Monday, 02 June 2014 16:53

Kathy Grate, R.N.

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RRJ: I know you’re a Registered Nurse, but RN’s work in many areas of the medical field. In what areas have you spent most of your time working?
 

I have been an RN for the past 22 years. All of that time has been spent in the hospital setting until recently. For the first seven years I worked on an oncology unit and the remainder of that time has been spent in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. In 2012, my family moved to the River Region when my husband changed jobs. After we moved I began substituting in Elmore County in the public school system for the nurses. I have now resigned my hospital position and am substituting on a regular basis.

 

RRJ: What are some of the biggest challenges and rewards you’ve experienced as an RN?

 

Some of the biggest challenges I have met as a nurse have been comforting families through the loss of loved ones. When I worked in oncology this was a regular part of my nursing duties. It was less common in neonatal nursing, but often more tragic. In these times of great grief it was often my job to be the comforting arms of Jesus. I have wiped tears, hugged, sung hymns with family members and prayed when needed. While this is likely the hardest part of what nurses do, there are so many rewards. I have celebrated last chemotherapy treatments and scans free of cancer. I have also dressed many babies in their “going home” outfits and placed them in the arms of their mothers after a long stay in the Intensive Care Unit. I am so blessed to have been a part of so many precious moments.

 

RRJ: How would you describe your Christian faith?

 

I grew up in a Christian home and learned from parents who lived out their faith. My parents are both devoted members of their churches, but their service reaches far beyond the church walls. They taught me as a child, by their faithful example, that we as Christians are the hands and feet of Christ. Now that I have my own children, I am trying to teach them the same lesson. I want them to have watchful eyes, that notice others in need. And then try to decipher how best to meet that need.

 

RRJ: Are there any scriptures that have been a particular inspiration for living out your faith in this manner?

 

Proverbs 3:5, which basically says that when I place my trust in Him, He is certain to direct me in a path towards righteousness. When I fail to ask for His guidance and settle into my own comfortable ways, I miss a blessing only known by following Him.

RRJ: When we spoke earlier you mentioned that you serve the female inmates at Tutwiler Prison. Tell us how and why you’re involved in that work?

 

One thing that I have become involved in since moving to Elmore County is helping with Chapel service once a month at Tutwiler Prison. I remember as a child hearing someone speak about their service to inmates. It touched something inside me and I remember thinking that one day I would like to do the same. Upon moving here, God began to open doors for me to volunteer. It has been so rewarding and I have learned so much from my team leaders who have taught me how to love without condition.

 

RRJ: It’s clear that you’ve taken your faith beyond the church walls and a Sunday service. How would you encourage our Christian readers to do the same and are there any particular practices that have helped you?

 

I would encourage others to pay attention to those times when God stirs something inside of them. I believe it is the prompting of our Heavenly Father to widen our territory. It is so easy to ignore those simple yearnings or find a multitude of excuses for why we shouldn’t. But I feel like when we do we miss an experience with God that can only be gained when we give our time and service to Him. When I decided to volunteer in the prison system I had no idea that the person who would be blessed the most was me. I can honestly say that following God’s leading has been so much more fulfilling than anything I could have planned on my own.

 

Kathy is married to Myrle Grate, the COO of Children’s Harbor, and they have two children, Micha and Anna.  The Grate’s attend Mulder United Methodist Church.

 

 

 

 

 

Last modified on Monday, 18 August 2014 09:13
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