The constant shortage with the nursing staffing especially on the PM shift had prompted our highest supervisor to make some changes with the nurses’ schedule. But the ones to be affected most were our staff, the night shift nurses. He made everyone worked 12 hours per shift. It was not something new to some who had been working it already. The big change would affect me.
I had been working part-time, only 8 hours per night. I had injured my neck long time ago when I worked at the hospital as an Orthopedic Nurse. I recalled, I even hurt it twice. The second time aggravating the pain, as I tried to help a confused patient who was about to fall and caught her head at the right time. My neck had not been the same. It’s constant. But I could still do things.
As the changes were supposed to take effect on January 15, my doctor gave me his note allowing me to only work 8 hours per day to prevent my neck pain from getting worse or even worst. My supervisor complied except I had to go through this process of being evaluated from our Employee Wellness Center.
He walked in. He didn’t assess my neck. All he said were disappointing. I knew he was trying to be helpful at times. But most of the time, it sounded like he was discouraging me. I wasn’t sure if he knew what he could say or not say. But God was my sole witness that day.
“You’re lucky you got away with it for so long,” he stated regarding myself working part time for 6-7 years now.
“What do you mean lucky?” I rebutted. “That was approved by my supervisors.”
“Well, did you tell us that you had a permanent disability when you were hired? That’s not good if you didn’t. You may lose your job!” he ended our hour long encounter.
“Have a good day,” was all I told him.
I cried when I got home. To my supervisor who was patiently working with the schedule changes for me as she tried to keep me on only 8-hour per day schedule. I felt discouraged. I felt the proper evaluation was not done. It was more of someone else’s opinion instead of evaluating my condition and honoring my doctor’s request. But I wasn’t afraid. I just wondered how many other people suffering he hurt more by talking this way to these already injured individuals. Not only physically but as they also went through lots of emotional pain as they dealt with their physical inabilities to perform the same tasks they used to do. Like me…
And I cried to the One Who is always there for me. As I listened to His Word, this is exactly what He said that morning when I got up after a day full of frustrations and being belittled:
“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” [John 16:33;NLT]
There will always be trials. They come from different situations. They can be caused by other people. The severity varies. And He constantly reminds me…”You have peace in Me. Because I already claimed the victory for you.”
As the New Year comes, I know it will be another 365 days of uncertainties, of varying trials to come my way. Those are inevitable. But I want the change not to come from those. I don't want to make any resolutions that I can't keep. I want the change to happen within myself. That I am reminded constantly that I can be stable despite the instability I will face. That I have joy despite the chaos. I want to feel more secure and more calm. That I won’t be afraid. Because no matter how many changes come my way, I have that “unstable, immovable, unbreakable piece of heaven”…Living in me.
[Addendum: Please pray for God's guidance, protection and discernment for me. People cannot discriminate if you have any disability. Do not let anyone put you down if you have any type of disability. God loves you for who you are. He knows what you are going through. And His promise never..NEVER...fails. That He will always be there with you going through all these trials. I am not afraid. I know what actions to take. Because of Jesus. "I can do all things through Him, the One Who gives me the strength that I need." Glory be to God. Happy New Year to all of you and may you be reminded of the STABLE ROCK you're standing on amidst all these instability. God bless.]