First Impressions



“Don’t be over self-confident with your first impressions of people…” ~ Chinese Proverb

I could sense her fears and anxiety. Kept in secrecy at the deepest chamber in her heart. Doubts popping randomly all through out the night, as she tried to learn a new trade in this chosen profession of Nursing. 

Leaving a different area she thought she loved at first from the hospital, she came to try Correctional Nursing. But just like anywhere else in any workplace, blending in wouldn’t be easy. 

It wasn’t because the job was any harder. Nor the tasks would be impossible to be learned. The problem was…the people. People who had been working there for a long time who forgot they were once a newcomer like new nurses. People who got along so well and unfortunately, subtly, mini-groups had been formed where the same interests and habits merged. Groups that felt threatened when another person or co-worker would come along with a different idea, a different lifestyle, a different belief or might have a different points of view with life, meant it was time to put up barriers and an unseen “You’re not welcome” mat from their words and actions.
 
“I never had a problem with her,” I firmly stated to a Charge Nurse the other night.

She didn’t say anything. I sensed many, perhaps, had more negative things than to see the positive from this new nurse. But I needed to say something after working with this new nurse for a few nights. I never took sides. All I wanted was for them to bring down those barriers and give her a “chance”. 

Acceptance…

Respect…

Understanding…

I knew after being here in the prison for many years, there would always be those great and “not so great” nurses. But the number one problem was never about performing tasks or learning prison things. The number one problem was that people always judged and always go by what they heard and going with others’ FIRST IMPRESSIONS.

I could be a part of that group… But after going through my own trials of getting hurt from the hospital and transferring to work as a Correctional Nurse, as a believer of God, I started seeing His works behind mysterious ways. That I never needed to rely on anyone else but only Him. Despite such unpleasant grapevines and knowing what a “little tongue” could do to burn others, I knew I didn’t need to be a part of such hurtful acts.

I always want to remind myself wherever I am that it is only by His grace and love that I am able to change my heart and wisely choose Who to follow. Who to listen to. Who to seek for life’s advices. I always want to remind myself that His first impression of my old nature never blames, never shames, never rejects and never hates. And even as a new creature, His faithful loves continues to mold and shape me to what He wants me to be... All the cutting, all the pruning, He always does with love and grace...

“Don’t worry about what you hear nor from what you see,” I gave my only advice to that new nurse.

I didn’t need to hear her “Thank you.” She doesn’t owe me anything. I know she just needed that chance of showing what she has and can deliver. To turn their “bad first impression on her” to good. Without conforming to their ways but by simply being herself. A good nurse who’s willing to learn the trade and be able to use her skills to help out others just like how those nurses and myself do it.

I know she needs to find her place… Because I believe God is strategically placing each of His children in every dark place in this world. To reflect His light… To make a difference…


Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.” – John 7:24 (ESV)

First Love



I sensed something wrong…As I struggled to try to get a “power nap” before going to work one Friday night. Still… A mother’s gut feeling kept me awake. I found myself praying in the dark. Inside the bedroom so conducive to fall asleep that moment… But... there was a battle going on in this mother’s heart that night… as my son had been studying so hard for the past weeks. Only taking very short breaks to rejuvenate himself with warm meals…Then…back to studying he always surrendered. As he labored to make each project made it on time for each deadline…

“Never, ever quit!” I texted him from my short rest. A funny cartoon from “Charlie Brown” and he briefly replied… I knew it was words that spelled laughter…Yet…Those were just words… I knew as a mother…at that time…they never reflected the “happy, joyful” character I knew and loved since he was able to communicate as a growing up child. I felt his energy, his life being sucked out slowly. I wouldn’t let my son get defeated. I wouldn’t let him lose his “joy” if I knew that something was overwhelming. Being a good child as he was, he would never dare give me or his father any problem. But as a nurse and as his own mother, I knew it was time to intervene…

“Are you okay?” I asked many times the following day as I checked up on him and his assignments he was doing in the computer. Coaxing him to take breaks in between, he seldom smiled like he used to. He sighed…And he started spilling what was eating his heart… He wasn’t happy anymore with what he was doing in the computer. Though it was the same element he usually used to create programs, Computer Science was never his first choice. His true passion was Graphic Design.

I summoned my husband. And after his mixed cries of anticipation and relief, my husband’s and my advices were both short…

“Stop! Pursue what you love!”

A faint smile grew and a little embarrassment showed near the corners of those smiles. He knew he wouldn’t have a problem letting us know if anything bothered him. Except it took him a long time to say something.

“Sorry, Dad and Mom. I wasted a year.”

With our hearts renewed with His grace, my husband and I sighed and told him it was okay. That him going to a college for a year was never wasted. Because through that period, he met so many good friends and one professor who made a difference to his students by being concerned with careers they chose. What was wasted I told him, was not pursuing what his heart loved in the first place. We explained…From our own experiences…That success was not about making lots of money or being on top…Many made it in their lives not even finishing school yet they did so well…

Because they pursued their “passion”… Their “FIRST LOVE”…

Now, he’s been in the process of transferring to another school to take that first step necessary for him to learn more about Graphic Design. I see my “old son” back. Always joking around. Always grateful for little things. Always thankful for God’s life’s lessons for him. Whether it hurts or not…He knows… That pursuing what his heart loves will make him be able to endure and walk for more miles… And no matter what bumps on the road he’ll discover, it will be okay. He can get back up again… knowing he’s looking forward to what his heart loves… that brings joy and contentment and hopefully, he can use someday to help out others and be an instrument of God in that field he chose.



We all face such challenges daily…Of being assaulted with lots of false teachings as we labor for Christ. May we not let such lies overwhelm the truth and love that comes from our Savior, Jesus Christ… For Jesus is our true “FIRST LOVE.” It’s never too late… To turn around and pursue that road that leads to Him… It’s narrow… But the only road that makes our journeys worthwhile and joyful no matter what comes our way in this temporary home we're all in…
All posts/composed songs copyright by RCUBEs.



Encouragers

Friends