Thomas Walked The Stairs

“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

Persecution spread the gospel of the early church and I believe that’s what is happening today. God is taking what’s broken and making it new. Most importantly, our souls.

As I sit and read about Thomas, I think what a drag it must be, that for all of millennia, you’re known as the one who doubted. Not exactly the legacy I would want to leave. Immediately, I’m transported back in time and realize I have a less than desirable legacy that I carried around like an identity, until God released me from that lie.

I played soccer in college and quit on two different occasions. So, my friends affectionately called me “two time quitter.” At this point, I think I would prefer “doubting Tori” to this constant reminder of one of my life’s biggest regrets.

Maybe you can relate. You made a mistake in the past that haunts you or defines you? You carry this weight around, coloring your view of yourself and your circumstances. Or worse, you don’t even realize this lie is crippling you and keeping you from the freedom God has for your life.

The good news of the gospel of Jesus is that we don’t have to live in the shadow of our past mistakes because Jesus has come to set us free from ourselves, if we let him.

For almost 20 years, I lived my life as a “two time quitter.” That all changed in the summer of 2021, when I was working as a nurse on a COVID unit.

Surrounded by the reality of COVID every day at work, I felt like there was a great deception at play. I prayed for God to reveal to me how to get involved and be effective for the kingdom. I pleaded with Him…How do I do that? I want to hear your voice. Tell me what to do, Lord. I want to hear your voice like people in the Old Testament.

In response, I heard this message loud and clear “You need to give up alcohol.”

I don’t think I had a drinking problem, but it was that act of obedience that broke the chains of deception that had been binding me for so long. That act of obedience, that didn’t necessarily make sense, is what set me free from the lie that I was a “two time quitter.”

This was my lie: You’re a quitter, so your words aren’t valid. No one will listen to your testimony about Jesus because you don’t follow through when it counts. If you try to do something difficult you will end up quitting, so you might as well not try in the first place. You can’t talk about your faith, boldly and unapologetically because of the mistakes of your past.

What’s your lie?

That day, Jesus freed me from myself, ripped the tape off of my mouth, and unleashed me into the world to prepare for what was to come next. Free of that lie, I started sharing the love of Jesus with anyone who would listen.

In August of 2021, I refused to get the COVID-19 vaccine because I heard from God clearly on this matter. I submitted a religious exemption to Kaiser Permanente and on October 28, 2021, while at work on a COVID unit, I received the denial of my religious exemption.

It was at that moment, that I knew God had been preparing me to shed light on how religious freedom is in jeopardy in America. Never in a million years did I imagine I would be losing my job because of my faith.

The next eight hours I spent trying to get answers from Kaiser about why my beliefs weren’t valid for them. I took the opportunity to share the love and hope of Jesus to those stripping me of my rights. To remind them of what’s real, what’s true and that what was happening to me was illegal.

It’s not fair, and it’s unjust, but I truly believe that God put me in this situation for a reason. To share my faith on a larger scale and encourage others to stand firm in their convictions.

In June of 2020, right when COVID was just getting started, I had a really bad shift at work. The kind where you hope you don’t have to come back to work the next day. I walked to my car and was about to get on the elevator when God tapped me on the shoulder and said “walk the stairs.”

After arguing with God, I finally relented and walked the seven flights of stairs to my car. My sore feet and back reminding me of the difficult day with every step.

When I got to the top God said to me, “You need to walk the stairs every single day after your shift to remind you that this place cannot break you.

COVID can’t break you.

People can’t break you.

Failures can’t break you.

The world can’t break you… because I have overcome the world. And I want to make you complete. I want to fill up all those holes in your life where your doubts, insecurities and fears cripple you with inaction.”

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7

After a long day of no answers, I walked those seven flights of stairs for the last time, escorted to my car by security.

The world wants us to take the elevator, the easy route, but God calls us to walk the stairs in obedience to His word. This isn’t usually the easy option, but it’s the right one. God meets us there to fortify us and walk alongside us. We are imperfect but complete humans, full of the Spirit, ready to walk the stairs and change the world, just like Thomas.

About the Author:

Tori Jensen, a registered nurse and dietitian, was thrust into the spotlight after her religious exemption for Covid vaccination was denied by Kaiser Permanente San Diego Medical Center. She was fired from her job and escorted out of the building by security. After losing her hospital job, she has taken to writing, speaking and working one on one with clients, on their nutrition, to simplify what it means to get healthy. Tori lives in San Diego, with her husband and two daughters.

Follow her @thenursetitian or contact her at www.thenursetitian.com.

Nurse willing to lose ‘everything’ refuses COVID shot, is escorted from her job in CA. Read more at: https://www.sacbee.com/news/california/article255511831.html#storylink=cpy

Victoria Jensen (Registered Nurse, Dietitian, Wife and Mother)

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