Do Not Be Afraid, I Am With You

So this entry has been a long time coming. Like I meant to write this two Sundays ago when it was more relevant, but just never actually got around to sitting down and typing it out. In any case, after my first week of orientation (I work three days a week…I love the nursing life), I had a string of five days off, so I went back to Baytown to help my parents out and whatnot (Also for the people calling me a deadbeat for not using my first paycheck on my parents, I used my first “vacation” to go home and do work for them. Keep talking.). So that Sunday, we went to Mass.

I don’t know how many people this actually happens to, but there are just a few hymns for me that no matter what is going on, no matter what I’m doing, if I hear them, my knee-jerk reaction is to just start crying. And it’s not even like it’s always a bad cry; it just makes me really emotional. Well one of those songs is the one quoted in the title: it’s called “You Are Mine.”

I will come to you in the silence
I will lift you from all your fear
You will hear My voice
I claim you as My choice
Be still, and know I am near

I am hope for all who are hopeless
I am eyes for all who long to see
In the shadows of the night,
I will be your light
Come and rest in Me

Chorus:
Do not be afraid, I am with you
I have called you each by name
Come and follow Me
I will bring you home
I love you and you are mine

I am strength for all the despairing
Healing for the ones who dwell in shame
All the blind will see, the lame will all run free
And all will know My name

Chorus:
Do not be afraid, I am with you
I have called you each by name
Come and follow Me
I will bring you home
I love you and you are mine

I am the Word that leads all to freedom
I am the peace the world cannot give
I will call your name, embracing all your pain
Stand up, now, walk, and live

Chorus:
Do not be afraid, I am with you
I have called you each by name
Come and follow Me
I will bring you home
I love you and you are mine

So as soon as I heard the opening chords on the piano, I knew it was already going down, and I could already feel something in my chest just start to move. And as the song goes through, I’m fighting to hold it together in the middle of communion. Thankfully I didn’t have to be a Eucharistic minister, so I wasn’t up in front of everybody, but still…being the guy that got reduced to an emotional wreck by a song was not a niche I was interested in filling that day.

I’ve always liked the song, and it’s always had some effect on me, but considering my current circumstances, the words took on a whole new meaning. I mean the first two lines alone, “I will come to you in the silence, I will lift you from all your fear.” That kind of just primed the pump so to speak because while the transition into adulthood has already been initiated, true independence is seriously nigh, and once I save up enough to move out of the condo, that’s it. I can call my parents for advice, but I’m legitimately responsible for myself. And of course, there in that Mass, which while it’s described as a celebration, it’s far from loud and rowdy, and in that moment of inner silence, I felt a true sense of peace…as if that emotional stirring was the dust of my worries and anxieties being swept up and away.

Funny enough, it was almost a preparation for the week that I was about to have at work. My preceptor described them as “survival days”: days so hectic that we were just going to go into survival mode and stay afloat for the shift instead of having extensive teaching happening. And those days, I was a mess. Brand new graduate nurse on week two of orientation in the emergency department, and we got slammed. In those days, it was really easy to lose sight of what I was doing. But sometime on Wednesday, the memory of that Mass earlier that week resurfaced, and the emotions, the reactions I had made a lot more sense. It was a preparation for me…a supernatural reassurance that no matter what was to happen, I was going to be okay, and I was going to be taken care of, and as long as I kept in my mind and heart that this is not just my job but also my calling, I’d be granted the strength to get through even the most difficult of situations.

And looking back on that week, it made a lot more sense. Tuesday was my first really crazy day in the ED, and Tuesday night, I got a phone call from a good friend who said he happened to be in my neighborhood and wanted to see if I was free to grab a drink and chill, which was a complete anomaly considering his routine is to never do anything the nights before he has to work. And then Wednesday…

Wednesday was a different kind of crazy, and at the end, I was looking to just leave it at the hospital after I clocked out, and as I was walking up to the restaurant to enjoy dinner with a friend whose birthday it was, I got flagged down (I had just left the hospital, so I was still in scrubs) to help a kid who was having a seizure on the sidewalk. And even though with seizures, interventions are limited to calling 911 and making sure they don’t hurt themselves, my presence seemed to give the mother a bit of reassurance…just some relief that they weren’t alone to deal with this by themselves. And it was like God was telling me that this is no longer just my job. This isn’t a 9-5 I can leave at the office when I’m ready to clock out. This is my calling. This is my life. I have the power to help bring healing whether physical or emotional, even if all I do is be present. As long as my heart is in Him, He is with me, and I do not need to be afraid.