I’ve spent the last 34 years of my life working nights in the hospital and the last 20 of those years have been in the Emergency Room. I am very comfortable sleeping all day and watching 2am roll by as if it was noon. I am content to respond to Trauma Alerts and rush dying patients to the operating room and hold grieving family’s hands and wear blood and brains on my shoes. Like I said..I’m weird.
But I have recently retired from medicine and gave away all my scrubs and hung up my stethoscope. I am answering a call to work full-time in Ministry and so, because you can really never say No to God (remember Jonah?) I have jumped fully into this new life. But I am out of sorts. I am out of my comfort zone. I am an adrenaline junkie who lived on no sleep and chaos and split-second decisions (because life really did depend on it) into a ‘normal’ person. I sleep every night. I drink coffee in the morning with my husband. I read the morning paper in the morning. And I don’t have to schedule grocery shopping and laundry and holidays around my crazy work/sleep schedule and I don’t have to worry about making appointments. I just make them without considering whether it will interrupt my sleep, because I’m ‘normal’ now and I can get anywhere I need to be on any day of the week. And I’m unsettled. I should be embracing this life that I envied for so long. I should be doing a jig because I’m no longer the proud owner of dark bags under my eyes from lack of sleep. I should be celebrating the advent of long summer nights that I can spend not indoors, but walking with my husband or sitting outside under the stars. But I am ashamed to admit that I miss the adrenaline. I miss being a part of the team that puts people back together after a car accident or a bullet rips them apart. I crave the camaraderie that happens when the trauma team defies the odds and the patient doesn’t die. I miss my trauma nurse from Pensacola with her southern accent and even more southern sass that kept us all going like a well-oiled machine. I’m lost without the gore. I finally got what I thought I wanted and I don’t know what to do with myself.
Funny though…the other day there was a picture posted on Facebook of a co-worker after a particularly horrific trauma. There was blood on the floor and cut-off clothes and the entire scene was chaotic to say the least. And I was glad I wasn’t there. And when my friends made plans for a girl’s night out, I didn’t have to worry about losing sleep or finding someone to cover my shift…I get to go and have fun and not even worry about the repercussions. I prayed to settle into this life that He called me to and be content without the adrenaline and the ridiculous goals I had set for myself and to obtain the peace that transcends all understanding. And He is blessing me with that. Am I still nervous about doing what He has asked me to do? You bet…but that’s the perfect part of His plan that keeps me unsettled enough to lean on Him and not myself. Will I let the license go when it comes up for renewal next year…really sever the cord of my past life of medicine and trauma? Yes, I believe I will. For to be out of my comfort zone, but in HIS, is exactly where I want to be.