On Returning

Recently, I thought about the demise of my nursing career. I haven’t worked in the medical field for over two years now. It’s a little frightening how fast I’ve lost the facts I had locked up in my head for so long.

Working at an OB/GYNE office for over twelve years, I had a wealth of knowledge about women’s health. I was a good resource for my daughter and daughter-in-law in their pregnancies. I knew which prenatal vitamin didn’t cause nausea. I could tell them how much fish they could eat in a week, and how to make deli meats safe. The ‘click, click, click’ of the stored information hummed along.

But now? I really have to dig to remember those things. Or sometimes, I have to admit that the information has ‘left the building’.

Before I worked in the office, I staffed cardiac floors in a hospital, cardiac cath lab, operating room, and I taught for a while. But there’s no way I could do that now.

Medicine moves fast. The drugs I gave back then are no longer in use. I used to know all the surgical instruments that lined the walls of the stock room. I don’t even want to know how many I’ve forgotten. I’d have to take a refresher course if I had to go back. Maybe I’d should take it twice!

I’m not planning to go back to nursing. I’m still going to give this writing thing a whirl. But I couldn’t help but compare the experience of returning to medicine to the experience of returning to God.

Getting back to hospital employment means school first. Then I’d hope to be hired over younger nurses, and the new graduates. If I was hired, I’d need a period of orientation, working with a preceptor who would monitor my work and decide when I could be left on my own. It’s a long process.

Compare that to being away from God. If I gave up on prayer and got too involved in a busy life, it’d be easy to wake up a few months later and realize that something is missing. Well, someone is missing. The relationship I had with my Father?  Gone. It used to be so easy between us. But now it’s a thing of the past.

How do I get back again? Do I have to take a class? Will someone follow me around and make sure I’m doing the right things?

My thoughts turn to the Parable of the Prodigal Son. That child had it all, and then picked up and ran off with his dad’s money. He cut himself completely off from the family. After spending everything, and starving from lack of food, he decides to go back. Maybe he’ll be forgiven.

There were no ‘maybe’s’. He is immediately enfolded back into the family. No classes. No parole, no ankle bracelet. All he had to do was decide come back.

The return to nursing? Really hard.

The return to God? Really easy.

I just have to decide to come back, and really mean it.

Even now, the Lord says, return to me with all your heart  Joel 2:12


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62 thoughts on “On Returning

  1. The return to God is easy. I pray that I don’t stray but His open arms are always available. I can relate to your story about nursing because getting back into teaching would be very similar with brushing up on skills, hoping to be hired, and then some reorientation to get back into the swing of things.
    I love that you are giving this writing thing a whirl because I so enjoy your stories and ability to honestly share how God is so important to you. I am always blessed when I stop by. Have a wonderful week!

    • Hi Mary! Thank you for your encouragement, I really appreciate it.

      It is funny how fast we can lose our skills, isn’t it? Of course it would be the same for teaching, I didn’t even think of that. I sure am happy that I don’t lose a step when I want to come back to the Lord. No refresher course, phew!
      Have a great week to Mary. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours 🙂

  2. Your ‘choice’ to write about your faith was the right one – probably because this was to be the next phase in your life. Your medical skills saved lives, but your writing helps save souls and guides people to think more deeply – and dedicate much more of themselves to their faith. You know that I am a ‘waverer’ but I think you also know that what you write helps me a great deal.

    If you can help someone like me – well, that is ‘success!’ Not in a financial sense perhaps; but what price can be put on spiritual guidance? Andrina xxx

    • Hi Andrina! I think you’re right, it is another phase of life for me.

      I am so touched by your comment, it’s really beautiful. Isn’t it wonderful that God arranged that we should meet? If I am helping you, well, what else could I ask for? It really is ‘success’.

      Thank you for making me feel so supported Andrina. I hope we will travel along with each other for a long time.
      Blessings always,

  3. When I worked in the hospital, I worked on an ortho/neuro floor. I knew all the common drugs given in that area. Now I know Geriatric meds and would be lost in the hospital, so I know just what you mean.
    I’m so glad it’s easy to go back to God.

    • Hi Mari! You know exactly what I’m saying! Even from specialty to specialty there are so many changes and differences.

      Thank makes two of us! Thanks be to him who takes us back as soon as we want to return. Such a beautiful image, and one I have to remember when I am in a situation to forgive too.
      Have a peaceful night!

    • Hi Freda! What an interesting job! You must have a background in med tech? Or maybe biology/chemistry. Isn’t it just crazy how fast things that were so simple become so difficult to even remember? Yikes.

      Thank the Lord he always will take us back. No questions or classes, just come. What love he has for us!
      Thanks for your visit today 🙂

  4. Funny you would write about this topic today. We studied this in class this morning. The phrase that stood out to me was, “when he came to himself.” In other words, when he came to his senses. I think in life we all have times we need to come to our senses!

    I’m sure glad we don’t have to take a class to repent!

    • Hi Jerralea! What an interesting study. I hope my change to writing is a moment of ‘coming to myself.’

      It is amazing the love and forgiveness we are given, just for wanting it. Not like the world at all. It’s a great witness to me of how I should be living too.
      Have a blessed week!

    • Hi Lulu! Thank you for your precious encouragement my friend. I really appreciate it.

      I guess I’d better stick with writing, because I’d have one heck of a time getting back into the swing of medicine! Thank the Lord that he is not as demanding as the job market is…
      Happy Thanksgiving friend,

  5. Well, I, for one, am beyond thankful that you are investing in your writing. Just like nursing, you are touching lives right and left … for eternity.

    What gifts you’ve been given, my friend. And how we all gather ’round to enjoy the harvesting of heaven-sent wisdom you share.


    • Hi Linda! You have always been so supportive of me, thank you so much. From your lips to God’s ears.

      And I do give thanks for blog friendships, and shared faith. You never cease to inspire on your blog space. Let’s keep walking together 🙂
      Happy Thanksgiving week my friend,

  6. Hi Ceil! 🙂
    I just had to chuckle at “the information has left the building” hahaha! I can relate to that!
    It’s so true, when we get “out of practice” in any other area of our life, it maight take extensive training and effort to re-enter that area… but with our amazing loving Father, He is always right there waiting for us, He sees us coming back and even while we are still a long way off He runs to us! Great post! Love and blessings to you! Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Hi Danise! So much more leaches out than gets back in, believe it!

      Thank you for your lovely, supportive comments. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours too 🙂 I am thankful for blog-friends like you!

  7. A friend of a friend took time off from her nursing job some years back and has encountered many obstacles while trying to return. She is in her 50s and has a wealth of knowledge but she says the jobs are clearly going to the younger generation, which sounds discriminatory to me.

    I’m grateful God is interested in our return, no matter our age or knowledge.

    • Hi Dayle! Wow, she is really going through it, isn’t she? The job market is tight for everyone, nurses included. It used to be that you could pretty much name the hospital, and work there. Not anymore. I hope she finds the right thing for her soon.

      I am grateful too…no agism with God!
      Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Dayle,

  8. I can only imagine how hard it would be to stay up to date on the latest in the medical field, Ceil! I’m glad you’re continuing to give this writing thing a whirl! I also resonate so much with the feeling that when I don’t make time for Christ–it affects my attitude and ability to be gracious to others. But yes, praise God, He lets us pick up immediately where we left off with the warmest embrace a Father could have! Thanks for coming by my place to view the video! Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

    • Hi Beth! It was nice to connect through the blog-hop today!
      I really liked your vlog.

      Yes, staying connected to God is so important for me too, especially as I head into the holidays, which can be stressful. I hope to stay so close that my peace will stay too 🙂

      Have a good afternoon!

  9. My thoughts of returning to playing basketball? Never cross my mind. My wife has retired from the BMV after 8 lo-o-o-o-ng years and she has been asked to come back on a part time basis. It has changed so much she always (without hesitation) says No. I am so grateful returning to God after a wilderness experience is not the same hassle. In His mind, it is as though I never drifted.

    • Hi Bill! Yes! We are always in God’s heart and mind. He wants his sheep back in the fold with him always. What a great Father he is!

      Were you a professional basketball player? Wow. That’s pretty fun! And I know that your wife is feeling, as I do, that it’s so easy to lose the information that came so easily in the past.

      Have a peaceful afternoon!

  10. Lovely post Ceil. Sometimes we drift but I think we feel it quickly. The absence of time with God really resonates and is hard to deal with. Thankful He’s just what the doctor ordered *wink*.

    Wishing you well my friend! The mailman delivered my book today… I can’t wait to read your section Ceil (and thank you for the lovely card). You are a treasure my friend.

    • Hi Jennifer! Good one with the ‘doctor ordered’! If you feel the loss of God so quickly, that is a true blessing. Many people are far away until they realize it.

      I’m so glad you got the Chicken Soup book, phew! I hope you like it. It was my pleasure to send it 🙂
      Happy Monday!

  11. There was a time in my life when I wandered far from the Lord. Though my heart still loved Him, my life did not reflect it. There came a time when I knew it was time to return. And, lo and behold, I was greeted by a Father who had waited for me with open arms. Sometimes the biggest impediment to returning to Him is in our own minds. We musn’t let guilt or shame or any other feeling impede us. We just need to come back, with the gift of our hearts. He’s there…waiting…as He has been all along.


    • Hi Sharon! Boy, do I agree with you. I know my own worst enemy is often ‘me’. How close our Father wants us to be to him, and how much is hurts when we are away.

      I’m so happy that you felt so loved by God when you returned. I think I am lost and found a lot in my life. I wish I could be more constant. Well, as you say, he’s there. Waiting. I just don’t want to be gone so much.

      Thank you for your honesty, and your thoughtful comment too.

  12. Such a wise analogy, Ceil. I am grateful you’re “giving this writing thing a whirl.” I truly enjoyed reading this post, and you’ve encouraged me today. Just this morning, the Lord spoke something straight to my heart during my time in the Word, which just reinforced to me how important is it to stay connected to him. Thank you for commenting on my post today so that I could find your site as well! Blessings!