Learning to listen to God started to become more important to me a year and a half ago. August 2012. My youngest was in Pre-K every day, so I was going to volunteer some and work part time. At least that was my plan. When I read about the opportunity to volunteer with hospice through my church, NorthStar, it felt like there was extra light on my computer, shining down to illuminate the words. I recoiled in horror at the thought. Volunteer with hospice? I can’t do that! That is for people who must be saints! Ever since we had a hospice nurse for my Mom, I have been in awe of people who could be with hospice. The nurse we knew had the kindness and patience of an angel, and I do not.
After a sleepless night, I met with my friend to talk it over. Finally I decided to try training and see how things went. Yes, there were memories and tears. There was lots of fear over whether I could do this, but I still really felt led to it. I felt there was something put in me that should be used and not wasted. My spiritual gift is mercy, and I can show mercy to someone who is at the end of life on this earth, as well as mercy to their family. I have been where these families are and can help them come out on the other side.
After training, I started going to the nearby facility one morning a week. If there was a patient whose family wasn’t with them, I would go sit with them. Hearing stories of their lives riveted me. They had such clarity at this point in their journey. One of the first visits is one I will never forget. The nurses asked me to sit with a woman who did not want to be alone. All through the night before, she would wake up every 15 minutes or so and scream if she was alone. The nurses had to go calm her down every time instead of focus on other patients. I spent a few hours holding her hand, and she gripped mine tight, waking up every 10 or 15 minutes. When she woke up, she would look at me and go peacefully back to sleep. Somehow I gave her comfort by just holding her hand. My heart ached for this woman who felt so alone and so scared. Being able to give a small amount of comfort was humbling. It made me realize that even when I am not doing anything, God is able to help others through me.
Mark Batterson says, “When you feel unqualified and overwhelmed, you are right where God wants you.” I alone am not good enough to do this, but that is the important part. I have to rely on God’s strength to equip me. God made it clear this is where He wants me, so I had to step out in faith. Is there an area of your life where you need to move past the fear and excuses and just act? I encourage you to take that step! You won’t regret it.