Wednesday, December 14, 2011


I have a couple of confessions I'd like to make.

One: I've been really bad about updating. Sorry (but not really!).
Two: My life feels like a complete mess. For Real.
Three: I'm a sentimental pack-rat.

So now you're probably wondering why I chose those three things.

One: Well, a detailed life update just probably isn't going to happen anytime soon.  Recently, I have felt like too much of my life has been on display, and it makes me want to shrivel into a shell again.
Two: I rarely have time to pull myself together.  Busy life schedule, relationships, leading a Bible Study, school, and potential dating opportunities have left me with a panic-y feeling that results in my mind always thinking, always on the alert, and I just flat out don't have time to get organized.
Three: I live at the room I had in high school (which has been over for 6+ years).  While it has been a humongous blessing to be able to 'crash' to pull one area of my life together (my career), I have literally just been living around my old high school things for almost 20 months now.

These things are related, I promise!

Currently, I am on a break from classes and clinic - which normally makes me feel extremely bored and worthless.  For the last 11 months, I have been constantly on the go.  I didn't really get any breaks from studying because during my breaks from school, I was studying for a couple of different standardized tests. Needless to say, I've been busy.

I'm very thankful for this break.  It's a great opportunity to begin the cleaning process for my life.  I'm attempting to declutter.

When I graduate in May, if all works out to plan, I will be looking for a full-time job shortly after, and I will indeed be moving out of my high school bedroom.  It will indeed be the last time I live here in this house (for the second time!).  As a result, my mom has informed me that anything I leave behind is fair game for her to do away with.

EEEEK! This is where the pack-rat in me begins to hyperventilate.

So I've begun to research how to declutter.  And these are my tactics to hopefully finally rid my life of unnecessary objects:

  1. Has it been used in the last 6 months? 
  2. Could someone else benefit from the use of the object?
  3. 3 piles: Donate, Toss, or Keep.  
It's definitely far from perfect, but it's a start.  And since I plan on taking this desk with me, I might just want to start there.  Here goes nothing.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Eve of MCAT #3

This afternoon, I'm a little overwhelmed.

You see, I took the MCAT #1 in April 2008.
I took MCAT #2 in April 2011.
I'm taking MCAT #3 tomorrow.

After leaving clinic, I sent out a desperate text to some friends.  "I could maybe use some words of encouragement right about now if you have any..." I said.

This summer has been crazy.

I've been in clinic 4 days a week, 32 hours each week, plus about 2 hours commute time each day.
I had a 15-page (16.5 pages!) pathology research paper to research and write.
I had a 15-minute presentation to prepare about above research paper.
I have been working on my Med School essays off and on.
I tried to have at least one "fun activity" a week...for sanity's sake.
And finally, trying to study for MCAT #3.

So one could say I've had my hands full.  I've barely had time to get sleep.  Well, okay, I've slept.  But I've also been dozing while observing in the clinic...they have dark rooms for ultrasounds, okay?

Well, I wanted to share some of the responses I got this afternoon.  Some of them definitely brought tears to my eyes.  Maybe they will encourage someone else too :)

"The Lord always has a better plan in mind than our own, even if we don't see the beauty of it until much later...."

"Sometimes feeling out of control is good, as giving up control to Him in the first place is what's so hard."

"When you feel like giving up, remember why you held on for so long in the first place."

"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams."

"Psalm 16:11 You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand."

"Habakkuk 3:19 The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feel like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights."

"Be confident in His calling..."

"Philippians 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus."

I have some awesome friends.  Don't you think so?  I know God has blessed my life beyond belief.

Recently, I've been studying through Philippians with my accountability partner, J.  She and I are studying one chapter a week, making it a point to read the whole chapter every day and journal about God is teaching us through that chapter.  To meditate on His Word.  And to understand it.  Both of us have really enjoyed this study plan.  It's made it a lot easier to apply these lessons because of the repetition.  Didn't get it the first time? Don't worry!  The second time you'll get it.

Anyway, we started on chapter 3 this week.  Paul is writing to the Philippians from prison.  So far, there have been several verses that stuck out to me.

3 "...put no confidence in the flesh..."
7-9 "But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ.  Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.  For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith..."

So if Paul can say that all things are rubbish from prison, then this MCAT test is rubbish compared to knowing Christ.  And I'm claiming that fact.  I am more willing to follow where God has been leading if that is where He wants me.  I'm not interested in doing things for the sake of getting recognition.  I'm seeking after God's will here.

So let it be.

Friday, August 5, 2011


Music has had an increasingly important role in the way I worship. Recently, there have been several songs that just speak volumes about the truth that I believe with my whole heart.

I want to share them with you!

First, "To Know Your Name" was stuck in my head all week long.  It's amazing:
I love how the lyrics are the Gospel of Christ.  It's such a humbling reminder of how BIG He is and how small we are.

Second, "You Won't Relent" is addicting:

I love how it talks about how our God is a jealous God - He will continue to pursue us until He has our whole heart, one that is not led astray by idols in this world.

Third, "Lead Me to the Cross":
This one speaks about how life is about remembering what happened at the cross.  Without Jesus' sacrifice there, I would not be who I am.  I would not know my purpose in this life.  I would be lost.  This song serves as a gentle reminder of what the cross means for the transformation that takes place for those who believe in Jesus.

Anyway, this post seems random.  But I'm loving today - being able to sit and listen to my 7 hours of worship playlist and just study. It's a good time to remember my purpose and that the things I am pursuing are not only temporary, but that they are for the cause of the glory of God.  May I always seek to pursue the One who saved my soul!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

my restless soul...

...craves adventure.

My best friend Leslie arrived back home today after being in a very foreign country for over a year.  In her return, I am so thankful to be able to give her big hugs and not have to look at a computer screen to see her smile.  I can finally pick up a phone and call her.  And not worry about time differences.  This next month is going to be exciting!

However, in her return, I am reminded of my past returns from foreign countries, and I am consumed by sadness.  Granted, there were trips when I was ready to be home.  I needed the comfort and security that home encompasses.  But in just a few days, I was ready to be on another adventure.  I wanted to continue traveling and see all that the world has.  I don't think I was made to sit still.  In just the last few months, I have discovered that I thrive on being a fault sometimes.  I know it's not always good to be perpetually busy.  I'm not afraid of sitting still, if that's what you are thinking.  I just like to manage my time well.

So I think my heart is craving an adventure.  And this isn't the first time I've experienced "cabin fever".  I just think it's God cultivating a future plan for my life.  This afternoon when I casually prayed a little prayer that went like, "Father, adventure?" He said, "Wait."

So wait.  It's not a concept that one really desires to hear when "I want to go now!"  But after asking again patiently, the same answer came: "Wait."

I will trust in His timing.  For lots of things - like med school, marriage, and now adventure.  I will have peace because I know His plans are better than mine.  I could not have imagined the growth He has allowed in my life since Leslie left last July.  I was a wreck, for multiple reasons.  That's about the best I can describe it.

And He has brought restoration and healing!  He is to be praised because He saved me from some of my darkest days and He alone is Lord over all.  I am so grateful He brought Leslie back safely.  And I trust that her return to a very foreign country will also be in His hands in just a month's time.  In the meantime, my heart will rest in Him who is Father and deliverer of peace.

Thursday, July 14, 2011


of my heart:

ob/gyn maternal fetal medicine.

i got a flyer about a conference in seattle.  and i really want to go.  but i can't.

i'm writing a paper that has made a HUGE impact on my desire to pursue medicine in this field.

i really want to be a doctor.  so i'll continue to study for MCAT #3.

thankful for this life and all the puzzle pieces beginning to fit together!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


That's not the title that I would have originally picked for a post about my MCAT scores.  But I can honestly say that this is the only word that is resonating in my mind.


Freedom from pressure.
Freedom to really follow God's plan.
Freedom to discover God's purpose in my life.
Freedom to see how His plan is going to play out.
Freedom from worry.

All day long (and really for the last month since I took the test), I've been wondering how I would react one way or another.  I decided it wouldn't matter either way.  If the scores were perfect, AWESOME!  But if the other outcome was a reality with scores lower than average, then I know that God was still faithful through the process of studying and preparing for this test.  I know that this process has been me living His Will.

How do I know that?  The proof that I'm not completely devastated with my lower-than-average score of 24O.  I want it to be a testament to how He has carried me through some of the toughest times in my entire life to get me in a place where I will continue to praise Him regardless of outcomes.

So, I have freedom.  I have peace. I have excitement to look forward in fulfillment of whatever God's plans might be for my life.  And I have faith, a stronger faith and belief in the King who gave me life than I've ever had before in my life.

Praise be to Him.  Because let's just be honest, I've done absolutely nothing in my lifetime to be worthy of the blessings He has bestowed upon my life.

I said that I would praise Him regardless of the outcome, and I can think of doing nothing else!

[MCAT scores are on a scale from 0-45, with 30 (my goal) being considered a good score to be accepted into medical school. The letter "O" after the numbers is my writing score.]

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Do Not Worry...

we've all heard this verse:

"therefore, do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself.  sufficient for the day is its own trouble." matthew 6:34

so that's basically what my mom told me when i shared my anxieties from yesterday.

i liked her wording as well - "it sounds like you are borrowing tomorrow's troubles...those things are not on the agenda for today.  focus on the task at hand."


it was a moment i needed.  it came late in the day - after struggling with desperate thoughts all afternoon.  worrying about the future - which is not mine to worry about.

she brought be back down to where i needed to be. (unfortunately, at that moment, it was organic chemistry.)

so this is an apology for the women who i might have scared yesterday with my "timer" talk.  i do not believe that as women, we are limited to a certain time of having babies.  if it's the Lord's will, He is the only one who can create that little life inside of you.  it is wholly up to Him.  not me.  not this stupid timer that i created.  there is no such timer when you serve a God as big as the one i do.

i'm sorry.  please do research more about high risk pregnancies, because the information is valuable!  if you have questions, i can answer them!  or try to, that is.

please accept this apology.

and please try to remember me in your thoughts/prayers!  the mcat day is soon approaching.

let His Will be done.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Apothecary's Daughter

I'm reading this book.

It's a good book.  I'm enjoying it.  But I also feel like the main character and I are a lot alike.

Granted, I'm not the daughter of an apothecary.  And I don't have "suitors" or "gentlemen" pursuing me.

But I think I definitely identify with her frantic thoughts of "running out of time."

Keep in mind I haven't really had feelings like this.  I even had a friend recently tell me that I had this part of my life down.  It was easy for me to separate my desires of having a family because of my busy schedule.  My ambitions.  My independence.

And then it seemed that a lot of my good friends are married, getting married, or having babies.

This post might be a little cryptic.  But that's just kind of how it's coming out.

The point is this: I'm potentially pursuing a career that will take the next 9-10 years to train for.  In that same amount of time, I'll be considered "advanced maternal age" and the risk for abnormalities in babies begins to have a crazy effect on the statistics.  Today, after only seeing pregnant ladies in the clinic, one stood out.  She's my age.  And this is her 5th pregnancy.

Let me just say this:  I don't really want to be pregnant that many times or have the number of children that she has at this age.

But I do feel like a timer started.  And I'm feeling a tad desperate today.

I know that Jesus is bigger than all of these things.  He has put me in this place for a purpose.

There should be no "but" after that statement.

BUT, this afternoon, I do feel overwhelmed.  And this just seemed the easiest thing to express at the moment.

Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers, friends.  I could definitely use some heavenly encouragement.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Every Day Battle

Spring Break.  I've had one every year since I've been in school - so maybe like close to 20 years now.

And I've always really enjoyed them.  I love getting the respite from classes and schedules to have a retreat.  In college, I used a couple of these breaks to go on missions.  And then I felt I needed another week of break to recover from my chosen plans.  The trips always exhausted me - but I loved them.

However, this year, I feel a profound difference in the break I had last week.

You see, every day of the week, I'm with the same group of 14 people, and then add the faculty and the hospital staff with whom we work.  The majority of these people do not know the saving power of Jesus.  There might be a handful of them who do...but on the whole, I'd say I'm constantly around non-believers.

This particular aspect of my life is completely different from what I've experienced.  In my grade school years, my friends were the ones who were like me.  In college, again, my friends and the people with whom I surrounded myself were pretty much always believers.

When coming back from breaks from school, it was like being able to breathe fresh air again.  I was able to reconnect with my community.  It had never occurred to me to seek out non-believers when I wasn't on a trip for that purpose. I know that I was encouraged to simply talk to the people next to me in order to share the Gospel.  But I knew those people, and they were believers, like me.  I just never had the opportunity, or that's what I told myself.  It's a devastating reality, I know!

Currently, I feel like I come back from breaks more refreshed and ready to tackle the task of representing Jesus to my classmates and fellow employees.  Last week was a retreat from the hardships and frustrations of some of my classmates who, sometimes, just seem to not like me because I'm me.  I've never experienced anything so exhausting and discouraging.

But today, I really felt a renewed sense of purpose when Spring Break stories were shared.  I was saddened by some of the things I heard - mostly turning to alcohol to cope with life.  Oh, Jesus, if they only knew how much better You are at helping cope with life's difficulties!  But I will continue to love these people who were put into my life for a specific reason.  It might become discouraging, and I will become exhausted again.  I've come to expect it.  But I have strong faith that Jesus will help me in those times.

This year, I appreciate Spring Break for the spiritual renewal it allowed in my life.  And I'm excited to see what the next 8 weeks bring!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Your Hand

On Wednesday, I wrote this in my journal:

"If You had told me a year ago that I would be applying to continue my education in medical school, I might have thought You were crazy.  I would have laughed.

But I look back on my journey and I see YOU.  I see your hand all over the journey - in the disappointment, the hurt, the rejection.  I experienced it so that I could get here.  So that I would have this sweet fellowship and not take the life you've given me for granted.  My eyes have been opened to where you have led me and from where I came."

However, today...I'm not quite feeling the same.

After taking MCAT practice test #4, I feel highly discouraged.  My scores have only improved a total of about 8 points since I've started studying.  In this moment, I'm struggling to accept the assurance I had just a few days ago.

Am I wrong about the path I'm supposed to be on?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

not exactly a day to repeat...

Something monumental happened this morning while I was in clinic.  I knew that this day would come; I just didn't think it was going to be today.  But isn't that how things go sometimes?

These past 2 weeks, I've been on rotation at a high-risk Ob clinic.  A lot of the patients are diagnosed with diabetes, which is automatically considered high risk for pregnancy.  The risk factors for the babies are not as severe as say malformations, but they like to monitor the baby's weight to make sure the baby doesn't get too big.  So up until this week, I hadn't really experienced any anomalies.  

Because of health care laws, I'm not supposed to really give details on any of our patients in order to protect them.  

With that being said, our first patient for today was in the clinic because she has been diagnosed with a malignant carcinoma.  She was dated to be about half-way through her pregnancy.  But there was no heart beat.

And so I sat there in disbelief, watching the sonographer take measurements to figure out when the demise happened.  

I think I had been in denial that fetal demise occurs.  

So the doctor comes in to tell the patient.  

And I've never experienced anything like that.  

A mother finding out that her baby is no longer alive.  It's heart-wrenching.  Added to the fact that she has malignant cancer. Overwhelming.

Those are about all the thoughts I have about today.  

I think I'll definitely be good if I don't have to see that again for a very long time. 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Sometimes, I don't do a good job of being mindful of other people's feelings.  

It would be unfair of me to expect others to always be aware of how they are treating others.  

But how does a person who has been hurt approach the person who did the hurting and explain how the situation hurt them?  

The concept seems easy enough.  However, the execution is another story.

Today, I feel like I've been carrying a lot of pain around with me.  It's kind of a huge burden.  And it's reminded me of how much grace I live in every day.

Grace doesn't take away the pain.  It's definitely still there.  

I want to be able to extend grace to several people in my life.  I want to be able to live like Jesus.  Jesus allowed the people he loves to place Him on a cross to die.  

So when does the pain go away?  

Turning the other cheek really does allow for one to put death to self.  

I don't have the right to be treated a certain way.  

Jesus, help me to live out forgiveness without bitterness!

[sorry if this post makes no sense.  just wanted to voice the ache in my heart.]  

Monday, January 17, 2011

Afraid of Failure

This week was the week of "lightbulb moments".  Seriously.  It was like every day I had an "Ah-Ha!" moment.  And I love these kinds of things.  It's like stepping out of a dream and embracing reality.  Okay, so that might be a stretch, but I still like these moments.  It provides a little more understanding into my life.

Some of these light bulbs were simple - like figuring out some sibling relationships in my young professionals group.  But others were kind of big.  Like why I can't seem to make decisions about future plans.  Or plans here and now.  I know that Jesus says to only look at today.  And I believe that I truly do that.

But there are other factors in life that require us to look a little ways into the future.  And it's these opportunities that I'm afraid of.

I already feel like I've failed before. Like not just a simple fail.  A huge, life-altering fail.  One that caused me to sneak into myself and become extremely hurt, bitter, and angry at God.  For almost a year.  I wasn't myself.  And I'm still seeking to find who God wants me to be through that experience.  I want to bring Him glory with my life - to make much of Him, not to make much of Erin. I'm done being angry.  I'm done trying to make my own plans and asking God to bless them.  It's not how His Plan works.

So how do I proceed and make my life worthy of His Calling? How do I make much of Him while pursuing opportunities that could be interpreted as making much of me?  Only He can really know my heart.  But I want to be clear that I'm not making decisions lightly.  And I can't stop hesitating to make sure my heart is right in these decisions.  That He would be my joy and not my own glory.   I'm working on this.  But it's not just gonna happen overnight.  There's a massive amount of healing that still has to take place.  And learning.  And growing.

Having my "light bulb" moment last night allowed me to understand why I'm hesitating.  I feel like I can't proceed because I've made future plans before and I've failed.  It sounds simple, but it's so deep.  The hurt and disappointment runs through the very core of me.  And I need my community to understand this.  It's critical that they see how much God has brought me through and how He is teaching me to seek Him above all else.   

I am beginning to see the bigger picture of how deep and thorough His love, grace and forgiveness flow.

Monday, January 3, 2011

All My Single Ladies...

This weekend, I went on a winter retreat with my Young Professionals Group from church.  It was a challenging weekend on several different levels.  I learned a ton about myself and how I am living my life for me and not for Jesus.  It's bad.  Like way selfish bad.  So, when people ask me, "Did you have fun?!"  I can't really say that "fun" is learning about how I live not glorifying God every minute of every day.

So, what did I learn exactly?  Lots.  But one thing I haven't been able to forget occurred during a conversation with my new friend J.  She and I talked alot about singleness.  What it means, the challenges, how we both desire to be married one day, the characteristics we would desire in a future spouse, etc.  It was all good stuff to talk about with someone who is clearly thinking on the same wavelengths as I am.  

One afternoon, during free time, we were chilling on some porch swings in the chilly sun.  And I was mentioning to her that I wanted to go through the whole Bible and find things that pertained to single people.  Confession:  I've never read the whole Bible.  I'm pretty lazy about it, actually (there's one of those lessons creeping in!).  So, in response to my comment, J says, "Yeah, I mean, the Bible doesn't really have a whole lot of stuff relating to singleness."  

That simple statement hit me hard.  Yes, it is good to read the whole Bible. To know the character of God and to understand how He cares for us (the cross, people!).  But if there really isn't a whole lot on singleness, I was thinking: maybe our focus is completely wrong.  

Maybe it's a struggle, but we shouldn't be so caught up in our singleness and how hard it is that we forget our purpose.  Our purpose, as a creation and imitation of God is to live solely to glorify Him and further the kingdom.  Singleness does make an impact.  Right now, in our lives, we can serve and glorify God better than if we were married.  So, later, holding out on what God has placed as desires in our hearts to be married, we will glorify him as being a reflection of the church and Christ.  

All of these things served to encourage me in my singleness.  It helped me to refocus how I've been living and define how I should be living.  What a powerful weekend.  I'll post more things that God is showing me as I process through my thoughts a bit more. What a powerful way to start the new year!