Happy Valentine’s Day

When I first wrote the title for this blog, I spent a few minutes contemplating the punctuation for the title. Should I do without? Add an exclamation for the obvious excitement that it brings for those in love or for those who spend it with other single friends? Or should I end it with a question to signify whether or not it’s truly a happy day for some?

2022

Once again, I chose to leave out the punctuation after 2022. But how did you feel after reading “2022”?

How did you feel on Dec 31, 2021?

As a Physician Assistant (PA), I entered Jan 1, 2022 with mixed feelings and thoughts. Hesitation, wonder, reflection, anxiety, determination, and hope.

As I reflect on 2022 so far, it remains a mixed year of feelings and thoughts.

I have had to hold hands with patients who have lost spouses to the Omicron strain and spent their first set of holidays without them. I’ve had to pray for patients who were newly diagnosed with Omicron and didn’t know if they’d see me next week for their re-test. And I’ve also rejoiced with those who survived Omicron and share their stories with me while sitting across from me in the exam room.

I have been yelled at, cussed at, and threatened.

But I’ve also been praised, thanked, and hugged.

As I reflect on 2020, 2021, and the very short time period of 2022 thus far, I have felt and continue to feel the ups and the downs. And as I ponder the punctuation that I should put after “Happy Valentine’s Day”, I can’t seem to find one at this moment.

What keeps me going as a PA?

I’m not promised tomorrow. It’s not the pay. It’s not the glory. It’s not the fame.

So…what is it?

For me, with all the darkness in the world, maybe I can shine a little bit of light in the world. I can keep poking holes in the darkness and make it a little bit brighter somehow.

In a world where Omicron looms over us, where Russia is becoming aggressive, where people are angry, and where families are falling apart, I can maybe walk into an exam room and be a beacon of light into that person’s life and provide warmth and love.

When a patient’s spouse has passed, maybe I can hold their hand and pray with them. Maybe I can look at photos on their phone and smile at who their spouse once was. Maybe I can listen to their favorite story about their spouse and re-live their favorite moments.

When a patient recently recovers from COVID and they’re stuck on an oxygen tank for an unknown amount of time, maybe I can smile and celebrate their small accomplishments for them when they don’t feel up to it. Maybe I can be their optimism when they once came so close to death and they wonder if they’ll ever fully recover.

And when patients see the light emanating from me, they’ll know the source within me is from Jesus Christ who dwells within me.

And that will give them hope for the rest of 2022.

14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16 NIV

Maybe the punctuation for “Happy Valentine’s Day” should remain open-ended for me this year because the work that God has for me is not yet finished.

Whatever your circumstance for Valentine’s Day and for the rest of 2022, I’m praying for you. I pray that your light shines and that your work glorifies God in heaven. Poke holes in the darkness of this world and be a beacon of light to others so that people can see the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. It’s needed now more than ever!

Let’s get to work!

May your work serve others and reflect God’s love and grace for all of your days in 2022.

My Valentine’s prayer for those who are reading this: Lord, heavenly father, I pray for the one reading this blog today that they may be blessed. I pray that they find purpose in this blog. Give them a mission after they read this. Give them a sense of action that they may go out and poke holes in the darkness of this world and seek those that are lost. Let their light shine, let them find your lost sheep, and tell them about Jesus Christ, your only son, and our savior. I pray a prayer of protection over them from Omicron so that they can continue to go out and serve you. I pray a prayer of protection and blessings over their families as they serve you as well. And Lord, heavenly father, as we continue towards Valentine’s Day, let us not forget the one true love, your love, the purest love of all. Thank you for your love, your grace, and your mercy. Amen.

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