Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Officially an M1.5

I have finished my first semester of medical school!! I feel like it is a huge accomplishment to be able to type those words. This past semester has been many different kinds of difficult. It has been quite different than I originally thought it would be. 

It has been a constant challenge to continually give my dreams back to the Lord. Dreams of "doing well" by my standards in medical school and succeeding the way it seems like all my classmates are. Yet, in the back of my mind knowing that His plans are good and always right. Even when they seem frustrating and so wrong at the time. 
I passed all my classes this semester and learned quite a bit while doing that. We have two more classes that carry over to next semester and then have four more classes that we take next spring. 

Medical school is changing my life... It changes the way I relate to God (in a totally great, new way). It changes the way I relate to other people (I'm a little afraid it's made me wayyy socially awkward!). It changes the way I see the world and all the God has made (I'm in more awe than ever). It makes me depend on the Lord more than I ever have before. And makes me fall more in love with Him than ever. 

This break is much needed and I am enjoying every second of it. Time to read, journal, spend with family and friends. Eat food, read books, watch TV.. I am not taking any of it for granted. People have told me that I would love this Christmas break more than any other in my life and I think they were correct! 

I feel like I need a little time to recharge and regroup myself before heading back into the hustle and bustle of school again. And I like the recharge. I like the opportunity to go to the movies, love on people, run, walk my dog, blog, read books, live life away from the school for a few weeks. 

I am so incredibly thankful for this opportunity to be in medical school but sometimes I have to take a step back and realize that this is not my whole life. It is a big part of it.. but not my whole life. 
And for that I have Jesus to thank. For a little baby who came quietly into the world (relative to how He could have/should have entered) .. into a stable with a teenage mom and older dad who had no idea the extent of what their lives held.. I am so thankful for that night and who that baby grew up to be. King of the world and my Savior. 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Even if the _______ doesn't come

I am in the middle of the craziest three weeks of the semester. I had two tests this past Monday and have 8 more in the next two weeks.. with 6 of them being next week, crammed into 3 days. In the middle of all this chaos, sometimes it seems easiest to let my time with God be pushed to the side. Yet, in the past few weeks, He has drawn me ever closer to Him and made me realize how that is something that can NOT be pushed aside just because school is busy. 

He has been using songs, people and daily circumstances to remind me that unless I am grounded in Him, I will flail everywhere else. And it's almost a daily thing, me giving my dreams back to Him and allowing Him to work through me. Daily I have to remind myself if my grades aren't as high as I want them to be, well at least I studied as hard as I could. Or if I feel I failed at different relationships that day, there is grace to cover that and He is still present there. 

He is challenging me to be diligent with my time. To spend my time driving back and forth to school either in praise to Him or in prayer. 
Seeing life and medical school through His eyes is much more enjoyable than seeing it through mine. Yes, there are a lot of details and I have to learn them all. But guess who created it all? God!! And I think that is so cool. He is such a creative creator! And truly deserves all the praise, honor and glory. 

The Kutless song "Even if the healing doesn't come" has been in my mind and on my heart recently. It speaks of how we must be sure of God's character because when bad things happen and the healing doesn't come as we want it to, we have to be sure of who God truly is. Not who we make Him based on our circumstances. 
He doesn't change. He is the same today, yesterday and tomorrow. And sometimes, things happen that make no sense to us. Or things DON'T happen that we want to happen so badly. 
In those times, I am reminded, He is still God, still good, still faithful and still sovereign. Even when things don't happen the way we want them to. 

Even if the grades don't come
Even if the marriage doesn't work
Even if the job doesn't happen
Even if the relational healing doesn't come
Even if the money doesn't come 

God is not defined by any of those things. He is always the same. Even if those things don't come and even if life falls apart, He is still a good, faithful God. 

That's what He has been teaching me recently. To know that regardless of what happens over the next 15 days (yes we have a countdown!!) before school gets it and regardless of my grades, His plan is still active. And He is still good. And His love for me? 
Well, that can be seen in the baby boy that He sent down to earth to live and then die for me. So that I may know His character. And how it never changes. 

Even if the healing doesn’t come
And life falls apart
And dreams are still undone
You are God You are good
Forever faithful One
Even if the healing
Even if the healing doesn’t come

Friday, October 26, 2012

a heart's longing

"If we were given all we wanted here, our hearts would settle for this world rather than the next." (Elisabeth Elliot)

I read this quote today on facebook and it immediately struck a chord in my heart. How often do we try and find our true happiness here on Earth? We try to fill and fill our lives and hearts with things that will make us happy here. 
Like good grades or jobs falling into place after graduation. There are so many things that we reach after and spend our lives trying to achieve only to realize they are fading as quickly as the morning fog. 

Lately I've been realizing how much the Lord is teaching me about humility and pouring myself out completely to let Him fill me up. Emptying myself of all preconceived ideas and expectations. Knowing that He is good and Holy and worthy of all honor and praise. And knowing that He loves me with a love that is beyond my comprehension. 
Knowing those two things, reinforces the fact that I trust Him. And reminds me of the bold, yet true statement that I also believe: I would rather stand beside Him in the rain than separated from Him in the sun. 

The Lord is constantly pulling me back to His heart and reminding me that His thoughts and ways are so very different than those on this Earth. It's His heart that I long to know more... not to please those here on Earth. I pray that never changes. 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

He is always faithful

I listen to a lot of music.. well, at least on my drives to and from school. Sometimes I get tired of the music I listen to on my ipod and attempt to try the Jackson radio. But usually, I go with what I know and listen to a playlist on my ipod.
A lot of those songs are worship songs and praise songs with some random stuff thrown in there!

This morning I was on my way to school, with Baxter who is going to his friend Cosmo's house to play today! (thanks Anna and Andrew!) I was listening to a Sarah Groves song that talks about His faithfulness. And I recalled all the times in my life when He has been surely that.
Because I am an odd one.. I like to talk to Baxter when he is in the car. I think he likes it too. He always turns his head and tries to figure out what I'm saying. So, while we were in the car this morning I was saying out loud the ways that the Lord has been faithful to me.
I've found that when I say things out loud and hear them, it remind me how true it is. I love to read Scripture out loud for that very reason. I feel like some things were just meant to be said out loud!

It was a joy for me to be reminded of the ways He has always been faithful to me.

This month is affectionately known as "Blacktober" here in the M1 medical school community. We have had 7 tests in 7 days.. 4 on one Monday and then 3 this past Monday. It has been a busy month. Unfortunately, I don't think November gets any better. We have 7 more tests before Thanksgiving break.
Some tests have gone well and some have not. That seems to be the way things work for me. You see... I thought (quite incorrectly) that if med school is where God wanted me to be then I would "do well". And in my mind, I meant do well by my standards. That I would make the grades I wanted and would be a successful, little well adjusted future doctor. That I would be able to say, Oh to God be all the glory for giving me these great test grades.

That hasn't been the case over the past 11 weeks. I know I have walked through some very hard things in my life so I can't say this is the hardest thing I've ever done.. but it is definitely in the top 5. I am realizing that my grades are not a measure of success that I should measure myself by. The Lord is teaching me dependence on Him in an entirely new way. And as hard as it has been, I love Him wholeheartedly. So much so that I would rather stand beside Him through a lifetime of rain than in the sunshine without Him. So much so that even if my grades are just passing after all the work that I've put in, if that's truly where He wants me, I will embrace it.

A friend reminded me last week that I am simply a vessel that the Lord wants to use. I have to empty myself of me and my preconceived ideas of this life. I know that He is good, holy and worthy of praise. Regardless of my day, my mood, my feelings, those things will NEVER change. I know that He will take the gifts He has given me and mold my life into something that will be praising to Him. And sometimes, His plans look very different than mine.
And that's when I remember all the ways He has been faithful. I remember how I didn't have a job, and He found me a job. I remember that I didn't have a place to live and He found one of those too. He led me to sweet friends who are so encouraging, to a puppydog who is precious and full of life, to a boyfriend who makes my heart sing in incredible ways. He truly has been so faithful. And I know that He will continue to be so. And that fact, in and of itself, causes me to continue pouring my life out before Him.

"When all you want in your life is what God wants in your life then all your life you will have all you want."

My friends and I in highschool would say this quote to each other a lot. They are still some of the most encouraging and influential people in my life.

Anddddd just for fun.. some recent pictures!

After our 4-test Monday, I had this guy come and spend some time with me. What a sweet blessing he is in my life. He is encouraging in ways that can come only from the heart of the Father. He loves me with a love that is greater than anything on this earth. It is just another example of how faithful the Lord has been to bring us to each other. I hope that our relationship always brings Him all the glory because I thank Him for it, EVERY DAY!!

Sweet Seattle friend! I have missed Mallory so much. And my relational skills of reaching out has drastically diminished since med school started. I promise I won't be a bad friend forever. We had so much fun at dinner.. able to pick up where we left off and chat and laugh! What a joy she is. (with cuteeeee short hair!) 

This little guy laid his head in my lap the other night when I came home and didn't want to leave. I spend about 14-15 hours a day away my house and away from sweet Baxy. I do my best to be a good dog owner but sometime studying must come first. This sweet guy, though.. he always understands. And is so precious. 

"He's always been faithful" by Sarah Groves
Praise Him for His faithfulness, always. 

I will praise the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live. --Psalm 146:2

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Being Carried

I've been in school now for almost 9 weeks. Well, 10 if you count orientation week. And a lot of them have been really hard. I am making new friends, living in a new place, going to a new church, and depending on God in a new way. It's not like I'm alone in this journey, quite the contrary, actually. However, there are some things that the people around me can't do for me. They can't go to class and learn this material or take the tests. They can support me and hold me up.. but the actual school part and stress part and learning part? That's up to me. And the Lord. But also me.

And this week, I've been reminded of how much He longs to carry us. I think sometimes we are put in situations where we HAVE to depend on Him. Or otherwise realize how inadequate we are by ourselves. And although I have people I can depend on daily, He is truly all I need. He is what is essential for me. And that's how it's supposed to be. If you stripped away everything else, school, the boy, family, friends, comfortable living, He would still be enough for me. And I think when I realize that I hold everything else a little bit more with open, loose hands instead of clutching, tight hands. He is a loving, blessing, good Father. We trust Him as that in Bible stories.. yet somehow it's harder to trust that in our real lives.

He is challenging me with that. The thought that He is truly all that I need. He is essential and everything else, as much as I love it or feel called to it, is not. And that gives me a Heavenly perspective which is sometimes so hard to find in this earthly world.

Below is a quote that I read on Ann Voskamp's blog the other day. It is in the context of Ephesians 6 and Paul's words about the armor of God. I really liked it and remembered how true that really is!

Life’s not hard because you’re doing anything wrong: Life is a battle. Put on your armor.

Friday, October 5, 2012

I'm in medical school?

So I'm in medical school now. But most of the time I have to look around and pinch myself that I am actually here. I waited and tried so long for this... and to be honest, it's not exactly like I thought it would be. It's hard.. yes I knew that would be true. I don't think I completely anticipated just how much material I was expected to learn in such a short amount of time.

I am being stretched in ways I didn't know I could be stretched. I am changing, that is for sure. Hopefully for the better? I know that in 4 years when this is all over, I want to be a changed person who is a better physician because of it.

This has been a hard week. Two tests, three year anniversary of my dad's death, sinus infection/cold, impending tests.. it's just been a tough one. And it's weeks like this I take a step back and look around at what is really important. And you know what? As much as I love medical school and love the idea of being a doctor, it's not the most important thing in my life.
Jesus? Yeah, He is important in my life. Cole? Yeah, that boy has my heart, hands down. My friends and family? Baxter? ha.. yea, he's cute. Those are the most important things to me. And I don't want to lose sight of that during these hard weeks.

I am so incredibly blessed to be here. I look around and realize I have all I have ever prayed for. Medical school, a precious best friend boyfriend, sweet puppydog, family to live with and love on me daily, a nearness to Jesus that could rival anytime in my life. All those things are incredible blessings. And I just need to remind myself sometimes how blessed I am.

Hard weeks will continue to happen. The first week of October will always be on the calendar, however much I dislike it, I don't think it's going away.

"All of my life, in every season You are still God. I have a reason to sing. I have a reason to worship."

sweet boyfriend. he and I wielding dual coke! I feel like we could be in a coca cola ad. 
Alex and Lianne's wedding.

sweet baxter boy. He was officially two years old in this picture. 

my new roommate. she's adorable. 

family. :) 

best best-friend ever. 
my white coat ceremony at the beginning of medical school.

oh man, I love this Savannah-girl. I'm not entirely sure what I would do without her. Probably drop out of medical school. (no, but seriously)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


This week I have been trying to remember how important it is to spend time in the Word. Not just reading a few verses or praying throughout the day. I do both those things.. and generally feel close to the Lord. But I realized that I haven't been digging into the Word. I haven't been asking him to stretch me or teach me. And I haven't been depending on Him as much as I would like to on a day-to-day basis. This is part of my journal from last night... I wanted to share it.

"And thankfully, I serve a Lord who is full of forgiveness and He welcomes me back with open arms. I just want to constantly fix my thoughts and eyes on Him. Does this make Him smile? Because I want it to. Truly I do. So I'm going to be more diligent with my time, my affection, my thoughts and where my eyes are looking. Hopefully always toward my Jesus."

That's my prayer today. That my eyes would be fixed on Jesus, the author and perfecter of my faith. (Hebrews 12:1)

this is the Catholic church by my apt. I walked by the other day at lunch while on a walk with Bax and just marveled at how pretty it is. And I was reminded of a quote that I read one time that will come back into my mind when I need it most. 
"the ground at the foot of the cross is level" 

.. we are all on equal footing before the Creator. How precious is He and His great love for us.