abilities, this entire process has best a test of my patience and trust.
All week I have spent hours and hours in health centers, minute clinics, labs…etc. To start the week off, on Monday I went to CVS to sign in, where I was informed that I would have a 2 hour and 50 minute wait. As one who despises wasting time, I figured that 2 hours and 50 minutes was enough time to go to the lab and get my blood work done. I definitely anticipated the blood work to be the most time-consuming part of the day. Nope. I was in and out of the lab within 15 minutes. It was incredible. The nurse was so kind, took care of me in a timely manner, and was able to find my veins like a professional.
So with allllllll the time in the world to spare, guess what I did?! Yup. You got it. I went to explore a new [to me] coffee shop. The thrill of the adventure is always my favorite part. (If you ever find yourself in Columbus and want to go get coffee, I have a couple of places you could try haha).
When I have a latte in one hand and a journal in the other, I seem to lose all sense of time. Before I knew it, my turn at CVS was up! As the nurse practitioner called me into the room, and began to take my information, I realized that I left my physical examination form (the specific university-only required form) at home. “UGHHHHH!,” I thought to myself.
I told the practitioner my situation and she was kind enough to tell me that she would keep my name on the top of the waiting list as I went to go get the form, but that she would have to continue seeing patients in the meantime. Wow, what grace.
As I stormed off into my car, I grew angrier and angrier at myself for having missed my time slot. “C’mon! After a 2 hour and 50 minute wait?! Now I get to waste time and gas. Awesome.” I yelled at my windshield. I always denied that I talked to myself, but I think it is true.
I did not remain in that mentality, though [thankfully]. I actually prayed. I asked God to show me the purpose in this wasted time, energy, and gas. As I have mentioned in previous blog posts, I cannot stand waste anything, especially money and gas. After the amazing and relaxing morning I had, I just could not understand why this was happening to me. Although, because of prayer, immediately, I felt a calmness come over me.
The traffic to and back put my return to CVS a half hour later. Then, because I was now behind some other patients, I had an additional 20 minute wait. By this time of the day, I felt like I was a CVS professional. I made best friends with the cashiers at the front desk, and even confused them with their scripted customer greetings and goodbyes as a result of my back and forth.
As I was siting, waiting, I noticed an older man pacing around the the minute clinic check-in kiosk as he looked at his watch every five seconds. He grew tomato-red in the face with anger. At this point in the day, there were multiple patients waiting to be seen. As everyone witnessed this man growing impatient, we all began to look at each other distressed and confused.
The very moment the practitioner’s door opened, the man rushed right up to her to give her a piece of his mind. I was not trying to eves drop at all, but as this man was yelling at the nurse practitioner, she motioned and called my name for me to return to the room. She could not seem to get the man to calm down or leave. but she really did do her best to assure him that he would be taken care of. My understanding is that the man’s grandson had football practice that they needed to get to within an hour, and his physical examination was due that very night at practice.
I barely sat down on the chair before I felt an urge in the pit of my stomach that I was to stand right back up and let the man with his grandson go ahead of me. So, I caught the practitioner’s attention and asked her, “Would it be easier if you took them ahead of me?”
Without physically saying a single word, her eyes said, “Are you serious? After a 2 hour and 50 minute wait, forgetting your form and needing to go home, and then waiting longer once returning, you want to wait even longer?” I looked at her, nodded my head, and said, “Really. It is fine. Go ahead.”
So she told the old man, “Sir, this nice young lady is going to allow you to go ahead of her. Isn’t that so kind of her?”
“Yeah, yeah.” the man said as he angrily shuffled his way into the room.
As I sat back down in the waiting chair, picked up my journal once again, God every so slightly began to whisper to me, “This, this is why I had you wait another half hour. It was not a waste. Keep watching. I am not done yet.”
It was not long before the door opened and it was my turn to be seen. The man came out, walked over to me, and put out his hand to shake mine. “Thank you for what you did.”
“Not a problem, Sir. It was my pleasure.” I said.
I could not sit down before the nurse practitioner repeatedly said to me, “That was such a witness. That was an amazing witness.”
Pamela (the nurse practitioner) and I got to know one another quite a bit that day. She saw me check in during the morning hours, make that silly mistake, sitting in the chair, and now here we were. She was proceeding with the examination, looked at me and said, “You sure do love your tattoos, don’t you?”
I chuckled and proudly said, “Yes ma’am, I do.”
Out of all of them, she pointed out my dove (my very first tattoo) and asked what it said.
This is my favorite part about tattoos: when people are curious enough to ask about their meanings. I have a part of my testimony that ties to each of my tattoos, but the dove one has a unique process.
Yes, I have one of the pulled-out-of-context bible verses on my wrist. Philippians 4:13. Go ahead, put me into that category that you are thinking of; I won’t mind. I prayed about all my tattoos, including that one, and I do not have any regrets.
Back to my story, Pamela knew the bible verse, and in unison, joined me in saying it out loud. Throughout the rest of my visit, we talked about our churches, and about faith in general. It was incredible, and encouraging.
As we were finishing up, Pamela again mentioned that I had been such a witness to that man, to all of the other patients siting out there, and to herself. I took that time to get real vulnerable with Pamela.
“Thank you, but it was not me. Not in the slightest bit. Honestly, when I left here earlier, I was angry at myself. I could not believe that I had spent all that time preparing to come today, wait out here on this side of town, and then poof. Gone. Wasted time and money. I prayed that God would come through my perfectionist thoughts and show me why He would allow for the time to be extended. I realized when I came back to CVS that this man is why the extra half hour was necessary. Had I come in when I was ‘supposed’ to, I would have completely missed the opportunity to bless him. I would have missed the opportunity to show who Jesus is. I am so thankful.”
Pamela smiled, gave me a hug and said, “Thank you. Good luck in grad school.”
Did I want to wait any longer? Not at all. My flesh was screaming at me. Yet, I was fine. I waited over three hours throughout the day, what was another 20 minutes going to hurt? Let me point this entire story back to God. Without Him, I would not have been extended grace. Without Him, I would have not had the ability to extend grace. Without Him, none of this would have taken place.
As soon as I got in my car, the water works hit. Not only did God answer my prayer as to why? “Why the mistake? Why the wasted time and money?” He also answered my prayer quickly.
The better question is always why not? I am still learning that this is the better question to ask. I could not be more humbled and overwhelmed with joy that God chose me to be His tool. Whew, I want this story to ring as true in my life everyday, as it did in that exact moment. May we never forget that we are being watched. If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, remember that there is no off switch.
I do not know about you, bur I want to keep the switch on, no matter how hard it may get. God used me in a mighty and visible way today, and my only prayer is that no one saw me- because it was not me.