My Uniform

skirtTonight I walked through the security room at a local emergency department. No one questioned my right to be there or challenged me. On the contrary, several security fellows looked up, smiled, and said hello.

Why was this you ask? It was because of my uniform. My uniform identifies me as a first responder. The patches on my sleeves show the company I work for and the level of training I have. The name badge on my collar contains my EMT number and employee ID.

Tonight I’ve been thinking a lot about my uniform and what it represents, even how it makes me act.

When I am in uniform, I tend to walk and act more confidently. I make an effort to look people in the faces. I walk with my head up. I try harder to act with courtesy and respect. And at all times in uniform I feel a pressure to be professional and at all times represent my uniform well. People stop me to ask directions. Little children are intrigued and want to say hi and talk to me. There’s a camaraderie between other first responders in the crew room. I’m allowed to go places and walk thru doors that are normally off-limits.

In emergencies, people immediately look to me because of my uniform. They recognize it as someone who should know what they’re doing. When people call us in an emergency,  they trust us to come into their homes and they trust us with the most private details of their lives. Because of our uniforms. They look at us to come in and bring order when their lives are upside down.

When I’ve been in uniform,  I have been handed free coffee. I’ve had people come up to me and ask if I knew their friend/family member who also works as an EMT. I’ve had people say thank you. I’ve also had people ask if I was a police officer. (I politely explained to them that I carry neither handcuffs or a gun nor do I have any interest in arresting someone.) People automatically lean toward trusting me when I’m in uniform. My word carries more weight.

All these thoughts got me to thinking. What if I acted this way as a believer in Christ? As a believer in Christ, I am in a sense wearing a uniform. My Christian uniform consists of the armor of God that’s in Ephesians 6:10-18 (AMP).

“10 In conclusion, be strong in the Lord [draw your strength from Him and be empowered through your union with Him] and in the power of His [boundless] might. 11 Put on the full armor of God [for His precepts are like the splendid armor of a heavily armed soldier], so that you may be able to [successfully] stand up against all the schemes and the strategies and the deceits of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this [present] darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) places. 13 Therefore, put on the complete armor of God, so that you will be able to [successfully] resist and stand your ground in the evil day [of danger], and having done everything [that the crisis demands], to stand firm [in your place, fully prepared, immovable, victorious]. 14 So stand firm and hold your ground, having [b]tightened the wide band of truth (personal integrity, moral courage) around your waistband having put on the breastplate of righteousness (an upright heart), 15 and having [c]strapped on your feet the gospel of peace in preparation [to face the enemy with firm-footed stability and the readiness produced by the good news]. 16 Above all, lift up the [protective] [d]shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. 18 With all prayer and petition pray [with specific requests] at all times [on every occasion and in every season in the Spirit, and with this in view, stay alert with all perseverance and petition [interceding in prayer] for all [e]God’s people.”

These verses give us pretty specific commands on how to wear our uniform and how we are to act in the kingdom of God. Let’s look at it.

vs. 11. “Put on the FULL armor of God”. When I get ready to go to work, I have a mental checklist to make sure I have all the pieces. Pressed shirt? Washed skirt? Name tag? Trauma shears? Pager? Boots? Belt? Watch with a second-hand? Phone? Phone charger? Small notebook? Pens? Having all these things insures that I will be ready for whatever kinds of things may come up during the day. It’s the same way with our Christian lives. Do we run through our checklist at the beginning of the day? Helmet of salvation? Shield of faith? Sword of the Spirit? Belt of truth? Breastplate of righteousness? Shoes of the gospel of peace? Is it all in working order? Do we know how to use it? Do we take care of it?

vs. 14 “wide band of truth around your waistband”. My uniform belt is a sturdy duty belt. It’s wide, made of thick leather, and secure. It holds my trauma shears and pager. It provides a hand hold for my spotter when we’re carrying a patient up or down stairs. It gives fearful patients something to hold on to while we’re moving them from one place to another. And it provides a polished look to the uniform. These verses say that we should have a belt of truth. Since we’re wearing armor I imagine the belt should be sturdy and is important. It keeps everything together. It provides a place to hang all our tools on. It provides a handhold for those who are weaker and for our comrades to help us along. Truth is the centerpiece of our uniform.

vs. 14 “breastplate of righteousness”. I would liken this to my uniform shirt. It provides identifying marks that show my rank and company. It protects me against dirt and bodily fluids. My badges on my arms show that I have the training and authority necessary to step into crazy chaotic situations and attempt to bring help, hope, and healing. They identify what my role is and where I fall in the paramilitary ranking of first responders. So as a Christian, my breastplate, which is protection of my heart and vital organs. It should show that I have the training necessary to step into spiritual chaos and bring order, hope and healing to the wounded and hurting. By being willing to wear this, I am also showing that I am willing to step up to my training and use it in the way it was intended.

vs. 15 “strapped on your feet the gospel of peace in preparation”. These are my boots. My boots are all leather, non-slip, rugged sole boots that give me protection on my feet and provide me stability and grip in all types of terrain and places. I’ve walked in hoarder’s homes with filthy floors. I’ve hiked up hills and walked in squeaky clean hospitals. I’ve stepped in blood, urine, ants, dirt, mud, gravel, carpet, hardwood, and pretty much everything else; and yet my feet have stayed safe, protected and clean. I take care of my boots almost more than any other part of my uniform. I clean them, polish them, and use protecting wax. I have not once lost my footing. By staying on my feet I have kept the rest of my uniform from being dirtied by the environment I found myself in. This is how we should be as Christians as well. Our shoes, the gospel of peace, provide our stability in the middle of the battle. It provides us grip and protection. With the proper shoes, we are able to walk in the midst of filth without getting it on ourselves at all. We can pull people out of the filth of their lives without getting it all over us.

vs. 16 “shield of faith”. I don’t carry a shield with me at work, but on certain calls I do work very closely with police officers who wear bullet resistant vests. So at the risk of stretching this analogy to far, I will liken the police officers’ body armor to our shield of faith. Their vests are often made out of materials which resist the impact of bullets and are often stab proof as well to protect from knives. These officers will risk their lives to protect us and others from people who want to harm or kill us. When police officers are on scene, I know that the scene is likely to be more dangerous than other scenes, but I’m also more confident because we have more protection. Our faith as Christians should be like this. We can walk confidently into situations that may be considered dangerous knowing that our shields will protect us and thwart the enemies attack. With our shields up, we will still have to be on guard, but we won’t have to fear any attacks.

vs. 17 “helmet of salvation”. Head protection. Depends where I am working as an EMT whether on a search mission or on the shipyards, I wear a helmet. On search missions I wear a climbing helmet and at the shipyards I wear a hard hat. The purpose of this is to protect my head, obviously. But protect it from what? Things falling down, me bumping my head into things as I walk through narrow places or under trees,  rocks sliding down from the climbers above me, all kinds of things that could cause my head injury. It also provides protection from weather such as sun and rain. With our helmet of salvation on, we can walk through crazy places, dangerous places and have nothing to fear for any type of head injuries. Make sure your helmet stays on and in place and you’re good to go!

vs. 17 “sword of the Spirit”. Now obviously as an EMT I do not carry any type of weapon with me on any scene. But I would like to liken the sword to my tools I carry, my gear. A sword is a tool of a soldier, so I have tools as well. My tools enable me to carry out my job. I have my various bags of gear, and all of the tools in them are at my disposal. However, it is up to me to be familiar with their locations and how they work. I need to train to know how to utilize them and which ones work best for which jobs. So as a Christian I need to train to learn how to best use my sword and how to wield it. It is my responsibility to learn this and keep up with my training. Just like as an EMT I have to keep up on my skills and continue training. I can’t ever assume that just because I learned it once I am done learning forever. Training continues forever.

vs. 18 “stay alert with all perseverance and petition”. Stay alert. This gets drilled into my head more and more as the situation surrounding all first responders becomes more and more sketchy in our current world. Threats against my coworkers. Firefighters off-duty being attacked. Many police officers being killed. Fake 911 calls being placed in order to attack the first responders. Normally safe scenes quickly becoming unsafe. More and more of our training centers around situational awareness and being constantly on guard even on “routine” calls. The more this is being trained into me the more I realize how much this is necessary on a spiritual level as well. Be alert. Watch out for subtle signs that not everything is as it appears. Don’t take things at face value. Be ready to deescalate any situation as needed. Learn HOW to deescalate a situation before it becomes more dangerous. Learn to control your reactions to things like anger and fear. Be able to remain calm in the face of high levels of stress. Always watch your back. Be alert for your partner’s safety as well. Be ready to vacate premises for your own safety as needed. And always remember your own safety comes first, then your partner’s, and then your patient’s. If you get injured, you’re no good to anyone. Stay safe! Not only physically but also spiritually!

Pay attention to your Christian uniform. Do I take as much care of it as I do my EMT uniform? Do I realize the significance of it? Do I walk out the confidence that I should have? My physical uniform makes me think of my spiritual uniform. Is yours in working order?


The Prince and His Bride, Part 1 & 2

Imagine with me for a moment, that you are on your way to the throne room of the King with an important-to-you request. You know that since it’s important to you, it will be important to Him. You heart is thrilled to know that you can enter His throne room at any time no matter what, and you will be welcomed with open arms and given the King’s full attention.

As you near the door to the throne room, you spot a pitiful figure crouched to one side of the door. When you get closer, you can see that it’s a girl. Her clothes are ragged. Her hair is unkempt, hanging loosely in her face. She’s crouching there, rocking back and forth slightly, sobbing.

Your heart fills with compassion, but just when you start over to her, the door to the throne room opens and a figure steps out. You gasp in surprise when you recognize the figure as that of the Prince! It’s the Prince who always sits on the right hand of the King!

He walks over to the girl and crouches down to look into her dirty, tear-stained face. As you watch, He reaches out and smooths her hair back from her face. She recoils instantly in terror from His touch. She cries out, “Don’t hurt me! Don’t hurt me!”

You wonder if she realizes who she’s talking to. The Prince is gentle, especially to those who are scared and scarred. You know from experience; you used to be the same way.

Then the girl starts talking, weeping, “What if the King hates me? What if the Prince kicks me out? I’m not good enough! My troubles are too small to bother the King with! Just look at all those other people entering the throne room. None of them have noticed me, so surely the King wouldn’t notice me either. I should just leave.” She starts to stand, but the Prince stops her.

“Child, the King loves you just as you are. He loves to transform those who think they are no good into beautiful princesses of His. It would thrill our hearts to have you enter the throne room, just as you are.”

The girl seems to take not notice of the Prince’s words. You decide to walk over and ask her if she heard Him. “Yes,” she says, “but I thought that He was talking to someone else. You mean to say He was actually talking to me?” Her surprise is so great that she actually lifts her head and stares at you in amazement. Then she turns to the prince, “Sir, do You think that maybe the King would allow me to be the most invisible servant in Your palace?”

The prince smiles gently. “No,” He replies, “I think that would not satisfy Him.”

The girl’s face falls. “You mean, I’m not even good enough to do that?”

“No,” replies the Prince, “I mean, that I want you to be My bride! My Father, the King, would love that!”

“But…but…I’m not good enough to do that! Look at me! I could never be a suitable bride in this outfit!”

The Prince’s face breaks into a broad smile. “That’s my specialty! I will prepare you and then present you to My Father!”

“Oh! Well…okay, but I’m scared to enter that door by myself. Will You come with me?” She reaches up both hands towards Him.

“Of course, My love, I’ll carry you through that door.” With that, the Prince stoops down, picks up the girl, and enters the throne room.


You decide to follow the Prince and the girl into the throne room. As you enter, you see the girl be suddenly transformed! Her clothes change from rags to the beautiful gown of a bride. Her face is clean and beautiful. Her hair is beautifully done.

You expect the girl to notice her dramatic transformation and sit up in awe or something. You’re amazed when she seems to take no notice of what has just happened. Instead, she just keeps her face hidden against the Prince. She still seems to be terrified and ashamed. She’s trembling in fear.

You expect the Prince to do something, say something to wake the girl to her new reality. Instead, the Prince just quietly holds her, gently stroking her back. He walks forward and sits next to His Father, the King. You want to walk forward and shake the girl to her senses! You don’t understand why the Prince doesn’t say anything! His gift, the beautiful transformation, has gone completely unnoticed! You’ve never known Him to be wrong before, but surely this time…

After just quietly holding the girl for awhile, the Prince hands her to the King. The King continues to quietly hold the girl, while the Prince gets up and begins to dance!

For the first time since entering the throne room, you take a good look around you and realize that everyone around you is dancing in worship to the King. Some are dancing slowly, methodically, with measured steps. Others are dancing, whirling wildly, with reckless abandonment.

The Prince seems to be dancing especially for the girl. He keeps watching her. When you turn to look at her, you notice that she seems to be watching the Prince out of the corner of her eye. Her face still mostly hidden, though, against the King. After a little, she shifts her position to watch the Prince more closely.

The Prince approaches her and asks her to join Him. Instantly, she shakes her head “no” and says quietly, “I’d just make us look like fools.” With that she hides her face again. The Prince and the King just smile.

The Prince does not seem to be at all worried by her first rejection. In fact, He keeps coming back to her, keeps asking her to join Him. You start wondering why the Prince even bothers. Can’t He see that the girl seems to be scared and uninterested?

When the Prince asks her for the fourth time, however, the girl says shyly, quietly, “I’d really, really love to! Honest! But I don’t know how, and I’m kind of scared.”

The Prince smiles broadly. “I have transformed you, and I can teach you to dance. Come! Join me!” He holds out His arms towards the girl. When the girl hesitantly reaches out to Him, He swoops her up and whirls her around.

For the first time since you’ve been observing them, the girl’s face breaks into a wide smile. She throws back her head and laughs joyously.

For a little while, the Prince just dances while holding her. Her arms are wrapped around His neck. She’s laughing and enjoying it to the fullest. Then He sets the girl down and lets her take a few hesitant steps on her own, before swooping her back up into His arms. He does this several times, and the girl gains confidence.

You’re amazed at the complete transformation of the girl! She no longer looks anything like the street waif outside, plus, she’s starting to act completely different. Her head is up. She’s laughing. She has confidence.

The Prince sets the girl down again, and they begin to dance together. The girl is smiling, head thrown back, eyes closed. She’s perfectly content to be dancing with the Prince.

Their joy is so contagious that you catch yourself smiling, nodding your head in time to the music. The King is smiling, reveling in His son’s glory and the transformation of His Son’s chosen bride. The Prince and the girl are smiling, joyous to be together, reveling in their new found relationship.

You are content, happy to have been allowed once again, to watch the transformation from pauper to royalty, from street waif to Prince’s bride. It is enough. You smile and join in the worship.

My Life Story (If You Care to Understand It)

Note: Please don’t be offended by the wording. I wrote it exactly as I pictured it in my head. It’s something that I wrote on Easter Sunday of 2012. I didn’t know or understand everything then, nor do I now, but more of it is making sense as I continue on this crazy journey of mine, following my Jesus.

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How I pictured myself during captivity

I was broken in a million pieces. My hair was matted; my face streaked with dirt and tears. My clothes were that of a homeless street waif. I was covered in sores and cuts; some of my own making; some inflicted by others. I was not beautiful by any means. I lived in the streets, in the drainage ditches, in the filthy muck.

Along came Jesus looking for a bride. I’m not sure how or why He found and chose me, but He did. He saw me sitting in the ditch in my pitiful state and said, “There, that’s the one I want for My bride.”

I was so scarred and covered in filth. I was scared of the kingly figure who knelt quietly beside me in the filth. I recoiled in terror from His gentle touch and cowered in fear before His searching gaze.

“Child, would you like to go with Me to live in the palace as My bride?”

I wouldn’t say anything, but my heart leaped in hope, before I squelched it. I knew from experience that any man who offered me anything really only wanted to take advantage of me. Why would this be any different? Still it would be nice to have a roof over my head for a few days. I decided to accept His offer.

“Sure, I’ll go with You.” I nodded and began to get up, but with one smooth motion, He picked me up. I panicked! “What are You doing? Let me down!” He just quietly held me and began to walk back toward the palace.

After awhile I got tired of struggling and so fell asleep. I actually slept quite well in His arms, which really surprised me, and after I woke up, I was quite content to just quietly ride in His arms for awhile.

Then I noticed on of my old bosses beckoning me from one of my old haunts. I at once became discontent with where I was at. “Sir, will You let me go talk to that fellow? He’s one of my old friends.”

The Man didn’t say anything, but a look of extreme sadness, mixed with intense love came over His face as He released me. I ran over to my old boss who welcomed me back, then pulled me inside, where I was ridiculed for having gone with the Man in the first place.

One particularly ugly character rasped in my ear, “You know you’d never be good enough for the likes of Him anyways. You belong here, in the whorehouse, just like you always have. You know the saying ‘Once a whore, always a whore’. There’s nobody gonna be changing that.”

Even as I nodded in agreement with the man, who was also my boss, I felt something die inside of me. I realized then that I had changed inside when the Man had picked me up. Saddened, I crossed over to the front window and looked out. There, across the street, stood the Man. His all-knowing gaze met mine, and I quickly dropped my eyes and the window shade.

I walked back to my boss, my head hanging. “Hey! Girl! Get your head up and a smile on your face! Our customers don’t like a sad disposition! This is where you belong, and this is where you’ll stay! Hear?”

“Yes, sir.” I meekly nodded my head and plastered a smile on my face. He was right, as usual. This was where I belonged.

This went on for quiet awhile. Every once in awhile, I’d catch a glimpse of the Man who had carried me still standing across the street as if He was waiting for me. Once I saw my boss talking to Him. My boss was talking very excitedly and seemed to be gloating, while the other Man just stood there and quietly shook His head. Whenever I’d happen to catch His gaze, I’d turn quickly away. I was ashamed of myself and what I had done, but I was too prideful to go and ask Him to take me back, cuz even the lowest in society still have pride.

Then one day I happened to meet a couple of girls who invited me to go with them to their church. I went and was soon living two lifestyles. On Sundays and my days off, I was the perfect kid who knew all the right answers to all the right questions. The one who never rocked the boat and followed all the rules, never pushing the line. During the week however, I was the lowest in society. I was a complete rebel who disregarded everything. I sold myself for a few moments of pleasure. I was used again and again.

One day I’d had enough. I decided this was it. I was tired of living a double lifestyle. The only one who knew it was my boss. My friends at church had no idea what my other life was like. I decided to end it all. Once and for all, I’d stop lying to everyone and myself. I’d fess up in a letter to those closest to me, and then take my life and disappear forever out of the lives of everyone that I troubled.

I wrote the letter, left it in a strategic place, then slipped out early one morning. I slipped down to the canal that ran behind my workplace. I sat down on the edge of the dock and was just about ready to jump when I felt strong hands grasp my shoulders.

I gasped in surprise and turned around to see who had dared interfere with my plans. To my shock, it was the Man! The One who had carried me. The One who was always waiting for me across the street.

He had on His face such a look of fierce, pure love that my heart almost stopped. I was so ashamed of what I had done and had been about to do, that I buried my face in my hands and began to sob. I knew that now would be the time. Would He pick me up and carry me towards the palace again? Or would He toss me in the river like I deserved?

Instead, He just knelt down beside me, wrapped His strong arms around me, and let me cry. When I had caught my breath, He picked me up and again started walking in the direction of the palace.

After a little while, we came to a little store that I had never seen before. We entered it, and the Man at once had me outfitted in the most beautiful set of clothing I had ever seen in my life! When we got to the checkout, I was worried about paying for it. It looked pretty expensive, and I hated to put the Man thru so much trouble, but when we got to the counter, the cashier smiled and said that the Man had already paid for everything a long time before.

In amazement, I stared at the Man. He just smiled and said, “I love you.” We walked out of the store, hand in hand.

We walked like that for awhile, but then I started noticing that to the side of the road were people following us. When I looked carefully, I recognized them as my old boss’s bodyguards. When they saw that I was paying more attention to them than to the Man beside me, they started yelling at me.

“Once a whore, always a whore!”

“Traitor! Goody-goody!”

“You think that just cuz you have fancy new clothes that you’re better and all holy now, but you ain’t. You’re still the same inside. You haven’t really changed, and you know it!”

My steps got slower and slower. My hand slipped from the Man’s. Finally, I stopped altogether. Instantly, the bodyguards surrounded me. They pummeled me back and forth, all the while taunting me. I cried out, “Sir! Help me! They’re winning! I don’t want to believe them, but if this keeps on, I feel that I must!”

“He can’t hear you, bitch!” roared the biggest one.

“No, He CAN hear me!”

“You’re a worthless piece of crap!”

“No! He told me I’m His princess!”

“You can’t tell us anything!”

“No, she can’t, but I can!” My Rescuer, the Man, stood there, sword in hand, fury in His eyes! “Be gone, fiends! This girl is Mine! She is My precious daughter, My princess, soon-to-be bride! If you want to mess with her, you’ll have to deal with Me first!”

“But she’s nothing but a loser and an ugly one at that!” yelled one of them.

The Man turned towards him with such a look of fury that I saw the bodyguard actually wilt and start to tremble.

“Now in the name of My Father the King and in My name, be gone! You no longer have any right to this girl! She has broken her agreement with you and has transferred it to Me! Now GO!” With that, the Man gave a violent slash with His sword, and the bodyguards turned tail and ran!

I had stayed face down on the ground throughout the entire exchange. I heard the Man put His sword away. Then I heard the gentle swish of His robe as He knelt down beside me.

I trembled from fear and pain, fear of the Man and pain from the blows of the bodyguards. I shook harder when I felt the Man put His hand on my back. He just sat beside me and quietly rubbed my back. As He did so, my fear melted away and so did the pain. He picked me up and placed me in His lap. I rested against Him, as He continued to ease my pain and fear.

When I started crying because of the lingering ache of the wounds and at the thought of how I had hurt the Man, He hugged me to Himself and started weeping, sharing my pain. Somehow that eased my pain, just knowing that He felt my pain.

After we had rested a little, the Man, whose name I now knew was Jesus, stood up, and we continued walking down the road toward the palace.

I knew that the bodyguards and possibly even my old boss would come back, but for now I could rest. And so I did. I laid my head against Jesus and relaxed.

A Story of Christian Bootcamp

I wrote this on December 2, 2012, and just recently came across it again. It seems appropriate to share it again now, considering where I am at in my life and the things I have learned in the last couple weeks. Enjoy!

A girl enters an army camp. She is carrying a knapsack with supplies. She has armor draped over her arm, and a sword dangling from one hand. Her helmet is crooked. Her shoes are untied. She stares at the ground. Eventually she ends up at the tent door of her commander.

“Sir, I was told to report to you.”

Her commander looks her up and down. What he sees may not look like much, but he knows and trusts that his Commander-in-Chief has sent him what is best for his particular band.

“Welcome, princess.”

She just shuffles her feet and continues staring at the ground. He sees that he has a lot of work to do in readying, in teaching this new warrior how to fight. First thing, how to properly put on the armor.

The first while is spent in learning how to properly put on and wear her armor. She does many things in it, until it becomes second nature to her. Until she is completely comfortable in her armor, and in fact feels quite undressed if she does not have it on.

And she gets to observe skirmishes so as to learn what a soldier is supposed to do, how they are supposed to act in battle. Occasionally, her commander takes her with him and lets her join in. He helps her hold her sword straight, puts his hands over hers to show her how to swing it.

Weeks pass. She slowly grows more confident in her job as a warrior-princess. She still runs to her commander for back up when she is confronted with the enemy. She just isn’t quite confident enough to tackle them on her own yet, even tho’ she knows that her Commander-in-Chief would send backup for her at any given moment. In fact, He’d show up Himself with HIS band of warriors if she only cried out. But still…she finds herself turning and running back to her commander.

Then one day she gets caught in the crossfire. She finds herself alone. She can hear and see the enemy. She overhears their battle plan, overhears where their headquarters are. She races back to her commander, only to find that another commander has showed up! This commander is the one in charge of the band in the area where she was nearly caught by the enemy.

She learns how to give a report. She doesn’t understand what the big deal is. I mean, okay, so yeah, she heard their battle plans and their headquarters, but so? I mean, how’s that gonna help her commanders? But she trusts the word of her commanders and gives them a full report of what she heard and experienced.

As she talks to this new commander, she asks him, “Why can’t I fight by myself? Why does the enemy laugh at me?”

“Because, you have not taken a hold of the power, the authority that our Commander-in-Chief has given to us.”

As her and her commander go back to their band, she thinks and thinks on that.

Then comes the day. She is caught, outside of camp. Her commander is gone, attending to other business. She has one other warrior-princess with her. *panic* Her companion is a much more experienced soldier, so she lets her take charge in the defense and attack.

She feels that she barely even knows how to hold her sword! She’s barely learned how to keep her armor on straight!!

But the enemy refuses to listen to her companion. Now what?

Suddenly, an anger arises within her. How dare the enemy!! She does not need her commander there to defeat the enemy! She has been listening and learning for a little while now. She knows that the Commander-in-Chief has commissioned her as a warrior. He has given HER the resources she needs. He promised to give her backup. (And the enemy HAS to listen to the Commander-in-Chief!)

She charges in, sword up! She knows how to hold it now!! It just happened as she grabbed it from its sheath. But how to swing it? Ah, who cares? She dives in, full throttle, hacking and slashing in a very unschooled manner, poking and stabbing when she forgets how to swing it.

And whaddya know? It works!! Her Commander-in-Chief came in with His band for backup, and the enemy was made to flee!!

Aha! After the victory, she turns around and grins. “Thank You, Commander!”

He grins back at her, “Anytime, princess-warrior.”

When her commander returns from his business, she tells him of the attack and the ensuing defeat of the enemy.

“Aha! Soooo, you HAVE been listening and learning after all? That is great! I’m proud to have you in my band.”

She has discovered that being a warrior-princess in God’s army in this particular band is an AWESOME calling! (And it’s a whole lot of fun to send the enemy packing!) 😀

Excerpts from my Pocket EMT Journal

Today at post, I was looking thru my little notebook that I write things that I experience as an EMT. I thought maybe y’all would enjoy a glimpse into my journal. Here goes nothing…

…Saw a blind man using a motorized wheelchair with a white-tipped cane.

…Riddle from a patient today, “Two coins add up to 55 cents and one is not a nickel.Answer: The other one is.

…Had a former meth runner. He used a ’79 Bronco on 38s with 750 horsepower! He could pull wheelies in it.

…”What are you?? Some sort of medical cowboy??” in reference to my skirt.

…Bad sick patient. Temp 105.1. Respirations 80. Heart rate 152. I had to breathe for him. I wonder what that must feel like.

…Had a couple of Isrealis insist that I was Isreali too. Called my headscarf an Isreali kippah.

…On the way back to base, I was stopped at a stop light and yawned. Immediately I looked to my left and caught the eye of an old guy who also yawned then we both laughed at each other.

…Got to meet the medic who stopped at the accident scene with me the other day. Super awesome to sit and talk to him and see the scene and my actions from someone else’s perspective. From his perspective I was perfectly calm and in control of the whole scene. He said I was calm. I knew what I was doing and took all appropriate actions. C-collar was placed properly and airway was being protected well.

…Looking at the schedule this morning and I was assigned one of the Ford vans that I can’t see out of. Me: I can’t drive that! I can’t see out! Co-worker: Sounds like a personal problem to me. 😂

…Co-worker: Hey where’d you get that sexy skirt?? Me: I made it. Him: No ****!

…Sat in dispatch today. It was super interesting and educational!

…Getting called to a person you know is slightly alarming. Especially when they’re not themselves.

…Had the best dispatcher!! I missed him! He says my last name with two syllables and only calls me that. “Bow-uss”

…Best panhandler sign ever! “Tsunami coming! Need $$$ for pirate ship!”

…Stopped by Taco Bell to grab a bite to eat and the gentleman in front of me stole my food! Right in front of my face! I was completely dumbfounded!

…I saw a man riding a unicycle while juggling three basketballs!

…Had a patient who is self-proclaimed as the smartest man in the world. “Smarter than Jesus. Off the charts”. Told me that I am privileged to be in his presence.

…Had to push a patient up a good sized hill. He was skeptical that I would be able to and when I did he said, “You’re pretty strong for such a tiny thing!”

…Dispatch: Control, 936. 936: 936 go ahead. Dispatch: 936 disregard. *dead air* Dispatch: Actually 936 disregard this entire conversation. 936: *laughing* It never happened.

…Seen in a hospital today: That that is that that is not is not that it it is.

…Patient: Yep I’ve lived here 42 years. Came over on the last wagon train. Fought Indians the whole way.

…Not sure if it’s a good or bad thing when you smell a strong urine smell coming from your maple nut scone and you decide to eat it anyways cuz it tastes ok.

…Little old lady told me I should market my skirt in “Gayville”. Not sure if she means she thinks its gay or what.

…That moment you get so lost in downtown that not even dispatch can help.

…I gave  runner an ice pack at the half marathon today and she exclaimed, “I LOVE you!” My partner said, “Well here’s where I either leave or take a picture and I’m not sure which.”

…It takes 287 steps to cross the skybridge from the VA hospital to OHSU.

…Patient quote: You’re so tiny! I bet you look adorable on a horse!

…I attempted to throw my training packet to my medic today and it ended up on the floor. He said, “What the world, brah?” His partner said, “You’ve angered the black skirt!” That’s their thing tonight. I’m referred to as the anonymous and ominous black skirt. I love these guys!

…I was warned that my patient was fiercely combative and verbally abusive. I walk up not knowing what to expect. I find an older male talking very loudly and cussing at the nurses. Long story short. I did my job and got him out. Managed to make the nurses smile and when I dropped off the patient, he called me sweetheart. #winning

…ED nurse gave me a Tigger sticker after we brought them the fourth crazy person.

…Co-worker says I must be a vampire. Because I’d rather work at night. I prefer cold and no sun. He even guessed my blood type! He’s so weird but I wouldn’t mind working with him even tho he’s a daywalker.

…Transported a flight team. Medic told me he made the rider take shots of vodka before the flight because he was worried that the guy would go into delirium tremens otherwise.

Hope you enjoyed this small glimpse into my journal.

-Til next time…


Tonight I’m going to be super real in this post. I’m going to say things that not everyone will be comfortable hearing. Things about anxiety, PTSD, and borderline personality disorder (BPD), all of which I was diagnosed with about four years ago. This is your warning.

Ok. Here goes…

To start with, I’m better. I’m better than I used to be. It’s now been almost 2.5 years since I last considered suicide an option. It’s been 8 months since my last severe anxiety attack that actually got me sent home from work. I no longer have constant static in my head. I no longer lose control of my body and mind. I no longer suffer extreme lapses in my memory. I no longer feel the need for self harm. Most of all I have experienced raw pure joy, which is my most favorite thing of all.

I’ve learned a LOT and taught myself many things. I’ve learned to control my anxiety attacks for the most part. I’ve learned to reach out to people I trust when I’m not in a good place. I’ve learned to control my reactions when someone does something that makes me jump. I’ve learned to enjoy life again. I’ve learned that not all people of the male gender are evil. In fact it has been my experience that the majority are good.


There are still “some days”.

Somedays I go to work with a knot in my stomach because I am anxious.

Somedays I have to restrain myself from hitting my partner who simply reached across me to help me with my chart.

Somedays (like today) I lay awake for hours because I had nightmares and it takes awhile to calm myself down.

Somedays I walk out of social situations, like church and Bible study, because I can’t handle being surrounded by people.

Somedays I hold back from begging people for a hug when all I want is to be held somewhere I know I’m safe.

But on somedays, all anxiety leaves for a few hours and I’m able to do things like dance at a friend’s wedding and it’s amazing!

Most of my good friends are able to recognize by now when I’m feeling overwhelmed and will step in and help me get some space if I’m not able to do it myself. For that I am thankful.

So even tho tomorrow I may begin to panic if I see my ex-boyfriend’s vehicle or someone who looks like my stalker. Even tho I may jump to defense if someone reaches toward my face or I will need to find the nearest exit. I celebrate the good days that are becoming more frequent and the bad days that are becoming less.

Tonight I choose to celebrate how far I’ve come. I choose to celebrate the amazing work God is doing in my life. I choose to celebrate the amazing life I have been blessed with. I choose to embrace the stubborn hope in better days that insists on filling my spirit even in the darkest days.

Even when I’m feeling overwhelmed with anxiety I know that I will make it thru. Not in my own power, but with God and friends.

So just remember, even tho you may have “some days” in your life, CHOOSE LIFE! It does get better!

Thank you and goodnight.

An Accident as Narrated by My Brain

(In case you ever wondered what goes on in my brain during emergencies. Here’s a glimpse.)

*sigh* I wish rush hour traffic didn’t happen. Blah blah blah. Its so hot today too! At least I can have my Windows open and music up. These ice packs seriously need to last way longer than ten minutes.

Check my left mirror. Cars cars cars. As far as the eye can see. Always travel in the middle or left lane. Traffic moves faster. Check right mirror. Oh hey! A nice big break behind that semi. Wait. What is that on the shoulder???

That looks like an accident! No emergency crews on scene yet. Not good. Quick pull over. Scan the scene for hazards. Tons of debris. Driver in car appears unresponsive. This could be it. What you’ve trained for. Pull over. In front of flat bed. Notify dispatch why you’ve suddenly stopped.

Who’s this lady? Wow she is freaked out! I guess not everyone is used to seeing an unresponsive person. Wait. She’s saying he’s dead?! Oh great. Dispatch why aren’t you answering me??? Breathe. Take a minute to calm down. There we go. Much better level of adrenaline. Lady please calm down! And stay out of traffic. She’s attracted to my uniform! I’m wearing the uniform that says I have the cool head and I know what to do! Whoa! This is super weird.

Finally dispatch! Gloves. Grab gloves. Ah snap, I don’t have any mediums! Well, I hope these large ones stay on. Well here we go. Walk. Walk. Don’t run. Oops watch out for that stray headlight there.

Oh look another civilian. He appears to be calm. Send him to get flares. He says he knows what he’s doing but we better watch him to make sure. And there’s a lady on the phone with 911. Good. She’s calm too. Giving excellent directions. Approach the car. Look for any immediate dangers.

That second civilian. He’s the other driver I bet! He is! But he’s ok. That’s good. Don’t take control of the patient until you’re sure you are safe to do so.

Extensive front end damage. Steam front the radiator. No windshield spidering. Side Windows are open. Oh. Well. Doors don’t open. They aren’t locked. None of them. Oh hey frantic is back. She can help me try to open the doors. Screw the doors.

Patient isn’t answering me. Come on dude. Wake up. Sternal rub? Nothing! Well ABCs next. Blood coming out of his mouth. He’s breathing. Sort of. Not good. Pull him upright. Get in front. Open airway. Jawthrust maneuver. I wonder if blood will permanently stain my shirt. Lean him forward. Get that blood to drain out. Talk to him. Introduce myself. Tell him what is happening. Just in case he can hear me but can’t respond. Maybe it will help him to not be scared.

Please come soon 911! Oh thank God! A Metro ambulance! My co-workers! Ah that uniform looks amazing coming toward me. And he’s carrying bags! And a fire extinguisher? Ah I could kiss him! Someone who knows more than me!

Yes. A c-collar. Not quite….there we go. Perfectly centered. This makes it so much easier to control his airway! Frantic is back. Fire extinguisher. No don’t use it unless you see open flame. Then yell and fire away. Otherwise stand over there. Hey! That calmed her down. Huh. I’ll have to remember that.

Uniform is back. Yep of course I can hop thru the back window. Not a problem. Hop up and in we go. Take over airway again. Lunch box here. Looks like a construction worker. This guy is young. No cellphone. Wow. He must have hit so hard it popped the CD out! I wonder if he’s diabetic or of he has a heart condition.

Firefighters! At last. Of course. Leave it to them to just wrench open the door. Figures. And the 911 ambulance. Yes. Backboard. Keep c-spine. Nope there has been no change in condition since I’ve been here.

And he’s out on the backboard. Wait! Stop! What is that?? Bone sticking out of his thigh? That’s not good. Better tell the rescuers. I know not a high priority. Still need to note that. And he’s extricated. Phew.

Hop back out the window. Careful. Don’t hit the cop. Too many people around the patient. I’m not needed. Wait. Is he talking? They’re asking him questions?? He’s responding??? Oh hallelujah! Still sounds confused tho.

What did this cop just ask me?? I don’t know if the guy is gonna die! I left my death-o-meter at home today! Should I feel sorry for the officer? He sounds a little weirded out by this situation.

Whew! I’m so tired! And hot! I bet that fellow popping out of the ambulance is curious to know what happened. Oh they were transporting a patient! That’s why they happened to come by. Yes I’m ok. Just waaaay to warm. I’m so warm I don’t feel good.

Oh I should go pick up the bags so they don’t get left. There goes the ambulance. Lights and sirens. Probably taking him to the hill. Here comes the paramedic. He’s tall! Shaking hands with gloves on. This is weird. My gloves stayed on! Cuz of sweat. Haha wow. And the ice packs stayed tucked in my belt! I have skills!

Time to get back to base and write up an incident report. Yay. I did my job. And I did the best I could.