Last January, I sat by her hospital bed and fervently prayed that God would be gracious and let my dear friend live. Yesterday, I was looking through her nursing school graduation pictures from the previous day posted on Facebook for those of us who couldn’t make it. We call her a “walking miracle,” because she shouldn’t have survived. She knows God brought her back from death’s door for a reason not yet revealed. (Actually, she talks about it any chance she gets, so God may already being using her story to reach others.)
As I scanned through the graduation pictures of my non-traditional student-friend, I was listening to some music on my computer. “Lessons Learned” by Carrie Underwood came up and tears started to flow uncontrollably. It had caught me off-guard, but I had almost lost my friend last year and I was so grateful to still have her here with me and to see her dream come true. The lyrics to the song are so indicative of her journey this past 1-1/2 years.
After her hospital stay and several months of recovery, she gradually started back to working on her nursing degree. Then, she faced other family crises like a domino-effect. Eventually, her future was not in her control again and she could only lean on her Heavenly Father’s shoulder while she asked for His hand of grace again.
Dianne Warren, who wrote “Lessons Learned,” talks about situations she had been through and choices she’d made, but she was grateful for every tear, broken heart and scar because “there were lessons learned.” I know my friend could easily sing that song from a knowing heart.
I prayed with her not long ago for the Lord to give her strength and help her make it through the night. Only with the Lord’s comfort and encouragement through prayer, reading her Bible, and the support of friends and family is she able to have peace. She is certain she has done everything God has asked her to do, and whatever happens now, she will make it to the “other side” of these struggles.
My dear friend was one of my most valiant supporters who strongly encouraged me to start my Gateway PhotoArtistry™ business (http://www.gatewayphotoartistry.com) last fall. She is also my best and toughest critic. It’s always wonderful to hear people say they like your writing, but it’s priceless when someone tells you why they like it, where you can make improvements, and how he/she knows what they’d rather read. Besides my college journalism professor, she’s the most knowledgable and constructive critic I know.
I know she will be an excellent nurse because she is good-spirited, empathetic, patient and learned with a dedicated work ethic. Now, because of the astounding turn of events in her life, she has the amazing opportunity and God-given privilege to care for her patients the way her nurses cared for her during those tenuous days in the hospital.
I told her last night when I called to congratulate her that her life-and-death experience gives her first-hand knowledge of how valuable the reassurance of an understanding nurse can be. She knows what an anxious patient needs to hear to stay calm when facing the unknown. She now brings a wise confidence to express her opinion when appropriate. She has the experience of raising children and knowing how to follow her “motherly” instincts. Something she didn’t have when she turned down her own mother’s advice to become a nurse after high school. Most importantly, she knows the peace that surpasses all understanding because she held onto her faith when the medical professionals had done all they could do.
I know I just posted this picture with another post, but my friend really likes very much. I created this “pho-etry” art piece from one of my photographs and a poem I wrote for another friend. Not surprisingly, the poem is called, “Peace.” The photograph is called, "Sleepy Hollow Creek at Sunrise," http://www.gatewayphotoartistry.com/photowithpoetry/h1dc40d7c#h1dc40d7c)
With a compassionate, full heart, she has come a long way from facing death. She courageously faces each day with immense gratitude because she has gone from fear-to-hope. She can put life into perspective because God took her from patient-to-nurse. She fully lives because she knows God will always take her from trial-to-triumph.
To purchase the "pho-etry" print above, follow this link http://www.gatewayphotoartistry.com/photowithpoetry/h1dc40d7c#h1dc40d7c. The photograph and poem are my copyright. Please do not copy the photograph or the poem unless it is part of this blog post. Thank you so much for your cooperation.
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by Gena Buskirk-Ford, owner/photographer/writer of Gateway PhotoArtistry™, http://www.gatewayphotoartistry.com
Copyright May 12, 2012, "From Trial to Triumph," by Gena Buskirk-Ford, Gateway PhotoArtistry™