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  • Writer's pictureBrooke

The Day I Did CPR

For a long time after that day, I constantly felt the need to check myself for my own pulse. I pressed two fingers under my neck to check and remind myself what being alive felt like, what being well perfused was, and to remind myself of the day I checked someone else for a pulse and it wasn't there. For weeks, and even months, and sometimes even now almost a year past that day, I still feel my own pulse... just to make sure, just to remind myself.

For me, doing CPR will forever be one of the worst, traumatic days of my life. It was a day I tried so hard, I prayed so hard, and I felt like I had prepared so hard in my life.... for this moment.... and yet despite my efforts, despite my prayers, despite the fact that I gave 100% and every tear and cry of desperation, it wasn't enough.

No nursing class could have prepared me for how it felt to pound on someone's chest, to breathe air mouth to mouth, and for it not to be enough... to save even my own friend.

As a nurse, you are "trained to save lives." That's what they tell you in nursing school, that's what they tell you in the hospital, and I think every nurse wants to know that they are making a difference. That they saved someone's life. That they accomplished that- in a way career goal- of coming through for someone in the midst of trauma in that life altering moment between life and death.

You feel like, if you do everything right, it should work. If you do your best, it should work. If you do what you are trained to do... it should be enough. But sometimes it's not enough....

I'm not in the business of saving lives or bringing healing. That's God's job, it's not mine. And that day God didn't answer my prayer in the way I wanted him too. That day as so many people prayed.... we didn't see a miracle.

God isn't like Santa Clause. And His goodness isn't reliant on our satisfaction in the way He answers our prayers.... I had a pastor ask me after the incident.

Would God have been more faithful if He would saved the life that day?

And my immediate answer is yes, of course.

But the truth is God's faithfulness, His goodness, His character is not dependent on how he chooses to interact or not interact with the circumstances of our lives and this earth. Nothing can change the fact that God is good and that He is always working for our good, but sometimes we can't see it.

At the end of the day, I have to rest in the confidence and belief, that God is still good despite what happened. That God was with me on that day and in that situation, He was with me guiding me, comforting me, loving me, and He was also with my friend in that situation. And while there is so much I will never understand, and while I wished I could have saved a life that day, I have to rest in peace knowing, I am not a super human. It is not my job to save lives, only God can. It is my job to do my best, to do my job in love, and to let God work through me even if it's not an easy answer or outcome that I was hoping for.

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