I entered medical school as a fresh university graduate teeming with life and dream. I could say with my own standards that I was prepared well by the academe, by the church and by my self-pep talk for the next season I had to weather. The cry of my heart was to bloom where I was planted and the song of my spirit was, “Lord, here I am use me; send me for your glory.” I was fully aware of my purpose. But later on I would come to realize that to live it out was a different territory.
It didn’t take long since I had a step in to medicine, that I was thieved of enthusiasm and excellence. I was trapped in an endless cycle of pressure, faithlessness and grace. Thankfully, the Father always had a way of rescuing before I was won over by the system. I woke up from the trance of achieving the highly coveted two-lettered title by compromising conviction and purpose.
The curious thing about God is He does not give a blueprint for what He has in store. But I have to trust that He sure will direct the next step towards the grand plan. He leaves bread crumbs along the path to make sure we don’t lose our way. Gratefully the Holy Spirit persistently reminds me to stop being stubborn and start picking up the “clues”.
Along the medical road, I have picked up the value of being in constant prayer and word devotion. If there’s one thing that is sure to improve prayer life, that is medical school. It’s the last thing to cling onto when everything has been said and done. And when we are hesitant to open our eyes to the horrifying reality of our circumstance – failing grades, case presentation the next hour, impossible consultants and demeaning hospital duties. Prayer and devotion is an unfolding experience – from my emergency hotline to my constant communication with the lover of my soul. My owning of my identity as child of God is what sprung the growth.
I may have been long aware of God as a Father but I rarely acted as a daughter. The rare times I acted like one, I was a prodigal. I only run back when I ran out of options. When all along I could have stayed with Him, called unto Him and enjoyed everything He could give.
“If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” – Luke 11:13
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” – Mathew 6:33
Along the downhills of the journey, I saw the value of being surrounded with the right people. It is crucial that they are the “right” people. They have to have the same values of leadership, integrity, faith and excellence. These are people who would do whatever it takes to lovingly correct us. Countless times, my “right people” redirected me back from the off beaten path. They didn’t just cheer me on but they ran the race with me to the finish line.
“Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labor:
10 If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
and has no one to help them up.” – Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
On the slopes, I saw the importance of taking up courage and holding on to faith. When my convictions were being challenged, I was given boldness to stand tall against the world while wisdom to stay mum on some days. Because the goal was not to win an argument but to show them Jesus Christ.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9
Even on mundane everydays my obedience was tried. The obedience of sharing my faith at all costs. One of the things I learned from the life of Apostle Paul is that true obedience means being obedient even if it isn’t convenient.
I realized later on that I was commissioned to this field as privilege to take part in what God is doing. And to reject the privilege is to deny myself of the honor and blessing to see God’s grace and love displayed.
“19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” – Mathew 28: 19-20
But the most important lesson I learned that made me live out my identity and purpose is to refocus my natural faulty lenses to the correct object. By the end of this long intro to the medical saga, I realized that the goal was never to just earn the degree and the title. But the ultimate goal was to experience God and be in love with Him. That’s what defines real success. If in the end I became a doctor lost in a sea of faces clad in whites clamoring for recognition and respect of the world at the cost of my relationship with God then I am in defeat. To surrender to God is to win in this – because ever since I fixed my eyes on Him I was fighting from the position of victory.
“What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?” – Mathew 16:26
“ Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” – Hebrews 12:1-2a