It’s been almost an entire year since words like, “pandemic” and “quarantine” have been in our daily vocabulary. And while it seems like history has changed forever, God still remains the very same. Rachel Butterfield, a registered nurse in one of our city’s COVID-19 ICUs, reflects back on her past year working in healthcare and how her foundation in Christ has carried her through even the toughest of days.
“I was raised in a Christian household and started to have a faith that felt like my own when I was in junior high. As I watched peers and others around me make decisions that didn’t honor the Lord, I questioned His goodness. I struggled with a lot of anger and doubt when I saw hurt in the lives of those I loved. I watched people, who called themselves Christians, act one way at church and then another way on Friday nights – it was very confusing as a teenager.
“Through discipleship from older women in my church and by God’s grace I decided to follow Him. I struggled through high school because I didn’t have a ton of friends and felt very isolated with my faith. But when I went to college, I learned what a true community was. I was surrounded by people my age who wanted to pursue the Lord in every part of their lives.
“I spent a lot of time my freshman year of college asking the Lord how the gifts and passions He gave me could meet my love for medicine, health, and science. I have always loved helping people, and nursing seemed to be the best fit. Later, I realized nursing is an area where I have the privilege of stepping into some of the most vulnerable moments of people’s lives.
“Flash forward to 2020. When COVID-19 started spreading in March, my team at the hospital only knew was what it looked like in other places, like New York and Italy, but we weren’t sure how it would look in Dallas. The hardest parts were the unknowns and having to filter through so much new information from a medical standpoint. In the past, I never felt anxious going to work, but the pandemic changed that. Healthcare workers across the country have seen more death in a short period of time than we are used to. Somedays it feels like we do everything we can, and the outcome doesn’t change. There has been a burden that is hard to put into words because we have also stepped into the gap for our patients when their families aren’t allowed to be there.
“This year, I have applied what I’ve learned in Scripture for so long. As Christians, we pray ‘give me this day our daily bread’ often. I learned it over and over in my childhood as I memorized The Lord’s Prayer, but I now see the importance of those words. There have been so many days when I feel completely drained emotionally, spiritually, and physically, but I have to trust that the Lord gives me exactly what I need for the day. Whether I’m exhausted or rested – it is exactly as He plans.
“On the hardest days, when I feel the most defeated and lonely, He is the only thing I can hope in. Some days that truth is the only thing getting me up and going. I have to constantly reevaluate what dependence on Christ looks like for me in each new season of life as it changes. Scripture reminds me that what we’re doing on earth isn’t pointless, even if we can’t immediately see the fruit. God is still working – even when the day-to-day seems monotonous. We may never see it on this side of eternity, but His purpose is being fulfilled.
“I am so grateful I had a foundation of faith in Christ before this year. I wrestled so much with doubt and anger when I was young, but I had those questions answered early. I am encouraged by Psalm 27:13-14 to look upon the goodness of the Lord. I never anticipated walking through a pandemic in my lifetime, but my faith has allowed me to walk through these days with hope that death doesn’t win in the end. Jesus died for us and then rose again. He defeated death for us. My faith has given me hope that no matter what we walk through, Jesus still gets the final say.
“If you’re working in healthcare or living through a different type of tough season, I want you to know this doesn’t have to be it. You don’t have to put all of your hope in what you’re seeing. Your hardships may be taking a toll on you in ways that others can’t see, but you can trust God and recognize His goodness in even the littlest things. We’re not expected to handle life or hardships alone. If we had to do it alone, we’d fail; We do fail. But Jesus is our hope.”
Watermark Health aims to equip, serve and deploy healthcare workers in our city in a variety of ways, including support groups that will launch in April. If you’d like to know more about these opportunities, email firstname.lastname@example.org