To Him be the glory. I was a missionary nurse in Africa for 10 yrs. I met my husband in Senegal, W. Africa and I have a daughter who is 2.5yrs old who was born in Senegal.
Two years ago I came home with my family to the States knowing I'd still do nursing in some capacity, but with no real direction. I took a job at a 5 star rehab facility which paid well, but there was no sense of team. It felt as if no one genuinely cared about the patients or wanted to be there. It was the nightmare I was dreading coming back to Stateside nursing after missions.
Then one day in January 2018, I saw Brooklyn in one of your Facebook posts. Keep in mind, I had been a nurse for 20 years at this point. I had mostly been in Africa where working in all areas of nursing is a must. For 20 years I had done my best to avoid the sadness of pediatrics at all costs. However, God truly did something in my heart the day I saw Brooklyn. I had become a mom in 2017, and unbeknownst to me, I now had something inside of me I didn't know I had. The day I saw Brooklyn that “something” came alive.
After seeing Brooklyn and feeling the heartaches all of you were dealing with, I immediately went to the nearest agency that hired private duty RN’s for special need kids with tracheostomies, vents, etc. This was an area of nursing I hadn't touched in Africa, for as you know, these kids don't typically make it there. But I wanted to trust God to help me to learn! I had an “x” amount per hour I felt I needed to help my family and the agency offered a shockingly lower amount. Just being real here, I walked away. But the story gets a little surreal and amazing, so hang on.
Fast forward to later that same year, I was feeling I should apply to be on the game show Wheel of Fortune. I sent in a video, got a call to audition, and drove in a snowstorm to Indianapolis to audition. I didn't hear anything after two weeks, and I was told if you don’t hear anything within 2 weeks of the audition you weren’t selected to be a contestant. So I chalked it up to a fun experience. We then moved, I quit my rehab job, and began looking for a nursing position closer to home. I saw a posting for a weekend position at a nonprofit home for children and adults with profound disabilities 10 minutes from my new home. I was looking for a weekend position which would allow me to be a stay-at-home mom during the week. I applied and received a call back right away, but again, as a nonprofit, the base pay was low. I refused the interview telling them with my husband working as a commission based excavation laborer, our income was inconsistent, and I needed something that would help our family financially.
That night I had a dream I was a contestant on the Wheel of Fortune. It’s a long dream, but bottom line, the contestants I was playing against in the dream were special needs kids and I saw myself in the dream trying to win money against them. The meaning of the dream was clear. I was putting money before the children. I woke up sobbing uncontrollably, then woke up my poor husband saying, "Honey I have to take this job regardless of the pay. I have to stand before God someday!" He, being the sweet man he is said, "Sure honey, no problem, I am going back to sleep now." Which leads me to where I am now.
Back when I was applying with that first agency in 2018 after learning Brooky’s story, my prayer was "I need "X" amount per hour" and that agency wasn't even close, so I walked away. Then God told me through that dream to work at this home regardless of the pay and I absolutely love it. I love the people I work with, they are all in it for the kids, and it is a meaningful job which I really needed in order to not “lose my mind” working for the medical system here in the States. And guess what? I ended up getting the call to be on Wheel of Fortune and won $7800. And I learned a lesson I should have learned in Africa.
Smetimes it is not about the "X" per hour. God can bless beyond our imaginations
and I am so happy in my new found passion. Now, a year and a half after I began following Brooklyn's journey, I am about to accept a 2nd job, a part time position to be a private duty nurse for kids like Brooklyn with an agency God put on my heart in Wheaton, IL. I have a sense this is a company with a mission to help kids requiring a lot of care transitioning home. And they are offering me that exact "X" per hour I asked God for in Jan 2018.
I sat down to have a quiet time this morning and God nudged me to write you. I met so many great people in passing as a missionary, and you were one of them. When I met you briefly in Spain, you were such a vibrant person who makes one feel as though they are a close friend even as they pass through your life. That is what stood out to me about you. And your daughter’s courage to fight for Brooklyn's life, how you all shared her story so vulnerably with the world, was so beautiful to me. I cried and prayed with you as we should in the body. It certainly changed the direction of my life in such an unexpected way and I am forever thankful for Brooklyn's very short yet very purposeful life. Please share this story with her mom if you feel it would encourage her where she is at right now. God bless you all and continue to use you to minister to others.