Thursday, January 7, 2010

lynn in love with the community of prayer

I usually try to keep the content of this blog light and airy... it's about being in love after all. However sometimes I like to get just a little more personal.

I've just been thinking about some things lately. First off, I've really been touched by a few people near me or in my community. Being the season, people tend to get sick more often. One of my college friends recently reached out via facebook and email about prayer for her mother who suddenly came down with a bad case of pneumonia and was in the ICU. Since her mother was in a Dallas hospital, I was able to come visit for a little bit. I'll have to be honest, and say it was a little bit odd to be on the other side in that waiting room. I will always remember being in a circle with her and her family as we prayed out loud and earnestly for her mother. And honestly, I did feel God's presence in that room listening and I felt the power of the community of our prayers together.

Unfortunately, my friend's mother passed away a few days ago which is very sad news. However, I still feel the spirit of the community of prayers that surrounded this event.

And then again, a outpour of prayer requests have been filling my twitter and facebook page for Natalie Norton, wedding photographer in Hawaii, and her 8 week old son, who suddenly developed RSV pneumonia and pertussis and was fighting for his young life. Again, this community of prayer felt so real to me as everyone reached out to provide a sense of comfort and support. Unfortunately, Gavin passed away this morning. You can read about it here.

It's funny. As an internal medicine doctor who works in the hospital, I pretty much deal with death almost every day. Either inevitable death (for those with cancer, or terminal infectious diseases), or on the verge (critical patients). Over the years during training and work, I learned to build up a wall around my own sensitivity. You have to in this line of work. While a sense of empathy and compassion in paramount; objectivity, competency, and calmness is vital to be an effective clinician. You have to access and evaluate facts and data as quickly as possible to make good swift decisions. You have to provide the same data to patients and their family objectively to help them arrive to good decisions. No matter how tragic a situation, you cannot let that show when you're with a family. You're the doctor; you are supposed to be the support and you have to instill confidence in them. After a while, I'll admit you do become de-sensitized. You have to be or you'll be overwhelmed and burnt-out with your job.

I have noticed that I've changed quite a bit since I started medical school. Now, I'm still a big girl in my personal life, I cry at movies and when I hurt. I do pretty gory things at work, but I won't kill a bug. However, if something medical comes up ever, I immediately feel a big wall come up. When I hear stories about so-so with this and that, I think "well that's unfortunate." and I immediately think about their risks for morbidity and mortality, what complications can arise, what are the chances of survival, what is the best treatments proven be research evidence. I'm very clinical and I wonder if that is a good thing or not?

It's funny. I believe strongly in the power of prayer and yet, I cannot remember the last time I prayed for a particular patient of mine or prayed for God to give me the wisdom and the skills to treat a case. When did I seperate God from my very work? This was only one of the things that I was just really touched by as I prayed this week for these two people and prayed for their doctors. And I wondered how many prayers have been prayed upon me the last years as I worked on numerous patients. And I wondered if and what may change if I prayed for myself and my work.

I am still praying for my friend and for natalie norton as they grieve for their lost ones. And I thankful for how they reached out to their communities and how that affected me and helped me reevaluate my faith a little and my humanity.

Lastly, I strengthened by their own faith even in the midst of their heartbreak.
Directly from Natalie's blog:

"God is real
God is good
Because of the atoning sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus Christ,
We will all live again."


  1. Wow. Thank you SO much for this post- I really get to see the more spiritual side of you, and the struggles that you face with God and your work- struggles that we ALL face. I am so sorry that you and your friends have had so much sadness and deaths recently, but it seems like you have put forward a new heart.

    I really enjoyed reading this, and thinking. God is ALWAYS there for us, and he's what we need to rely on- he knows everything and loves us unconditionally, and we need to put our trust and faith in him.

    Thank you.

  2. I hope God will hook me up with a