• Jacqueline M. Pressey

Entry #14: Billows May Roll, The Breaker’s May Dash!

No one ever truly plans on becoming a patient as one is happily pursuing their life’s ambitions, goals & dreams. Yet, there are cycles in life that can bring billows that may roll into one’s life such as sickness, disease, injuries and/or unexpected trauma or even dying. Unplanned medical circumstances can cause one to enter into another arena, that may invite a hospital chaplain into one’s life’s view seeking healing or spiritual comfort and wisdom. Why would one, whom hadn’t had any previous need or interest in seeking spiritual care before, now suddenly become interested in talking with a hospital chaplain? Billows,” defined as, “to rise or roll in waves or surges the billowing sea of (sickness).” And, “breakers,” one that breaks, a wave breaking into foam (as against the shore) A medical situation that crashes into one’s life and suddenly, “dashes,” defined as, “strike or fling (something) somewhere with great force, especially so as to have a destructive effect; hurl and/or an act of running somewhere suddenly and hastily.” One is basically thrown into becoming a vulnerable, insecure, and possibly fearful of the

unknown individual, a patient.

From the Latin verb "patior," meaning "to suffer" both in the sense of feeling pain and in the sense of forbearance. Thus, the two uses of the word "patient" -- as a noun denoting "someone who suffers" and as an adjective meaning "to bear with forbearance" -- stem from the same origin. Patient: A person under health care. A person who requires medical care. A person receiving medical or dental care or treatment. A person under a physician's care for a particular disease or condition. A person who is waiting for or undergoing medical and/or surgery treatment and care. The aspect of suddenly becoming a hospital patient isn’t something that we are taught about what to expect when it happens. It’s just something thrown/billows into our lives with sometimes great urgency and force. Hence, becoming a patient can bring with it other needs and aspect into one’s life that one hadn’t ever focused on before. When one becomes ill or has suffered a major trauma of any kind, one’s mortality can bring for some a real or imagined state of panic considering or being faced with the possibility of disability, dying, and/or death.

Welcome to the state of being a patient, now, your ailing physical/mental circumstances has opened the door in your life of which you may not have been aware of, one’s spiritual state. Having to be pulled from your very exciting, demanding, and accomplished rushed life one now has time to slowly ponder and address one spiritual state. In one’s fears of the unknown, hence one may now call for an unknown stranger, the hospital chaplain to talk with to help shed some light on the situation and provide spiritual comfort during a difficult/frightening time of having the new roll of being a patient which may include:

• The pain, suffering, and/or grieving the loss of who one once was,

but one day there will be a breaker of a new day.

• Being overwhelmed with a flood of misfortunes can actually provide

one with an opportunity for a spiritual awakening.

• Breakers and waves of calamity which have entered one’s life can

if one allows it, it could birth a needed change in one’s life.

Your struggles, tears and the fears of the unknown matter and they are providing valuable information that can be used to improve one’s life if used properly:

“My deep need calls out to the deep kindness of your love.

Your waterfall of weeping sent waves of sorrow over my soul,

carrying me away, cascading over me like a thundering cataract,”

(Psalm 42:7, TPT).

Reflection/Lesson Learned:

The title of this blog article came from the lyrics of an old gospel song entitled, “My Soul Has Been Anchored,” by Douglas Miller (1990). It basically challenged one to be anchored spiritually, because storms of life can and will come like a dream and/or a nightmare that, “billows that roll or breakers that may dash into one’s life.” This just means possibly some really rough waters/times can hit one’s life. In the midst of a crisis one tends to be more open to examining themselves, the spiritual side of a matter and/or where their own spiritual depth/anchor is. Fear of the unknown can drive a patient into desperation like a cataract as covered their eyes, as the scripture suggested. A cataract is, “a medical condition in which the lens of the eyes becomes progressively opaque, resulting in blurred vision.” As a patient for many it can provide an awakening, clear spiritual vision, self-examination, and/or fuel a personal lifestyle change.

I've witnessed numerous times during a patient chaplain visit, when a patient gets spiritually enlightened about their current life’s circumstances. These aha moments tend to bring in a realization of a need to change some area in their lives. There so beautiful to behold and witness, its like watching the light bulb come on in their subconscious, it radiates into the room's atmosphere. With the brilliance brightness light of hope, direction, and then such a calming peace starts to flood into and flow throughout our further intimate conversations. This shift is the miracle of hope and acceptance of the circumstances of which they are temporarily in. I’ve watched so many patients go from sadness to tears of relieving joy during our visit. Nothing had changed for them physically, but everything changed for them spiritually. When the realization of accepting the situation for what it is, even if they have to still fight through it in the mist of this unplanned tough moment. This gives them the courage to face the unknown with a new found strength. And a spiritual encounter that provided them with the birth of an optimistic view for their future. This is some of what hospital chaplain’s spiritually do sometimes. If allowed by the patient, I can spiritually inspire others to reach deep within their spiritual soul for their personal anchor and recognize and/or find an new enlightened view/vision. It’s a sincere privilege to serve/provide spiritual care to other as the Lord leads, as a hospital chaplain!!!

Closing with the words of this song:

Breakers Roar

Oh, how the breakers roar

They keep pulling me farther from shore

Thoughts turn to a love so kind

Just to keep me from losing my mind

So, enticing, deep dark seas

It's so easy to drown in the dream

Oh, and everything is not what it seems

This life is but a dream

Shatter illusions that hold your spirit down

Open up your heart and you'll find love all around

Breathing and moving are healing

And soothing away

All the pain in life holding you down

Bone breaks and heals

Oh, but heartaches can kill

From the inside, so it seems

Oh, I'm telling you it's all a dream

It's all a dream (4X)

Here’s a sneak preview, A Room with A View! Until next time.

For the sake of the Chaplain’s healing Call!

Chaplain Jacqueline M. Pressey, Ed.D.

"Every job is a self-portrait of the person who does it. Autograph your

work with becoming extraordinary, through pursuing EXCELLENCE!


Billow. Retrieved 10/21/20 from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/billow#other-


Breakers.Retrieved 10/21/20 from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/breakers

Dash. Retrieved 10/21/20 from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dash

Patient. Retrieved 10/21/20 from


Cataract. Retrieved 10/21/20 from


Simpson, S. (2016). Retrieved 10/21/20 from



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