Have you ever heard the expression, “I was at the wrong place at the wrong time”? Sure. We all have. But what if our “wrong place, wrong time” was God’s “right place, right time” for us? What if His plan for our life was to put us exactly in that “wrong place” at the “wrong time” in order for Him to introduce Himself to us; to grab our attention in a way that draws us closer to Him and the plan He has for us? What if what we deem to be a problem or trial is the very thing that God sees as an opportunity? Something as simple as changing our focus and perspective can be the very tools that reshape the rest of our lives.
My “wrong place, wrong time” crisis prompted me to question everything about my life and, more importantly, to begin searching for the purpose of my existence; God’s purpose, not mine. God has a distinctly unique way of making good out of bad. “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives” (Genesis 50:20, NIV). I never would have imagined how one person’s death would lead me to my new life in Christ.
It was my first job out of college. I worked in an inpatient psychiatric hospital in Greensboro, North Carolina. I was a mental health assistant on the second shift. I worked with kids, helping them deal with life and learn how to navigate through it. I had been there since my graduation in May 1997. I was twentytwo years old.
It was March 4, 1998.
When I arrived at work that day, I anticipated the usual routine. Little did I know that at the end of the shift, instead of clocking out, I would be questioned, challenged, and, most of all, changed. I can recall the sequence of events as if they happened yesterday.
It was shortly after 9:30 p.m. Th e unit was relatively quiet. Most of our younger patients were fast asleep. I stood leaning against the nurses’ station, holding my head in one hand and a pen in the other, charting patients’ progress. As I recalled the earlier events of the evening with the young patients, I remember feeling overwhelmed by the number of children we had on our unit and their seemingly endless emotional and psychological needs. Many of those kids were hurting and scared. As overwhelming as the mental-health field is, it is also a humbling and awesome feeling to know I could be a small light in their little worlds of darkness. Though it carried a lot of stress, it also made my life seem a little lighter.
It gave me purpose.
The children’s unit sat adjacent to the adolescent unit with the only division being locked glass doors. I looked up in thought from writing progress notes for one patient’s chart, trying to recall and document the behavior of a particular little girl on our unit. As I looked up, I glanced through the glass doors and saw “Dana”, one of the interns working with the teenagers that night, running toward the adolescent unit nurses’ station with a panicked look on her face. Her face displayed a different sense of fear than the “normal” fear of being in that environment. Our eyes met, and she signaled me to come to that unit. I remember an unsettled sensation in my gut. It was unusual and more intense from the other crisis situations I had responded to before. I knew something was wrong. Terribly wrong. I could see the terror in her eyes. My right hand dropped the pen as it reached for the panic unlock button on the wall.
I stepped through doors and watched Dana as she grabbed the speaker to the hospital intercom. Her words, combined with the look on her face, hit me with an eerie chill.
From a young age, Meg Jordan knew she wanted to help others. At twenty-three, she was falsely accused of causing the death of a teenager. Now, as a wife, mom, step-mom, Christian counselor and Christ-follower, she writes and speaks about how God has brought her through many trials in her life. Visit Meg online at www.megjordanonline.com.