Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Has it really been almost two months since graduation??

I've been meaning to post an update for awhile but I'm just now catching up on life...since graduation and Hurst, I've had two family weddings (in WA and MN), been in a wedding in California, and taken and passed NCLEX. And now I finally get to rest :)

As many of you know through facebook, last month I accepted a position at CHLA on the bone marrow transplant unit. I had also had an offer from the University of Washington on the acute leukemia and bone marrow transplant unit and felt extremely blessed to have offers from two incredible hospitals. I had four days to make the decision and ended up making the call to CHLA as I was picking up 33 cheesecakes for my cousins wedding in MN (slightly nutzo). My family was all supportive of my decision and I was looking forward to working in LA.

God had something different in store. The week after I had a pit in my stomach and a lot of unrest about my job decision (if you've never had a pit like that I don't recommend it...i probably gave myself a gastric ulcer). I thought I had prayed through decision and talked through it the best I could. But as more time passed, the less peace I felt. I spent that week praying a ton and seeking a lot of wisdom. To make a long story short, the more time that went on the more I felt God's leading back to WA. I contacted UW again to see if by chance they still had a position open. I heard back from the manager almost immediately offering me the position yet again. That was the last little bit of confirmation I needed. So now I am officially moving back to Seattle next month and starting at UW on September 12th. As time has gone on I have only felt continued peace about the decision and growing excitement to be near all my family again.

This was totally not the process I had imagined for myself but I feel sure of God's leading and am excited to see what He has in store. It has been a crazy journey the past two months since graduation but so fun to see where God is leading everyone in our class. Love to you all!

Monday, July 18, 2011


Isn't it great to be in "relaxing mode?" After all of those days of studying (and trying to find places with free air-conditioning that I could camp out in), I am getting some much-appreciated R and R. I don't know about you, but in an effort to remain "focused" and "committed" during my week of intense studying, I kept putting things off that seemed like they could wait.

you know, things like: cleaning my room, vacuuming, cleaning my kitchen, showering, ect...

It was such a great feeling to come home after the NCLEX and get all of those checked off my list. Especially that showering one. Man, that felt good. Of course, I'm kidding. I did shower during the week before my NCLEX. I'm just not going to reveal how many times...

After taking the Hurst Review, I worked full-time hours for about 2.5 weeks to finish out my time at CHLA. Right after that, Betsy and I went to the Washington, DC area to attend our former housemate's wedding. Some of the sights we saw as we sweated through every piece of clothing in that Eastern humidity:Holocaust Museum, Monuments, Arlington National Cemetery, and the Museum of American History. We had a blast. Here is some pictorial proof:

Betsy gettin' her history on!

at the top of the Lincoln Memorial Steps

L to R: Megan (our friend), yours truly, my other half, Linzy (the bride), Tavia (our friend)

And now I am at my parent's house in beautiful Ventura, CA. I have been here a week, and am staying for another 5 days; then I am off to the not-as-beautiful-but-still-kinda-sorta-nice city of Fresno to stay with my best friend for 5 days, and of course hang out with Jenna. Not as exciting as a new boo (oh yeah CLARA!!!), but still nice. I begin my job on August 8th, and would much appreciate prayer for the beginning of that journey. Also, Betsy is heading out for Cambodia and Singapore (i think that's right), for about 2 weeks with her church and she would most certainly covet your prayers as well. She is participating in orphan care and some health teaching.

I miss all of you guys, and it has been very exciting to see how God is working in people's lives in this new stage of life. I'll write again once I start my job!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Can I get an "Amen?"

Hi everyone!

I hope your summers are going well. I miss seeing all of you on a regular basis.

It's weird that in just a month a lot of things have changed, but such is the nature of life. And things will continue to change as we all start getting jobs and start working.  The future holds so many possibilities.  It's exciting, yet daunting. 

I wanted to blog and update you all on what's going on with me.  I have officially been hired and started working at Los Angeles Christian Health Center, specifically the Joshua House clinic where Rachel Dunham works.  The way that I got the charge nurse position is completely a God thing and I wanted to expand a little bit more on that because it is so good.

When I was originally "hired," I was hired for the dispensary position in the clinic, which was a temporary 3 month position.  I was going to take the place of the RN who worked in the dispensary (or pharmacy) as he moved into the charge nurse role.  My job was temporary because should the other nurse decide that the administrative role wasn't for him, he was guaranteed his old position.  So that was the plan. And I was excited about the opportunity to work in the dispensary, even if it was only for a short time.

Little did I know, that while I was waiting to hear from the clinic about when I was going to start, that there were already changes happening.  Apparently, the nurse in the dispensary realized that he wasn't cut out for the charge nurse role and declined the offer after prayerfully considering it.  I had gotten an email during HURST review about changes happening but I had no idea that that was what it meant.  All the while, the director of nursing, who wanted an experienced nurse to take the position was looking for and interviewing other nurses. What all this means is that while I thought I had a secure job at the clinic, I actually didn't! HAHA. Yikes.  During this time of waiting on my end, even though I had no idea what was going on, I felt God telling me that things will work out in the end and that I had nothing to worry about.  I was able to focus on just studying for the NCLEX.  During this time,  I also got a call from UCLA about interviewing for the PICU, which was exciting. I even started to think about what it would be like to work for UCLA, etc.

But, I only did an initial interview with UCLA and after a few phone calls to their HR department, it became apparent that they weren't going to call me for a second interview.  That week, I felt really disappointed and wondered about what was NOT going on. HAH.  The thought of working at the PICU in UCLA sounded really exciting, but I saw in my own heart that I was more excited about saying that I worked there than I was about working in a hospital. I knew it would open up a lot of doors and would look awesome on my resume.  But I also knew that I didn't want to actually work in a hospital and that I eventually wanted to end up in community health or something.  I thought about the Joshua House clinic and remembered why I was excited to work there in the first place, to be able to live out the Gospel in a more intentional way and to be able to love on the urban poor on Skid Row... that's where I really wanted to be. But I still hadn't heard from them.  I had to again trust that God was in the works somehow. I wanted to be open to Him, to let go of my control, my fears and my anxiety and to be open to the direction He was going to move my life. 

That same week, I got a phone call from the DON at the Joshua House clinic.  She told me that she knew that I had been in contact with the director of pharmacy and wanted to see if I was interested in interviewing for the charge nurse position instead.  I was a little dumbfounded.  But she continued, "Linell, God works in mysterious ways.  And your name has been on my mind and has been coming across my desk these last few weeks and I feel like I need to be obedient.  I said that I wanted to hire an experienced RN (to which I replied, "Um, yeah. I don't blame you!) but as I've learned through the years--what I want is often different from what God wants or is planning. Can you come in on Monday at 11am for an interview?"

That was on Wednesday, June 22nd. And I was taking the NCLEX on the 25th and heading up to Santa Barbara for the weekend to forget about it.  What ended up happening that weekend was amazing in that I was able to reflect on all the things that God had been doing in my life over the last five years!  But, just to talk about what happened that weekend would take another blog post or two--and since this is already getting pretty long, I will spare you from all the nitty gritty details :). Basically, the gist of what God revealed to me was:  how He had broken me only to restore me and prepare me for His work and for leadership.  That I now had a clearer identity of who I am in Him and a real assurance of His great love for me and for His people.  And in my brokenness, I can love others in their brokenness and show the same grace that He has shown me--in a very real and honest way.

When Monday rolled around, I walked into the interview not really knowing what was going to happen.  After the DON talked to me about what the position entails and what her vision was for the charge nurse, she asked me how I felt.  I told her that I felt a lot of peace about the situation and that God had done amazing things in my life leading up to this point which felt like would prepare me for such a role and I was compelled share my testimony with her.  At the end of it all, I said that even if I don't get hired, I know that I was supposed to be there, in her office, to share what God has done in my life.  She gave me a hug then a hearty "Amen."  Then she asked me if I ever actually filled out an application for Joshua House and I said no, so she sent me off to fill one out.  She said that she had a few interviews lined up for the position in the afternoon and she was looking to hire someone that same week and thus needed an application from me ASAP.

Admittedly, as I was sitting in an empty room filling out the necessary paper work, I felt nervous.  I knew that it made more sense for her to hire an experienced RN. What new grad nursing student takes a charge nurse position--especially a new grad without any tangible hospital experience?  That's ridiculous!  It wouldn't make any sense!

After I filled out my application, I walked back into her office to give it to her.  She asked me to have a seat and closed the door.  Then she said, "Linell, what I see in you is openness.  And a desire to obey God.  We are first and foremost a ministry and we want people who work here to love God and to love the people we serve.  This is why I want to offer you the charge nurse position here at Joshua House."  I couldn't believe it!  I sat there excited with tears welling up from my eyes.  I noticed that she was crying, too!  We hugged each other and then she said, "Well, this is the first time I've felt peace about this in a while!"  I told her that I felt pretty awesome, too. 

Then she gave me my official start date, which was June 29th.  And I have been training ever since.  I just feel like this job is such a wonderful blessing from God and it's a miracle to me! It also seems like such a perfect fit for the ways that God has made me to be.  Many of the people that I've met at work have told me that they have been praying for me, or at least for whoever was going to fill the charge nurse position, and they are excited for me to join their team.   I feel so blessed and well supported.  I definitely want to give all the glory to God, because of how He has prepared me for this and how He's worked in my heart to lead me to a place of openness.  I am really excited for what He has in store for me in this new role.  I know that it will be hard, so if I ever come across your mind, please pray for me and that I would continue to be obedient and open!

If you've made it this far, thank you for reading!  :) Take heart the truth of God's love and provision, that He does not leave us behind. For He knows exactly where He wants us.     
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them." [Ephesians 2: 10]