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WEEK 14: WORK TO BE DONE



Author: Janis

Hi all, I hope you had a wonderful Easter with time for reflection on both the crucifixion and the resurrection. How God works with us has been on my mind a lot recently (see Week 1 for more on that!). This week, my friend Janis shares how a casual prayer came before a harrowing, life-changing event; she was held hostage. In her fear, she cried out to God and felt his reassurance; "It is not your time, I have more work for you to do".


Read Janis' full story below and enjoy pondering her question: what will your next job for God be?


Let us know in the comments.


 

In Janis' words...


"My name is Janis Milne I am married and a mum of two beautiful grown-up young ladies. I am a registered nurse currently working in a private boy’s school. Sometime before being asked to write for the Hope Hour, I was given the below Bible verse. I found myself reflecting on how God has worked in my live over many years to be a “Fisher of Men” by following him.


Bible Verse Matthew 4:19

I became a Christian when I was 17, a couple of years before I left home to train as a nurse. During my training I stopped going to church; as a new Christian it was really hard with shift work, studying & outside influences.


Once I qualified, I became a career girl; nursing was my life, no space for God. In my early 30s I had landed a really interesting and challenging job working as a senior nurse in the prison service. I was primarily in charge of the detox unit, but out of hours in charge of health care for the entire prison. Every day was different, I thought I could make a real difference. I thought I was really happy.


God pathing the way to change


Sometime into my job I became ill with a long bout of a really persistent virus, after which I discovered I was pregnant. We were really excited about becoming parents planning the perfect birth, researching & learning all about children. Nothing could go wrong.


Just before the baby was due my husband lost his job. I was in charge at work when a huge cell fire decimated the entire healthcare wing. Followed by a dash by me to the hospital with possible early labour and an early start to my maternity. I rested at home and our daughter arrived a week later than expected by emergency c-section. Soon after which I became very unwell. I could not cope with anything. My life was out of control, having no idea what was happening. I was diagnosed with post-natal depression and to my horror was referred to the local psychiatric unit as an outpatient. The year I had planned to take out to enjoy and bond with our daughter turned into a shameful calamity.


In my deepest darkest hour, I suggested we go to church - with the excuse of we needed to get the baby christened. We were warmly greeted and made to feel loved and welcomed. I was invited to a lady’s bible study group and of course baby group. God was clearly working in my life.


Towards the end of the year my life changed, I was well, Pete had a new job, and we had a young daughter to care for. Bigger than that Jesus was part of my life again. After my maternity leave returning to my job, juggling family and church were very hard. I was beginning to wonder what my next move would be. I was exhausted with the commute and the endless revolving door syndrome of the same sad faces. The smell, the desperation the sadness. Things I could not change.

 

I remember seeing that one of the other nurses with a bible in her hand at work. I thought I should pray more. I casually said the words “Father God change my life I want more than this everyday”, not thinking anything of it. In fact, because nothing happened immediately, I forgot about it. But the answer I received totally shocked me, taking me on an awesome journey in which God has been the centre. A roller coaster of highs and lows though which he is always beside me – subtly, sublimely holding my hand, sometimes lifting me up walking for me.


The start of awesome change


Around the time of my daughter’s 3rd birthday an event, occurred that would catapult me onto a different life trajectory. Sunday was always a quiet day at work; only a few staff so just the basics. One landing one cell at a time opening for breakfast & medication. A quick, quiet half day, easy; just some medications on the wing, a tidy up, prepare for Monday GP clinic, then home to host a party of 3-year-olds. Lots of good forward planning and an army of relatives to help. What could possibly go wrong.


Morning medications


I did not even notice for a short time there was no officer monitoring my door. There was an unwritten rule the female nursing staff were not to be harmed – we were the key to getting essential things like the doctor, medication, and hospital visits. It was a sort of respect thing. Always on my guard but I followed the rules and felt safe. Except on this day there was one prisoner who was not happy with us and the prescribed care he was being given.


All change


Suddenly I heard shouting. As I turned around someone had jumped the stable door into the medical room. Other prisoners who worked on the wing raised the alarm, they tried to get in and help. Bells were ringing doors were slamming. The male prisoner broke a bottle and demanded my keys. He grabbed me and held the broken glass medical bottle to my throat he whispered to me “I am not going to harm you; I will not hurt you don’t be scared” I was terrified!


He was the one prisoner who nobody could predict, diagnosed with a personality disorder, – constantly in the Psychiatry wing at this point physically unwell too. I was alone, locked in the prison medical room with him.


I thought this is it, my time has come, I am going to die. Thoughts raced through my mind – my daughter, husband, parents. I would never see them again. What about the kids coming to the party?


What should I say?

What should I do?

How do I survive?


I was there for what seemed like hours, 1 & 1/2 to be precise. Using all of my energy to buy time. All I remembered from my hostage training was - we don’t give in! It was down to me to survive - I chatted, befriend, negotiated, lied, medicated. Broke every rule and gave my keys up, cried, screamed shouted, panicked and finally - I cried out to GOD. I remember thinking please God can you just make this guy disappear or open the door and allow the big strong men in to rescue me. What I said was


 “God please if this is my time look after my daughter, don’t let me suffer- let it be quick”.


The response in the noisy chaos was mind blowing. I heard a calm strong friendly voice in my head, clearly say to me:


God's words

Eventually, after an hour and a half, God did allow them to open the door and rescue me. I can remember feeling relief that I was alive and there was a chance of still getting to the toddler party, thanking God for literally saving me again. What I did not realise was I would never return to the prison or my dream job and my life would change for ever.


Afterwards


I made it to the toddler party although I was pretty useless when I arrived but I was there. Some days later I became very ill with PTSD. What is astonishing is that God had prepared me for this when I was ill before with PND. God walked with me through this providing me with everything I needed to recover. Good church support, a minister who had worked for the probation service in prison. A Christian GP who referred me to a Christian psychiatrist. Who then sent me to a counsellor who she knew was a Christian. This amazing lady gave me Bible verses in addition to my therapy. Over time I recovered and came off my medication. Of course there was an investigation, a court case and eventually I was medically retired. Though all of which God provided me with support, encouragement and so much more.


I HAVE MORE WORK FOR YOU TO DO


Over time new opportunities were put in front of me for work with children both in and out of church. Huge things Backpackers, Craft – for 300 kids. Kids Christian holidays with Ventures 2022 to date.  A Mission trip to South Africa in 2019 – Transform Mission. Last year 2023 The Mark drama. I never understood the phrase “God doesn't call the equipped — he equips the called.” Which is true in my case. I have been blessed by being able to return to nursing but in a totally different area. I have been on an amazing journey of Faith, where God has been the centre of my life, he is my Living Hope. Yes, God still has more work for me to do. I have a great respect for our God and his awesome power to change lives.


I can’t wait for my next job, what will your next job for God be?



 

Thank you all so much for reading this story of God connecting with his people. Let us know your thoughts in the comments.


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Until next week,



Name: Laura






Founder: Laura

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1 Comment


rebecca.olsen40
Apr 02

Janis, thank you so much for sharing your exciting, dramatic, and kind of scary, story. What a gift you received in that moment of adversity. ♥️

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