I did a 24 hours shift yesterday, and I just woke up. The shift actually wasn’t that busy, but I had to do my first cesarean since this COVID-19 pandemic became official. The OR and birthing space are actually my happy places, but yesterday, for the first time in a long time—maybe since my first year of residency, I felt fear. I keep hearing, reading and seeing the reports of healthcare workers dying. I keep reading that 20-40% of pregnant women coming into NYC Labor units have tested positive for SARS-COV2.
As I put on my N95 mask, mask cover, goggles, face shield, hat, gown and gloves—all that I will need to reuse on my next shift—I silently prayed for protection and peace. Then… I got a little angry about my fear, and I started to pray a different prayer—that God would give me a heart like David, who grabbed his weapons and ran out to meet the enemy boldly declaring that God would give him victory!
Anyone who knows me knows that The Dahveed Isreal and Judah (King David) is my absolute favorite Bible character of all time. I have studied his early life, ascension, reign, battles, insecurities, decisions, and most importantly his worship and faith for years now. The Dahveed (translates as “beloved leader” or “champion”) was originally know as “Ben Gerber,” or “Son of the master” because he wasn’t acknowledged and named by his father until he was 15 years old. At that pivotal moment of acknowledgement, His father asked him his name, and he responded “Dahveed,” which was a very clever nickname his Grandmother Ruth (yes the Ruth who snagged Boaz) gave him as a child—even when he was small and insignificant, she aptly called him a “beloved leader” and “champion.” The Dahveed was a hero no one ever saw coming except the prophet Samuel, yet he confronted a giant on the battlefield who had been killing men since his boyhood. Dahveed was without proper “armor” (in those days there was no blacksmith among the tribes of Israel and Judah, so out of the whole army camped on the hill, only King Saul and his son actually had armor). Though he lacked a lot: experience, proper PPE, strong leadership, and even the support of his community, Dahveed knew who God is. He had seen firsthand what God can do, and he believed God would make him victorious. He yelled out “Who is this giant thinking he can challenge the army of the Lord?! You’re coming at me with sword and shield, but I am coming at you in the name of the Lord!” Then the Dahveed grabbed his weapons and ran out to meet the giant without hesitation! The Dahveed had the heart of a champion, but more importantly he believed in that moment, that he was everything God said he was, and that God would deliver victory.
So I remembered the calling and anointing on my life, strapped on all the recommended gear I have, walked purposefully to that OR, picked up my scalpel, and went to work. I was a sweaty mess afterward, but was so grateful to HAVE all the recommended equipment and a hospital system that provides plenty of support.
I woke up this evening with a desire to encourage my fellow healthcare providers. COVID-19 looks big. It looks like a giant we can’t possibly confront and defeat. The list of people this giant is killing grows exponentially on a daily basis. We don’t have all the right armor or equipment. Many of us are afraid and demoralized by the magnitude of this public health crisis. We are worried about protecting ourselves and those we love—I get it, and I am right in it with you. I feel the heavy weight of mental and emotional exhaustion just like you do.
Except… God has never failed me yet. I cannot believe that he has brought me to this place to leave me. However all this ends, He has to work it for my good. I’ve been through and am even now going through a lot of awful, scary, terribly painful things, and God has never abandoned me. Not. Once. We don’t know as much as I wish we knew about COVID-19, but I do KNOW this about my God: I know He has been forever faithful to me, and He will not stop now. So I decided to give up on fear and trust Him. His word says that the Godly are as bold as lions, and that His Spirit will guide us into all wisdom, because GOD gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the scholars.
The unknown is terrifying us, defeating us in our minds before we even step out onto the battlefield. There is a reason the Bible says over and over again “do not be afraid.” Fear is paralyzing and demoralizing. Fear keeps us from thinking rationally and doing what makes good sense. Fear steals our energy and joy—and the Joy of the Lord is our STRENGTH. Fear and sustained stress weaken all our defenses—including our immune system. FEAR KILLS, HOPE STRENGTHENS.
So let’s have hope. Let’s take a chance and trust God. Let’s worship Him and thank Him that he has found us worthy to serve the suffering. Let’s petition Him for wisdom and discernment on how to proceed, what to do and when to do it. Let’s ask for his peace, protection and comfort for our patients, colleagues, families and ourselves. Let’s remember all the victories God has given us and where he has brought us from. Let’s acknowledge that this problem is too big for any one of us, but that it is “light work” for our God, who is keeping the planets in orbit and painting the beautiful evening sky I am watching right now….
Let’s raise a battle cry and run out to meet this enemy knowing that God will fight for us and add the “super” to the work we do in the natural realm. He will give us the strength to face our days. He will fortify our minds, hearts, and bodies by his spirit and by those he sends to offer us physical, mental, and emotional sustenance. He will provide the resources and ingenuity we need win this war—once the Dahveed won a battle by physically tearing down a wall to help his troops escape instead of fighting the enemy head-on!
We have become the The Dahveeds in our communities. I don’t know about you, but my spirit is screaming “Goliath is GOING DOWN!!!” I am choosing to #RefuseFearEmbraceWisdom&KeepFighting
Will you join me? We are #better2gether