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?