One thing we worried/prayed about before we began our travel nurse adventure was finding a sense of community in the places we briefly live. I can’t overstate how much we cherished our friendships in Auburn and how many families there became just like family to us. So we were naturally anxious about what would happen when we left that community behind. In three months, we knew we’d meet some new friends, but how long would it take for us to find this new group and feel connected? Would we be off to the next new place by the time we finally felt plugged in?
Yet again, God is showing Himself faithful to not only provide for the logistical needs of our new lives, but for our hearts’ needs as well.
One great thing about travel nursing is that you naturally meet other travel nurses who are in the same boat. We’re all up here away from family, friends and familiarity. We are all jumping into the deep end and looking for someone to swim with before we move off again. Charlie met several new travel nurses during his orientation at Yale-New Haven, and within a few weeks we had all become like a surrogate family for each other.
Joe and Nicola have been married for a few years and came to Y-NH from San Antonio, while Jessica left a great job in Cleveland, OH, to begin traveling. Three weeks after we got here, Jessica ruptured a disc in her back and was admitted into the hospital for surgery three days later. Far from her normal support group, I saw just how much we all need each other. Though we had only hung out a few times at that point, it seemed natural for all of us to step in, sit with her each day, get her home after surgery, etc. It showed me that while we’re all missing friends and family, we’re certainly not alone.
Sitting around our table last night with all of them felt like a regular family dinner. Everyone works Thanksgiving Day, so we’re planning on having our own Thanksgiving meal sometime that week when everyone is off. Though I know we all miss certain things about our homes, we’re building our own new sense of “home” right where we are.
Another blessing has been a family from church that we met my first Sunday at Frontline. Chris and his wife, Shayla, saw me standing near the back on my first Sunday and came over to introduce themselves to the new girl. When we met them again a few night later at another church event, we realized we live in the same apartment complex. While most people would just say, “That’s neat. Welcome to Frontline,” and find their regular seats, the LaTorracas immediately invited us over to their home later that week. And I thought the South had the corner on hospitality! We’re really enjoying getting to know Chris, Shayla, and their four children – especially since we’re so used to sharing life with families in Auburn and miss that connection.
Looking back now, I’m surprised that I wondered if God would stop at just getting us the job and getting us up here. Would He see the other, less tangible, things we needed too?
Hagar in Genesis 16:3 after the Lord found her in the desert: “She gave this name to the LORD who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.”
Thankfully, He sees us and knows what we need beyond what we can even articulate to Him!
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.” Ephesians 3:20