It does leave me with the question of usefulness and ministry though. As a Christian I am 'called' to love and serve God and to do it to the best of my ability and with all my heart, soul and strength. This motivates me to do my best in all parts of my life but I have to say I wondered briefly if going into midwifery was me being a bit self indulgent. I was desperate to do it and the application process was all consuming, an obsession almost. Then being on the course in fact is not that different and midwifery has become a part of me, I rarely feel so fulfilled as when I am working with the women and their families.
So is midwifery a ministry? Of course it is!
I recently attended a Christian Medical Fellowship meeting and was encouraged to see midwives and nurses there sharing the opportunities they have had to show Gods love to their patients and to the women under their care.
This struck me like lightning. Jesus tells us in Matthew 24 that when we clothe and feed the poor, care for the sick, take in the stranger, we do all these things for Him and when we turn away from those people we turn away from Him. Loving people is loving Jesus. It is that simple.
Every kind word and skilled action is an expression of love. It is a privilege then to care for people in need because it is an opportunity to share the love the God has shown to us. Every time I support a woman in labour, give her partner a role in the theatre of childbirth is loving God. Caring for their physical needs, learning how to do this skilfully, this is loving God.
There is an amazing opportunity in healthcare, in the NHS in fact, to love people and the time is now to do this. The NHS is having a terrible time of it in the media, hospitals spending millions of pounds on compensation, nurse and midwives are under increasing pressure due to staffing levels and decreasing resources. The 6C's have come out as a response to much of this. It is sad to think that the caring professions have to be reminded to have compassion in practice, but I also feel sure that not a single healthcare professional came into the job thinking they wouldn't care and communicate with excellence, have compassion, be competent, courageous, and committed.
Do the staff feel cared for? In the Christian faith it is acknowledged that we love because Christ first loved us. When we feel love it is easier to express love, it is a simple principle.
We know that nursing and midwifery is a calling and a ministry. As Christian nurse and midwives it is our ministry not only to love the women and patients we care for, but to love the staff we work with. Love is one of those extraordinary positive feedback mechanisms, the more you use it, the more there is to give. Don't be exhausted with the good that you do, ask God for the strength you need to love more and serve more. Love your colleagues, pray for your workplace, love your job - be excellent at it. All of these things are your expression of your love for God.
“I am not sure exactly what heaven will be like, but I know that when we die and it comes time for God to judge us, he will not ask, 'How many good things have you done in your life?' rather he will ask, 'How much love did you put into what you did?”
― Mother Teresa
― Mother Teresa