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Preceptorship Update #2

God is seriously amazing. 

My previous post was published early Wednesday morning before I finally fell asleep. I had been praying that God would make His love real to me and that He would change my attitude. I wanted to wake up and be excited to start the day, instead of feeling burdened or tired or guilty that I wasn’t doing enough–that I made the wrong decision coming here, that this isn’t worth it. I wanted to feel like I belonged here. I wanted to know that I hadn’t misheard God when He told me to trust Him–that following Jesus is worth it.

I woke up and didn’t want to get out of bed. But I prayed and decided to choose joy. Mentally I was trying to train my thoughts to be positive, but totally not feeling it emotionally. But God is seriously amazing. 

He moved in incredible ways that day. As I was walking to the lounge for our morning meeting, I was asked to help lead worship (3 minute heads up). That was SO a God thing. I instantly felt joy. Music is one of my passions, I had just been wanting to feel like I belong, and suddenly God drops this opportunity in my lap. That set the tone for the rest of the day. 

During my quiet time, God once again brought me to my knees with the song “Not For A Moment” and reminded me that He’s here whether I see/feel/acknowledge Him or not. My feelings on the subject don’t change the fact: He is with me. The very next song on Pandora was “Beautiful Things.” I broke down even more. I was just feeling so empty, like I had nothing to give…and in that moment I was reminded: “All around hope is springing up from this old ground. Out of chaos life is being found in You. You make beautiful things out of us.” And I prayed and cried that God would make something beautiful out of me. That He would use me when I feel useless. That He would take brokenness and make it beautiful. 

I left for the hospital feeling refreshed. I knew God was with me, I knew He makes beautiful things. I had started out empty that day, but God in His kindness had filled me up. So I entered the hospital with a full heart. 

During this preceptorship, we’ve received training to go to the hospitals and offer spiritual care to patients, if they want it. Spiritual needs are often overlooked, even though studies show that 77% of patients want physicians to consider their spiritual needs (King DE & Bushwick B, J. Fam Pract, 1994 Oct;39(4):349-53). I don’t know why I just cited that study—this obviously isn’t a term paper. But definitely an applicable and pertinent statistic. 

Before seeing any patients, my 2 friends and I pray that the Holy Spirit would speak through us. We’ve been taught that we are only a moment in the patient’s spiritual journey. That takes away a lot of pressure. We know that the Holy Spirit is working on that patient’s heart before, during, and long after we talk to them. So we want to be receptive to the Spirit’s leading. 

I can’t give too many details (HIPAA and all that jazz), but let me just say: God was in that room. I don’t know if I’ve ever had such a surreal experience. The three of us had never seen patients together, yet God used different aspects of each of us to speak to the patient with such clarity and unity. Clearly this was all Him and not at all us. He gave me a specific story from the gospels to share with the patient. And as I’m sharing this story, I almost feel like I’m just in the room as Jesus talks to the patient, using my voice. The words I was saying were perfect, but I knew I had absolutely nothing to do with it. How could I? I didn’t know this patient’s heart and struggles…all I had done was make some small talk. But Jesus knew. He saw the patient and He spoke words of life, acceptance, truth, grace. The voice was coming from me, but it was totally Jesus speaking. 

My friends felt the same way. We were so aware that God was in the room and we were just observers watching Him love on this patient. He used each of us and it was amazing to watch. We even ended up singing with the patient–something I will never forget in my life. I will be eternally grateful for that opportunity. In fact, we ended up going back to her room later and singing “Beautiful Things” because I just knew God wanted the patient to hear the same thing He had told me this morning.

10430474_10152197541947321_8103735680351837426_nYou guys. That’s an amazing God we serve. He filled me up and poured me out in the same day. And it was amazing.

I realize this sounds crazy. But take my word for it: God is on the move. I’m so incredibly grateful to be at this preceptorship. Satan was clearly attacking in the beginning and I was letting him win. But Jesus had the victory. I have learned so much here already. I have been amazed at how much I genuinely love the other people at this preceptorship. It’s very rare to meet a group of people and be filled with this pure, overflowing love for each other. But that’s what has happened. Jesus’ love has been made real in our lives and we can’t help but love each other–because we see Jesus in each other. 

One thing God has revealed to me within the past few days: He loves me and likes me. I often feel like I need to change things about myself to be more likable/attractive/pleasing. But God has used people here to speak truth. God has used His Word to speak truth. He doesn’t just love me, but He likes me. He likes the weird quirks. He likes the fact that I’m not very coordinated. He likes that I’m not the most athletic person. He likes that I get way too excited way too easily. He likes that I laugh for no reason and sometimes I can’t stop laughing. He likes me. He doesn’t think I need to change those things–He sees those things and takes joy in me. He created me, and likes me as I am. As I start to understand that truth more and more, I’m overcome with joy. And I start to like me a little more too. I start to like my weaknesses. I start to embrace my strengths. I start to see myself like Jesus sees me. And that’s an amazing thing.

I could go on and on about how blessed I’ve been here, but I’ll try to keep it semi-short (in hopes that y’all will email/text/ask me questions later!). God is on the move, and I’m so excited to be along for the ride. 

Much love. xoxo

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Preceptorship update #1

b0e394f58ef1972182ef95dcf50dee99“Don’t doubt in the darkness what God has revealed to you in the light.”

Take out the “don’t” and you’ve pretty much got me the past few days.

It always shocks me how much more likely I am to doubt God’s voice rather than to call out Satan on his attacks…

I’m more ready to question God’s truth than question Satan’s lie.

The past few days, I’ve consistently doubted whether I really followed God’s leading or if I just labeled it as that. For those of you who don’t know, I’m currently in California for a preceptorship. When I made the decision to come here, I had to simultaneously make the decision NOT to go to another program. I had to decide to raise money to fly by myself and be in an intensive program with a group of strangers…which meant turning down a paid research opportunity that would have allowed me to live with my brother in my beloved Texas. And after reading a chapter about trusting God and following the Holy Spirit’s leading, I felt God prompting my heart. He asked me to trust Him and make decisions that will make me more like Him.

Like many things in life: easier said than done. I ended up making 2 very uncomfortable decisions that weekend…both of which I had total peace about at the time because I knew those decisions were made in obedience.

Fast forward to now, when I’m living out the “consequences” of one of those decisions. Let me start by saying: God had totally confirmed He wanted me here. I knew it in my heart and I had peace and He provided abundantly. I didn’t think I’d come close to raising enough funds and I HATE asking people for money. But I asked and God provided through so many generous people. Yet that fact has had me feeling unusually down and so burdened since I got here.

Instead of rejoicing that God provided above and beyond, I’ve almost felt guilty. I feel this burden to make every day worth that money…and then I feel guilty when the day doesn’t seem extraordinary enough. Today, after sharing this with one of my roommates, I finally had my eyes opened to the truth: Satan was turning God’s blessing into guilt. And I was embracing his lies. By believing lies, I was ignoring the truths. So no more lies for today. It’s time for some truth:

1) God brought me here. People didn’t give money just because of me–they gave money because they want to advance the Kingdom of God…and want to help me do the same through this program.  

2) God’s abundant blessing should not bring guilt and burdens…it should bring me to my knees in awe of His goodness. 

3) My idea of a successful day needs to line up with God’s idea. The fact that the program has barely started and I’ve already shared the gospel with patients–and even had the joy of watching one put his trust in Jesus–is such an amazing blessing. Instead of being overwhelmed with doubts about whether he’ll get plugged into a church or fade out, I need to be praising God that He used me to share His love. 

4) Jesus sees each person as precious. I thought I understood this truth. But my attitude has shown me that I still have so much to learn about His love. I’ve been waking up each morning fret with guilt that I didn’t make enough of an impact the day before–that I didn’t do enough to to be worthy of how much people donated. But Jesus paid the ultimate price–His life–to allow us to personally know God. And yet I don’t think think that it’s “enough” that one more lost sheep heard about the Great Shepherd. My head was obsessing over the 99…Jesus’ heart is for that 1. If nothing else gets accomplished, at least 1 man now trusts in Jesus. If Jesus considered him to be worth dying for, then I think I need to realize he’s worth infinitely more than the donations I received. Those of you who donated: your money has already had an eternal impact. Thank you.

5) Jesus sees me as precious. He loves me. He values me. How often I need to preach the gospel to myself, lest I forget. I keep finding myself tearing up as I share the gospel with patients or hear the gospel being shared with patients. Because this gospel is the best news of my life. I am so unconditionally loved by a holy God that He sent Jesus to die on my behalf. He sent Jesus to pay the death penalty that I deserve. What amazing grace and unfathomable mercy. I hope I never lose my wonder over this. The King of Kings sees my imperfections and insecurities and insufficiencies and welcomes me with open arms. He tells me I am loved, I am redeemed, I am precious. The God who once said His name is “I am who I am” has changed everything that I am. He has given me new life. It doesn’t matter who’s prettier or funnier or smarter or better–because the God of the universe sees me as precious. So much joy is found in the loving embrace of my Heavenly Father.

God’s grace in my life today:

“I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that He considered me faithful, appointing me to His service.”

-1 Timothy 1:12

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Love from Cali

Love is an incredible thing.

I hope you can wrap your head around that earth-shattering, profound statement I just laid out for y’all.

bd79da7254dc8ec79e8d2ce15ae607a5But really, love is the thing that makes people come alive. People in love are fun to watch (and I assume are fun to be). When I hang out at Starbucks, I can usually tell within 5-10 minutes of watching a couple whether they’re in love. There’s just something different there. I can also tell if it’s a first date…there’s just something awkward there. From what I hear, being in love makes you feel like you’re walking on air, your head spins, every song on the radio is about your lover (which makes you wonder if T-Swiz is maybe trying to go all “you belong with me” on your man…but then you realize that’s crazy talk because if your man knew T-Swiz and didn’t tell you, that would be the bigger issue than her trying to steal him), you may act a little crazy (refer to previous parenthetical statement), and you’re just so freaking happy. And I think guys just start smiling and winking a lot more, but maybe they act crazy too. But that’s ok. Because you’re in love.

And if you adhere to the familiar adage, first comes love…then comes marriage. And you’re ecstatic on your wedding day because all your friends and family are gathered to celebrate you being in love. You get to make a commitment to forever stay in love with your spouse. You are on cloud 9 because you’re in love and everyone is there to witness this magical love of yours.

So the wedding is beautiful and Pinterest-worthy. Lots of eating, drinking, and dancing occurs. And then some fun stuff happens when everyone leaves and you and your spouse end up on an some exotic vacation (as if you’re going there just to sight-see…well, I guess that is one way to describe what happens…but I digress). And then you come back home and people ooh and ahh over your wedding pictures and honeymoon pictures and new home and all that jazz. And then the marriage hits real life. Unless I’m uninformed, I believe life does not get easier and slower-paced when you get married. Someone please correct me if I’m wrong because I’ll need to register for E-Harmony/an arranged marriage ASAP if that’s the case.9d711a357d2054f3dc90afc9434e653f

And you’re still in love, but you’re also in life. Meaning you’re no longer always on your best behavior. You no longer always look your best. You no longer get to live just for you. You suddenly have a roommate who is kinda a major part of every decision you make. And suddenly you’re noticing all these super annoying facts about your spouse that they totally did NOT have before marriage. But whatever, you’re married and in love and need to stick to the adage.

First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes baby in the baby carriage. Maybe it takes some waiting, maybe it happens really fast. All you know is that all of a sudden (ok, not quite…you theoretically have about 9 months to prep), this new human is going home with you guys. As in, she’s yours to keep and raise and feed and fund. And although she’s the most beautiful creature in the world and has you wrapped around her finger because she’s so obviously a daddy’s girl, she also has this weird thing where she cries whenever she wants something (apparently all healthy new humans do this?). And sometimes that makes you want to cry. And you lose sleep. Then maybe another new human is added to the mix. And you lose more sleep. And as these little humans grow up, you lose money and even more sleep. And then these little humans want an animal, so you get a dog. And you lose more money and even more sleep. But the dog is pretty cool and doesn’t cry nearly as much as the humans did, so it’s all good.

But there’s this awesome weight on your shoulders: you’ve gotta teach these new humans about love.ab1d59f904e253eea4e7fe9abf12cd8e The dog helps with that task, but a lot of it depends on you. And if you don’t do it, the world will…and the world is wrong.

So you tell your family you love them every day. And then you show them.

 You show them you love your wife by helping her cook, complimenting her, being faithful to her, helping her clean, working hard at the office so she can work hard at home with the kids, and so much more that often goes unacknowledged, but not unnoticed. Your daughter (i.e. the previously mentioned most beautiful creature in the world) in particular happens to notice certain things about love. She learns that love is a nice thing to say but an even nicer thing to see. She watches you loving her mom and she begins to pray that one day, God will bring her someone who understands love the way you do (because the Lord knows how fast she can go from cute to crap and it’s probably a world record and we’re gonna need a guy who’s cool with that). Your son notices that you work really hard and you’re quick to forgive…so he becomes a hard worker and quick to forgive. Both kids hear from you over and over again that marriage is a covenant. You and your wife show them what a loving, faithful marriage looks like–and they watch and learn. You raise your daughter’s standards and train your son to be a man of integrity.

You show them you love your God. They see you kneeling beside your bed every morning as you talk to God. When your son is young, he calls you “friend of God” because he kinda thinks you’re on the same level as father Abraham…and then he thinks you’re the chief of a tribe because he doesn’t realize we’re not THAT kind of Indian…but eventually, both kids want to know more about this Jesus that you and your wife seem to love so much. So the kids get to know Jesus and His love for them…and they start loving Him too.

You show them you love them. Sometimes when they’re up early enough to eavesdrop on you and your wife talking to God together, they hear their names mentioned. And it makes them feel all warm inside to know that 3 of their favorites are discussing them right now. And as a side note, sometimes you even unintentionally teach them lessons. Like when you found out that your daughter gave half her lunch to the boy at school who didn’t have a lunch, so starting the next day, you began packing an extra lunch for that boy. And your daughter remembers that. She learns in that moment that sometimes we’re given more–not so we can keep it for ourselves, but so we can give it to others and remind them that they’re loved. So you teach her that love multiplies.

You show them you love them by doing something so simple yet so often not prioritized: you show up. You show up for the piano and voice recitals. You show up for the band and choir concerts. You show up for the soccer games. You show up for the tennis matches. You show up for the awards ceremonies. You show up when they’re ridiculously excited and can’t stop talking. You show up when they’re hit with disappointments. You show up when they’re confused and need guidance. You show up when they take out their anger on you. You show up when they yell and cry. You show up when they need a laugh. You show up when they’re tired. You show up when they say words they wish they could take back. You show up and you stay and you LOVE.

Through the ups and downs of their lives, they know one thing: they are loved.

And maybe you don’t even realize you’re the one who taught them that. 

148730_469543322320_2093274_n

But you did, Dad. You taught us that we are loved by showing us love every day. You point us daily to Jesus through your texts, words, and life. Thank you for loving God, Mom, and us…in that order. Happy Father’s Day–wish we were home with you!

With much love,

Rosh and Roshan

PS For my readers wondering why this mainly focused on Dad…it’s Father’s Day. If you had read the lines above, you would know that…Also, it’s the first Father’s Day that we aren’t all together. Mother’s Day was spent in Atlanta, so no post this year…but Mom obviously also played a MAJOR role in our lives…refer to this post if you need further proof 😉

God’s grace in my life:

He gave me a dad who is a pretty authentic representative of Himself.