Promptings of Rest

Last night was my last night in the chaplain room at Hillcrest.


I will miss that sacred work very, very much, but am excited to see how my chaplaincy ministry unfolds in new ways post-residency.

First, though, was the most important thing: getting breakfast home early enough to surprise my kids.  It’s been nine months since I got to wake them or see them at breakfast, as I was either at one hospital or another, and they have been so excited for me to be home in the mornings.

I got them breakfast, helped them get dressed, read scriptures and prayed, and got most everyone in the car before they woke Nathan. 

I am glad he got to sleep in!  He has sacrificed so much to help me through this last year!  We knew this year would be hard, but goodness!  It is good to let go of pushing so hard, and good to be on the other side of residency and back home again.

Except when I was driving the children to school, this thing was on a truck coming up I-44 just parallel to us coming up the entrance ramp:


Except its chains broke, and it slid off and rolled across the median right toward us!

I had just received an impression to STOP! just before it happened, and I hit the brakes right there on the entrance ramp.  This would make no sense if you didn’t know about promptings, and normally would be so dangerous.  But that prompting saved our life, as it barreled past us just inches from the front of our van as I screeched to a halt.  It was so close there was dirt on our bumper – but not a scratch.

Whew. So many miracles.

After dropping the preschoolers off, we drove to Bartlesville.  We have been doing the “12 Days of Kyrie” and today was the day we planned to “heart attack” the offices of the nurses and doctors who have helped us keep her alive.  Except our nurse lost her son last week, so today we talked about our baptismal covenants to “mourn with those who mourn”, and how those promptings back in January to do this project have been so needed.

Again, promptings, guiding and providing what we need before we knew we needed it.

Here’s the story: way back in January, the children felt prompted to plan something special for Kyrie’s doctors and nurses.  I thought it was a great idea, and told them to come up with some ideas, and I would see what we could do.  They brainstormed a list, and I made up a schedule of what surprises would be delivered when… except it didn’t work for January, or even Valentine’s.   

So I thought we could do it for Kyrie’s birthday.

Except she said “that will be too late.  She needs us before that,” referencing our nurse.

So we backed it all up a few weeks, until we all felt the timing was right and received the spiritual confirmation of it.

Silliness, our idea.

Except commanded, in a spirit-love kind of way.

So we were obedient to it, made a plan to pull it off, and recruited sponsors and helpers.  One day they got flowers, and one day they got a barbershop quartet, and one day they got Sonic drinks, and all these surprises, one each day.

We got it all set up in January.

And then it started on a Thursday, the one Kyrie picked out on the calendar.

And then on Sunday, we lost our little friend, who tragically passed away completely unexpectedly.

We were all in shock.

Except the surprises were already set up, and kept going like hugs we could not have arranged after the fact.

There is more to the story too sacred to share right now, but that’s the point: Heavenly Father knows us, and loves us, and prepares us to care for each other.  That’s the miracle… love.


Once we spread out as many hearts as we could stick, we headed home.

I figured that since I didn’t have to work until my only job in the evening, we might as well take the disaster of our family hair crisis to get trimmed up.


I got my first haircut since chemo, not counting the chemo-mullet that had to be kept under control last year, and by the next cut I will have almost a normal style and regular layers.  I have hair!

Alex and Nathan got haircuts, too, and we will get Barrett’s cut when he is not in school.

Even Mary got a trim, and new braids that I didn’t have to do for once – always good rest for my painful hands when I get help with her braids.



She was awfully proud of them!


We got home just in time for me to run to work, and it’s been a crazy night in psych land.

Except even if I am exhausted by morning, I will get to rest.

No more 20 hour work days.

At least for now.

Instead, I get to follow the best prompting of all: spending time with my family.

I’m super excited about that.

About Emily

I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since 2009. I serve as a Chaplain, and work as a counselor. I got bilateral cochlear implants in 2010, but will always love sign language. I choose books over television, and organics over processed. Nothing is as close to flying as ballroom dancing - except maybe running, when in the solo mood. I would rather be outside than anywhere else, especially at the river riding my bike or kayaking. PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy, and currently doing a post-doc in Jewish Studies and an MDiv in Pastoral Counseling. The best thing about Emily World is that it's always an adventure, even if (not so) grammatically precise. The only thing better than writing is being married to a writer. Nathan Christensen and I were married in the Oklahoma City temple on 13 October 2012, and have since fostered more than eighty-five children. We have adopted the six who stayed, and are totally and completely and helplessly in love with our family. Nathan writes musical theater, including "Broadcast" (a musical history of the radio) and an adaption of Lois Lowry's "The Giver". He served his mission in South Korea, has taught song-writing in New York City public schools, and worked as a theater critic for a Tucson newspaper. This is not an official Web site of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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