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Called to be a N.U.R.S.E


N – NURSE

MY CALLING WAS LARGELY RELATED to my Christian heritage. My parents were Methodists who faithfully brought my brother and me to Sunday School week after week.

From young I learned to do good and not evil. When I finished school in the 1960s, the majority of the girls were either nurses or teachers. I dreamed that I would be a teacher as I admired the intellect of my teachers.

However, I was determined to be a nurse, mainly influenced by my literature book Florence Nightingale. I was touched by how this rich aristocratic girl could condescend to clean the soldiers and dress their dirty wounds during the Crimean War. Nursing must be a noble profession, I thought to myself. I may be an ordinary girl, but I was set apart to fill a place in His great plan. Another reason was that I wanted the freedom of leaving home and having the experience of staying with friends in a hostel.

U – USE

As I began my career, I wanted the Lord to USE me for His glory. I asked Him to bless the work of my hands so that the sick and the ill in their weakness might witness His touch of power.

R – RESOURCES

The Lord gave me abundant RESOURCES to enable me to be of service to others. During my student nurse days He gave me wisdom, knowledge and understanding in my studies.

A rich resource was from my friends in the Singapore Nurses’ Christian Fellowship. They were one of a kind that reflected the beauty of the Lord Jesus.  This was the period when I grew in my Christian life. We studied the Bible and prayed together, learnt to memorise verses and claimed on God’s promises whenever the going was tough. The Lord equipped me with specialised knowledge and skills in midwifery and critical care nursing.

I saw the wonders of God’s handiwork and experienced the joy of each new birth. I also experienced pain and grief when nursing the critically ill and the dying.

Nursing is a rewarding career. In 1984, I was awarded an overseas scholarship for the Diploma in Nursing Education at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in Brisbane. My dream to be a teacher was realised as I was posted to the School of Nursing and taught nursing for a few years. In 1991, I was given study leave to pursue the Bachelor of Business (Health Administration) and Masters in Nursing in Australia, again at the QUT. On my return from my studies, I was seconded to work in the Ministry of Health.

S – STRENGTH

The Lord gave me extraordinary STRENGTH. Nursing is both physically and emotionally exhausting but I can claim on the Lord’s promise that I can do ALL things (no matter how difficult, how dirty, how humble, how unrewarding) through Christ Jesus who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13).

At the peak of my career in 2003, I had to retire early as my husband, Kok Poh, an avid sportsman, sustained a spinal cord injury after a fall and was paralysed. The doctors told me that he would have the same fate as “Superman” – actor Christopher Reeves – who was completely paralysed, bed-bound and eventually died of infection. However, after a successful operation, and in the name of Jesus, Kok Poh was able to rise up and walk with a frame.

He has been very independent and spends most of his time on the computer, reading and giving tuition until two months ago in August when he had a stroke resulting in left-sided weakness. He is currently undergoing rehabilitation and last Sunday, he struggled to help me type a little of this article. We know that God is faithful, He will not suffer us to be tempted above that we are able but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that we may be able to bear it (1 Corinthians 10:13).

E – EXAMINE

Now that I am in my glowing years, EXAMINE me Lord, and continue to use me. Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:

Lord, you know: I am wicked, weak and worn.

I know: Lord, you will forgive my sinful ways, your strength is made perfect in my weakness, and you will give me rest when I labour and feel heavy laden.

Many things about tomorrow, I don’t seem to understand, but I know Lord, you hold the future and you hold my hand, and lead me to the way everlasting (Psalm 139: 23-24). ank you for calling me to be a NURSE.

THE LORD’S PROMISE

“ The Lord gave me extraordinary strength. Nursing is both physically and emotionally exhausting but I can claim on the Lord’s promise that I can do all things (no matter how difficult, how dirty, how humble, how unrewarding) through Christ Jesus who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13).

Elizabeth Lim Ee Lee works part-time as a Nurse Mentor at the National University Hospital. She is a member of Fairfield Methodist Church and serves in the visitation team. She is also an Adviser to the Singapore Nurses’ Christian Fellowship.

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