Starting with Tuesday of last week, my life at work became much more complicated.
In retrospect, there was no real reason for me to see it that way. My current student was doing beautifully, and because she was beginning to work independently, I suddenly found myself with plenty of time on my hands to do my paperwork and to tend to my administrative duties. As a result, for the first time in months, I am actually “caught up”. Everything was going well with my colleagues, most of my patients were progressing, and I even found myself going home on time.
So why is it that I was feeling so stressed?
There was just this one thing I haven’t mentioned: A new patient had recently come onto my caseload who was perhaps the most challenging one I’ve ever had to deal with in my 27-year career as a Speech-Language Pathologist/Therapist. No matter what I did, I couldn’t make any headway with this patient, and my feeble efforts only seemed to raise his ire–that, incidentally was high enough to begin with!
By Tuesday of that week, I was at my wit’s end. After having the worst session I’ve ever had in my entire career, I was completely and totally drained. I simply had nothing else to give to the rest of my patients, and when I looked at my schedule the next day and saw this patient’s name in my morning bunch of patients, I panicked. What could I do that would make a difference? How could I succeed in bringing “down” his ire, rather than raising it? How could I maintain enough of “me” so that the rest of my patients wouldn’t suffer?
That’s when I remembered something vitally important: I remembered to pray.
I was immediately impressed with some new activities to try, and when I went to see this particular patient, I found him calm. He wasn’t happy, but he was kind of “resigned” to the “very bad” fact that he had speech therapy. We had a beautiful session, in which we made certain headway, and the next day, when I again remembered to pray, it was exactly the same.
Praying about problems, big or small, is not a new thing for me, and hadn’t prayer made the world of a difference with my current student? Didn’t prayer bring me home on time every Friday, despite the fact that on Fridays, in addition to my regular work, I have to update the patients’ records? Hadn’t prayer proved time and time again to keep me calm? To see my endless mountain of work come to an end? Hadn’t I seen it make huge differences in the lives of my colleagues? Hadn’t prayer resolved so many family problems? Brought about healing? Provided wisdom in delicate situations with my kids, my husband, my mom?
Why did I wait so long to pray for this patient?
I don’t know the answer to that question. Probably for the same reason that I usually seem to wait about twice as long as necessary before remembering to pray about–say–anything!
Many of you reading this post are dealing with problems far bigger than an angry, belligerent patient. Some of you are in life-or-death struggles. It doesn’t matter, however, what the nature of your problem is, for the fix is the same: “Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray.” (James 5:13 NIV)
Whatever it is you’re going through, I encourage you to do what I finally did this past Wednesday morning: Give it to God in prayer, ever believing that He will make a way, He will bring you through triumphant. Then sit back and watch while He answers your prayers: “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” (Matt 21:22 NIV)
But what if that solution isn’t immediately apparent? Join us next week for some suggestions.
In His love,
Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author — “Aboard God’s Train — A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer”, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.
(To access the entire “Let Them Pray” mini-series, please click here.)