Areas of Influence: Healthcare
By Wendy Miller
Working with people in mental health can be both difficult and rewarding, but at all times my desire to see God work in the lives of the patients has been uppermost. I can't wait to see God bring healing and salvation. Read on to find out more about my personal experience of the Kingdom in healthcare.
Eager for healing
I first started working at a local mental health ward in 1992 when I was quite a new Christian. I was full of hope to see people healed and I would pray at the drop of a hat. I didn’t see any healings happen in those early days and, disappointed by the seeming lack of impact, I left in 2000 for pastures new. I returned to a different ward in the same hospital in 2009 and continued to pray for my patients -- how could I not pray? The only difference was that before, the law had been on my side; now, it had become a sackable offence.
A breakthrough moment
At one of my yearly appraisals, my manager asked me for my goals in the coming year. I told her that I just want to do a good job and then go home.
“There must be something that you want to do,” she encouraged me.
“Yes, there is, but I know that I won't be able to, so I'm not going to tell you,” I replied.
Again she encouraged me to open up, so I told her, “I would like to be able to pray for people on the ward without fear of losing my job.”
She said, “Okay. I will write that on your appraisal form and we will see what happens.
Two weeks later I had an email from the unit manager to say that I was now the spiritual lead for my ward!
God at work
God is good and I have had the privilege of being able to pray and share God's love with many on the ward legally -- staff as well as patients. I have not yet seen physical healing but I have seen spiritual change in my patients. One lady in particular was in a terrible state and couldn't settle or rest. After chatting with her for a few minutes, I asked if I could pray with her. She agreed and afterwards the peace that came over her was amazing; I feel sure that this was the turning point to her recovery.
We have an amazing God who loves to share His love through us. What a wonderful privilege it is! When I retire, the door is now open for someone else to step into my shoes as spiritual lead for the ward. When a staff nurse assesses a patient who first comes on the ward, the nurse must also assess the patient’s spiritual needs. God’s kingdom is bringing transformation in all areas, including the healthcare system. Isn't He marvellous?