Announcing 40 Days of Hope for Healthcare Heroes

 

My beloved grandmother, Mary Jane, in what was likely her graduation photo in 1944.

Announcing my brand new book, releasing early June, 2021 from Tyndale House Publishers: 40 Days of Hope for Healthcare Heroes! 

I can hardly type without my eyes filling with tears about this one, friends. If you didn’t know, in addition to being a writer I have been a nurse for over 25 years. In addition, my grandmother was a nurse beginning in the 1940’s, and my son is a newly graduated nurse!

My son and I hard at work–together!

As you know, health care puts a very high priority on patient privacy, and so I have always been reluctant to talk about my nursing career publicly. But around April and the height of the COVID-19 crisis, words began to flow from my heart to paper. I began to glean stories from my best friends and co-workers that might be used to bring hope to a community of professionals who were and still are hurting, and emotionally and physically exhausted. 

The results are this beautiful little book. 

But it’s not just for nurses!

Just like the team that we are, nurses and physicians, EMTs and hospital security officers, MAs and pharmacists, and everyone in between are represented within these pages. The devotionals within cover traumatic, heartbreaking scenarios, as well as humorous ones. Each story is paired with a “Breakroom Boost” that provides encouragement, and a brief “Handwashing Prayer” that caregivers can tuck in their hearts to recite during the hundreds of times we perform that task every day. 

I told my editors that I literally wept through writing every one of these stories. While edited and rearranged to ensure patient privacy, these represent over 25 years of not only my heart for healthcare heroes, but more importantly the adoration I feel toward every single one of the healthcare heroes I’ve worked alongside–and there have been hundreds. 

If you or someone you know is a healthcare hero, this book is just what the doctor ordered for their weary soul, and it’s available for pre-order at your favorite bookseller now!

Here’s the official synopsis:

Renew your faith and focus, and rededicate yourself to the profession you love with 40 Days of Hope for Healthcare Heroes!

There’s hope for your weary feet and exhausted soul! Healthcare workers are suffering from their own epidemic of burnout and moral injury as a result of dwindling resources and being overworked. To care for patients, you need to find ways to take care of yourself. In 40 Days of Hope for Healthcare Heroes you’ll find inspirational readings and prayers to help renew your faith and focus, center your heart, and inspire you to rededicate yourself to the medical career you love. This beautiful giftbook combines short stories from the front lines, “Breakroom Boosts” to encourage and energize, space to journal, and prayers that are quick enough to recite during handwashing—something that occurs multiple times a day. Healthcare workers across all continuums of care will want to read this book to rediscover the joy of their calling and as a balm of relief for their caregiver’s soul.

Click the image below to pre-order now!

Quarantine diaries: April 6 we

364,723 confirmed cases.

10,781 deaths.

19,346 recovered.

*****

I couldn’t help it.

Before I opened my eyes this morning, my first thought was,

What great horror awaits us today?

The general public is panicked enough without knowing what those of us in the trenches see every day, every hour, every minute.

Again I felt faithless and inadequate as my first thoughts turned toward dread and panic instead of scripture and prayer and peace.

Some say God is trying to tell us something.

I disagree.

The God I know loves His sheep and saves even the one who is lost, even the one who is susceptible and at risk and frail and fragile to viruses and predators and harm.

The God I know parts waters and rolls stones and makes the blind see and the deaf hear and the lame leap. 

The God I know would not send this, no matter the lessons we need to learn as mere mortals flailing for purpose and meaning and LIFE.

I try to be a faith first sort of person.

I try to be an overcomer, a knees-to-the-ground, arms-up, Waymaker kind of Christian.

But I am a Christian who is a NURSE.

And my son, my beloved first born, is a nurse, too.

 

Maybe I know too much. Indeed, I have seen too much. But one thing I can assure you of, is that

this virus is TOO MUCH.

Those of you who can live stream and hashtag and blog about the glory and praise in the midst of the hurt, please carry on.

Just know that those of us in the trenches are trying to cope with Facetime-only eternal good-byes and veritable death sentences to diabetic and cardiac compromised and immunocompromised and cancer fighters and an unimaginable number of patients the virus does not discern but rather snatches too soon from this life.

I have faith.

Oh, I do have faith.

But I also know that in this world we will have trouble, and this, my friend, is a trouble of all troubles.

So forgive me if I don’t offer Psalms and comforting platitudes and Facebook Live assurances that all we be well soon enough.

I believe Jeremiah 29:11 with the best of them.

But I also know that this hurts, and will keep hurting, and will hurt tomorrow worse than it hurts today, because that is the nature of this COVID monster. It snatches and steals and devastates and defeats.

Jesus is victorious, always and indeed.

But crosses have to be carried.

And this is ours to bear today. 

Let us praise Him in the midst, indeed, and especially in this Holy week. The Passion was fraught with pain and tears and questions and fear.

There’s no telling how long this particular passion of ours will last, but His faithfulness assures deliverance. I know this in my head, and I keep it close to my heart even as I wake to new horrors every day. Because…

joy comes in the morning, too,

eventually.

Joy comes.

*****

 

 

 

Quarantine journals: March 31

184,183 diagnosed.

3,721 deaths (more than 9-11).

6,043 recovered.

*****

A calm hovers over the panic.

Do you feel it?

People helping people.

People cheering us on.

Several local Sunday small groups made signs for us nurses, signs saying we are brave and strong and heroes, and when we came to work Monday morning they were hanging all over the walls to welcome us when we arrived.

I’ve never thought of myself as a hero.

Just a nurse.

When I think about heroes I think of Band of Brothers or 911 first responders, Frodo or Batman, or Ryan White or Ruby Bridges.

Not me.

But I will say

all my best friends who are

nurses are heroes to me.

The ones who pick up shifts even when they’re

scared;

the managers who encourage anxiety-ridden staff and build their teams even

stronger in the midst

of chaos. The ones who are in the ERs and ICUs who wear

body fluids like regular old daily accessories

and think

nothing of it. Even now.

They are the heroes. Always

have been. Always

will be.

I guess I am one of them too. Twenty-seven years under my belt. But the title still seems

reserved for them, my comrades,

my beloved friends

in the trenches

with me.

With each other.

Always.

So bring on the signs and hero-calling and late night mask-sewing-sessions. None of us

are good

at taking compliments. But I can tell you

your encouragement matters.

The battle is unforgiving, unrelenting, unimaginable, and unreal.

Keep telling nurses

they are heroes.

If you say it enough we just may

believe it.