I grew up in Yugoslavia where my father was a Seventh-day Adventist pastor. My husband and I came to the United States in 1987, planning to stay only until he completed his M.Div. program. Then war broke out in Yugoslavia in 1992, so we decided to stay a bit longer. The delay gave my husband the opportunity to get his D. Min. at Fuller Theological Seminary, and for me to become an R.N. We’ve now been here for 32 years. We didn’t expect to be in the U.S. so long, but God kept leading my husband to new pastoral roles.
We also didn’t expect that I would have a baby at age 50. Even though I had endometriosis all my life and had difficulty getting pregnant with my daughter, and then my son, God blessed us with another baby 13 years later. We were totally shocked, but because of this child, I have more experiences from which I can draw to help others.
I was pregnant when we arrived in the Chicago area in 2017, so I looked for a job with flexible hours and prayed for a miracle. God was faithful to point me toward an opening in the Pain Management Clinic at AMITA Health Adventist Medical Center Hinsdale.
When I started there, I had no idea so many people are suffering with chronic pain and immobility. Because patients come to the clinic frequently, they become like family and I get to share my faith journey with them. Our department also is very intentional about handing out cards with Scripture verses. Often, we’ve given them to people who are in a bad mood who then smile, thank us and tell us it’s so meaningful we care for them in this way.
Recently I was admitting a patient who had been to other hospitals for care. I took time to explain her treatment, and she told me, “I’ve been doing this for a while and you are the first one who really explained and cared for me enough not to assume I know everything.” She said there was something different about me. It was a nice confirmation for others to see Christ in me.
I’ve also been blessed to help other women giving birth at an advanced age. It can be so stressful, as you’re concerned about the baby’s health as well as your own. Yet through all of my experiences, the biggest lesson I’ve learned is not to be anxious about tomorrow. I just need to live one day at a time to the fullest and serve God in it. He took care of me before and He will take care of me in the future. I’m grateful to be able to share that lesson with patients and coworkers each day.