“But you are a shield around me, O Lord” Psalm 3 v 3
Being a surge nurse in ICU in the Covid-19 pandemic
I turned 50 last year and wanted to challenge myself to do something for charity such as a 10K run, nothing too strenuous but slightly challenging! Little did I know that the Lord had other plans that would challenge me mentally, physically and emotionally.
I work in a large hospital in central London as a specialist nurse for a rare genetic skin condition called Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB). When the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic hit, the hospital moved several hundred of its outpatient nurses into ICU to help with the increasing pressures in critical care. They called us ‘surge nurses’. I was redeployed from my team for two months. This was totally out of my comfort zone; I hadn’t worked in ICU since I was a student nurse over 25 years ago! I was fearful that I wouldn’t be able to cope physically and mentally with the work and restrictions with the PPE. I also had to face my own fears of contracting the virus or passing it to my family.
The Lord was very gracious and gave me wonderful Bible verses that spoke of His comfort and protection over me which I drew on each shift I worked.
I want to share some of the verses that the Lord gave me during this time:
Isaiah 41 v 13 – “For I am the Lord your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, do not fear; I will help you.”
Psalm 138 v 7 – “Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life.”
John 14 v 27 – “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you. I do not give as the world gives. Do not let your heart be troubled and do not be afraid.”
1 Cor 15 v 58 – “Therefore my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourself fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labour in the Lord is not in vain,”
Psalm 144 v 1-2 – “Praise be to the Lord my rock, who trains my hand for war, my fingers for battle. He is my loving God and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield in whom I take refuge.”
Due to the second wave, I have recently been redeployed and am back in ICU again. This time as you have probably seen from the news is much worse, the patients are younger and the number of inpatients is nearly double that of last time.
Again, the Lord has been so loving and is upholding me during this time. He has given me more assurance of His presence with me…
Verses such as
Psalm 139 v 5-6 – “You hem me in behind and before, you have laid your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me too lofty for me to attain.”
Psalm 3 v 3 – “But you are a shield around me.”
Nathan mentioned the Lord making our feet like the feet of a deer recently and I found this a great comfort and help. As I work in intensive care, twelve hour shifts in full PPE caring for the sickest of patients, I am so aware that the Lord is with me and He ‘enables me to go on the heights’ (Habakkuk 3 v19).
I have also really appreciated the prayers and love from many people in the fellowship and other Christians praying for me, I have had such a sense of peace during the shifts and I know this is due to all the prayer support and the Lord overruling. It has been a blessing to also meet another Christian surge nurse who is a friend of Lucy Clement. I pray that as Christians we might take the love of the Lord Jesus and His light into these dark places.
- Annette Downe, Church Member