For Parish Nurses

Spiritual Development

Whom Do We Trust?

As Parish Nurses we are privileged to experience the trust of our parishioners. The following is a devotion from a book, Bible Readings for Caregivers written by one of the dear parishioners from my congregation, Betty Syverson.  Both she and her husband are together in heaven now, but I will always remember the wise counsel, support and encouragement of this caring older nurse.  On one visit with her, the congregation was facing a difficult issue and she said, “If we make an error in our decision, I would rather err of the side of grace”.  Wise counsel indeed!!   Phyllis Bruce

Here is her devotion on trust.

Hebrews 2:13:  “And again, I will put my trust in him”.

Worries and fears may hinder us from putting our trust in God.  Likewise our patients’ concerns may block our efforts in helping them until they place their trust in us.

One night I was making frequent checks on Anna, our new patient.  “She speaks Polish, very little English,” the evening nurse had reported.  “Her vision is so poor, she gets confused.  We put a waistband restraint on her.  Watch her closely.” 

Later, street light from Anna’s window revealed her tossing and turning, then trying to get out of bed.  Quickly, I reached her bedside and supported her until her short legs reaching the floor.

It was 12:30 a.m.  She needed rest, but how could I communicate with her? Tilting my head onto my folded hands, I feigned sleep, then asked, “You—no sleep?”  She stared blankly.  I placed a clear red sleeping pill in a tiny paper cup, pointing first to her, then to the capsule.  I pleaded, “Anna, you take?”

Her eyes studied my face, the capsule, then me again,

Slowly a nod of her head and the words, “Yah, I take.  I trust you.”  Then thrusting her forefinger upward, added, “God first! Then you.”

Thank you, Lord, that when worries and fears overwhelm us, we may put our trust in you. 

Syverson, Betty, Bible Readings for Caregivers, Augsburg Publishing House, 1987.

To see the three devotions in Graceful Aging series click on the following:
The Gift of Hope                   The Gift of Humor                             The Gift of Vision

Resources for Spiritual Development
Spiritual Direction – Seeking a Spiritual Companion
Spiritual direction is, in reality, nothing more than a way of leading us to see and obey the real Director — the Holy Spirit hidden in the depths of our soul. (Thomas Merton, Trappist monk, USA)

Some of you may wish to seek a spiritual director as a way to nurture your own spirituality.  This document briefly describes what spiritual direction is, identifies common misconceptions about spiritual direction, and gives you ideas on how to find a spiritual director.  Spiritual maturity and growth is critical for the parish nurse.  As you support others wholistically, tending to your own soul is important.  Spiritual Direction is only one way of keeping yourself on solid footing spiritually.  You might have other disciplines and practices that meet this need for you.
Please Click here for a more indepth discussion of Spiritual Direction by Carol DeSchepper,
including a web site to locate a Spiritual Director in your area.

Melissa's Prayer Journal:  The Power of Prayer in the Face of Cancer
A resource for faith encouragement and development, especially for people with health issues. In her letters to God, Melissa perfectly illustrates the power of positive coping in any circumstance! Give this book to anyone struggling with faith, health, or life issues, and let them learn Melissa’s secret for thriving in spite of difficulties!

Web sites for Spiritual Renewal and Growth
This is a wonderful spiritual resource from author and retreat and conference speaker, and spiritual "midwife"".  Joyce has a B.A. in English, a M.R. E. in Religious Education, and a M.A. in Transpersonal Psychology.  She is a member of the Servites (Servants of Mary) Community and was a volunteer for Hospice for fifteen years.  She currently resides in Des Moines, Iowa.  To sign up for her monthly newsletter go to

Joyce Rupp will be leading a retreat at Spirit in the Desert Retreat Center,  9/24-28/2017.
For more information see:

God Pause Daily Devotion
Looking for spiritual refreshment? God Pause email devotions are short, meaningful reflections on the following Sunday's lessons and gospel delivered directly to your email box. By Sunday, you'll be ready for an extra meaningful worship experience.