Posted in medlife

Match Week

So for those of y’all who have been following my med school journey, this week is a pretty big week for 4th year med students around the world…

It’s Match Week!

Which means we all get matched with our soul mates.

JUST KIDDING.

Basically, this is the week we find out where we matched for residency.

To back it up–Med school is 4 years. During your 4th year, you’ve hopefully picked out your specialty (I chose Family Med) and you start looking at different programs for residency. You can even do rotations at some of those programs to get a better feel for them. Then you get your application ready so you can hit “submit” the day ERAS opens (that’s the online application portal). Then you start receiving interview offers and start scheduling them–pro-tip: Schedule based on location! Clump all the Carolina ones together, the west coast ones, the south, etc…as much as possible.

Starting around October, you start interviewing. Interview season is really fun until it gets tiring haha.

I met tons of awesome friends and we all still keep in touch and will hopefully be co-residents with some of them!

So after interview season wraps up in January, you have until the end of February (this year it was Feb. 22 at 9pm) to make a rank list. This is exactly what it sounds like–you think back on all the programs and rank the ones you’d want to end up at in the order you feel is best. This was by far the hardest part of the process for me. I had my top 5, then top 3, and then I got stuck. 2 of the programs were fairly similar, 1 was a bit different…and depending on the hour, I was sold on each one. I kept trying to imagine my life at each program and could picture a good life…just a different life at each one.

I prayed and talked ad nauseum about my options. And I still had no clue what to do!

I was losing sleep, had no appetite, and just overall stressed about this decision.

As is almost always the case with me, I finally felt the Lord make things very clear…at like the last possible moment. Sometimes I wonder if God is giving me a taste of my own procrastination medicine…other times I convince myself that procrastination must be godly if it seems like God does it too (mostly joking because obviously God’s timing is perfect).

But yeah, I pulled an all-nighter praying in my closet (fun fact: my closet is my go-to place for crying and for praying without distraction)…and around 5am, I felt the Lord speak to my heart pretty clearly about what I need to do and how I need to rank. I journaled about it immediately because I know I’m prone to forget. I felt specifically convicted that I should make a decision based not on fear, but on delighting in the Lord, obeying Him, and trusting that He is going with me.

So I finally certified my list at like 5am (pretty sure I get the award for stressing out my school the most…I really waited way too long to certify haha). And then I fell asleep, woke up a few hours later and freaked out, then talked to a sweet friend (who I had already told about my decision and who knew I would second guess everything…man, praise God for people like that who know when to call and what to say to help us trust God!), then prayed again and felt convinced that I need to leave the list as is and trust that I’m following the Lord to the best of my ability.

Then I actually made some calls to people from the other programs, sent some emails, and wrote some texts. I felt that so many had loved me so well and been praying for me, so I wanted to be upfront and tell them how I felt the Lord leading me to rank everything. They were encouraging beyond belief and prayed for me and cheered me on. Immense blessing to have such amazing support from so many people I didn’t even know before interview season started.

So back to the timeline, rank list was submitted on Feb. 22. Each program submits a rank list too, ranking all the students who interviewed with them. Some nebulous computer algorithm plays with everyone’s rank lists and generates a match list that is supposed to be in the applicant’s benefit.

Monday of Match week (i.e. tomorrow) at 11am, we’ll all get an email saying whether or not we matched. Ideally, 100% of applicants matched and all the programs fill, but in the event that someone didn’t match, there’s this thing called SOAP that becomes really important…essentially, students find out which programs have openings and attempt to match with them. But let’s be optimistic and idealistic–so tomorrow, every med student gets an email saying, “Congrats! You matched!” (or something like that)…

Then we wait until Friday…which is Match Day. This year it’s on St. Patrick’s Day which is pretty fun. IU does this awesome Match Day ceremony where we all gather together with friends and family, then we each pick up an envelope with our Match info. At the same time, we all open our envelopes and find out where we matched. Then we have the option to announce to everyone where we’re heading for residency. It’s a sweet celebration of lots of hard work and support!

So yeah, it’s a big week for us! And not gonna lie, I’m mostly excited about our exclusive matching T-shirts that a group of my friends and I will be wearing:

tshirt

Thanks to all of y’all who’ve been with me through this process–super grateful for those of y’all who’ve stuck by me through thick and thin.

God’s grace in my life today:

Somehow He graciously brought me to this point.

Posted in To my littles

To my littles

To my littles,

Today the world celebrated International Women’s Day. Well, some of us celebrated women, some criticized women, and some ignored women. So it was a fairly typical day. The theme was “Be Bold for Change.” And that got me thinking about what kind of world you will grow up in.

I don’t know what the world will look like in the future when you get here, but I know who I want you to look like when you get here. And darling, I’ll spend every moment of my life pointing you to Him. I want you to look like Jesus. I want more than anything to look like Jesus.

Because let me tell you about Jesus–He cares about everyone, but He went out of His 88caa51d34d753ef4de1b74d816d5e70way to care for the marginalized. He was surrounded by crowds wanting His attention, but He stopped to give attention to a woman who had spent her life seeking out doctors who could not heal her…and Jesus healed her and called her “daughter.” He stopped to sit with a women who had incorrect beliefs, who had lived a sexually promiscuous life, who was considered different and unworthy…and Jesus met with her and spoke truth. When other men accused and condemned a woman caught in adultery, Jesus spoke words that caused the accusers to retreat until He was alone with the woman…then He spoke words of forgiveness and new life: “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on, sin no more.”

Those are just a few examples (and there are more) of how He showed us in His life on earth how much He valued women. He was willing to stop and take the time to hear their stories…to look them in the eye…to love them enough to speak truth into their lives…to show up when others sat out.

And that’s what I want for us as women. Let us be bold for change like Jesus. Let us stop for the ones left out. Let us speak truth when others accuse. Let us show grace when we’re hurt. Let us run to Jesus with our hurt and broken heart and be healed by Him. Let us bring compassion and forgiveness to the table. Let us welcome all to our table. Let us fight injustice and choose life in every matter. Let us be the ones to say: “You matter to Jesus and you matter to me.

Though the world may make us want to sit out, let’s stand up and stand out and show up. Because the world needs us women. The King designed us with unique gifts that we can bring to the table, and Jesus went out of His way to help women see their worth…to see that they are invited to the table, that they are wanted at the table, regardless of what others have said or done to them. That’s the message the world needs to hear.

I don’t know what the world will look like when you get here, but I know who I want to look like when you get here. I want to look like Jesus–and by His grace, I will.

xoxo

Posted in Bible study

Look at Me

At church tonight (s/o to Traders Point!), the guest speaker gave a very powerful analogy. When a parent takes a child to the doctor and the child needs a shot, the parent never encourages the child to look at the needle. The parent knows the needle is going to sting…and so a loving parent will tell his child, “Baby, look at me. Look at me.” Look away from the needle and look at the face of one who loves you. If I’m in the room and I’m allowing the pain to occur, you can rest assured that the pain is necessary for a higher good.

Saw a movie (“The Shack”) after church (yes, I know it’s controversial and perhaps another post will address my thoughts on why I think it’s worth reading/seeing)…and one particular scene featured Jesus telling Mack those same words–“Look at Me.

How easy it is to focus on our pain, to wallow in doubt, to wrestle with anxiety…yet how simple the solution is: Look at Jesus.

cc410da48b24f294081ba0e0496d68f9-2“Immediately He made the disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He dismissed the crowds. And after He had dismissed the crowds, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. When evening came, He was there alone, but the boat by this time was a long way from the land, beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them. And in the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea. But when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”

And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water. He said, Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” Jesus immediately reached out His hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

-Matthew 14:22-33

Multiple lessons to learn from this story:

1) Jesus sent them into the boat, knowing it would be beaten by the waves because the wind was against them. Friend, don’t assume that opposition is a sign you’re not in the will of God. In this case, the will of God involved sending his beloved disciples into a storm. Don’t jump ship, but strain your eyes for Jesus, lean in to hear your Savior.

2) He came to them. He did not abandon them–He never leaves His children. That’s a promise He made and He’s the Promise Keeper. And He may appear in your life in an unusual way–remember that though this story may be familiar to some of us, it’s never normal to see a man walking on water…yet that’s how Jesus came to them. He literally WALKED on water in the midst of a storm. He will stop at nothing to get to you, friend.

3) A word from Jesus dispels all fear. Initially the disciples are freaking out that they’re seeing a ghost. What we see now as a miracle, they saw then as a terrifying event. Perhaps there’s stuff happening in your own life that you view as terrifying/discouraging/unwanted…but will one day be able to see it more clearly as a miracle in the midst of the storm. Jesus knew they were afraid and He IMMEDIATELY spoke to calm their fears. The storm hadn’t ceased yet, yet Jesus instructed them to recognize His presence and not to fear. It’s easy to live by faith when the storm ceases…but that’s not real faith…it’s rearview mirror faith. Jesus wants us to have faith in Him even in the midst of the storm. He allowed the storm to continue–He wanted them to trust His presence rather than rely on circumstances. And He gives us the same instructions today: “Take heart, it is I; do not fear.”

4) As soon as Peter hears Jesus, he’s ready to jump out of the boat. There’s a storm going on, but Peter is focused on Jesus’ voice. The fact that Peter says, “Lord, IF it is You…” makes me wonder if he still couldn’t see Jesus clearly. Which makes this even more amazing. Peter was ready to jump out of a boat simply because he heard Jesus. The voice of God can still lead us today even when we can’t see Him.

5) Our focus determines whether we sink or swim. For some reason, I’d always imagined this story as Peter attempting to walk towards Jesus, then getting scared before he reached Jesus. But as I’m reading it tonight, it seems like Peter made it to Jesus, then got scared. “Peter got out of the boat, walked on the water, and came to Jesus.” But then he saw the wind. When his focus turned from Jesus to the wind, he became afraid. Now remember, the wind hadn’t ceased when he was walking on water. But he hadn’t noticed it when he was focused on Jesus. As soon as he noticed it and became afraid, he began to sink and cried out for Jesus to save him. And IMMEDIATELY Jesus reached out His hand and took hold of Peter, asking him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” And only once they got in the boat did the wind cease. The wind was not the determining factor in this story–Jesus is the determining factor in every story. Don’t just look away from the wind…look away TO Jesus. 

I don’t know your situation today–but Jesus knows. And He’s not abandoned you. You may feel like He has–believe me, I’ve been there. But He has never left my side. Not for a moment. He’s always there, ready to IMMEDIATELY reach out His hand and take hold of me…take hold of you.

Hear the voice of your Savior today:

“Baby, look at Me. Look at Me.”

God’s grace in my life today:

I fell in love with the heart of my God again today. He loves me so much–He’s collected every tear, He’s heard every prayer, He’s been with me every step. How He loves us so.

Posted in Lessons from Houston

Run Into You

Today I walked towards the stairs and stopped abruptly–this resulted in Houston running c5347fdf0d267f32ce714c3d51e55fe7into me. He follows me SO CLOSELY–it’s hilariously cute. He doesn’t even care where we’re going. Whether I’m going to the kitchen, my bedroom, the living room, or the bathroom, he’s right on my heels. And I often find him running into me.

Wow–what a cool concept to think about following Jesus that closely. I get so caught up in where we’re headed or where we just left and why are we going here or why didn’t we stay there? But what if I could just enjoy the journey–find joy in following Jesus. Find joy in running after Him, trusting that His presence is more important than any destination. Trust that if He led me away from something, it’s for my good. Trust that if He’s leading me to something new, it’s for my good.

Trust that the worst case scenario of running hard after Jesus is running into Him…and that’s actually also the best case scenario.

God’s grace in my life today:

I’m so grateful for this season of rest…time to just be still, to reflect, to dream.

Posted in Lessons from Houston

With

Houston loves to be outside. Even whispering the words “let’s go outside” cause my furry sweet-eyed buddy to jump with excitement and wag that tail hard like he’s trying to hit a home run. His golden face instantly transforms to a dog-grin as he races down the stairs and nudges me to open the door. He pants and wags and sniffs and scurries around with joy during every walk and even during the quick trips outside.

fullsizerender-2Of course it brings me so much joy to see him happy  (y’all know I love my dog something fierce!) to be outside. But you know what really warms my heart? He loves being outside, but he loves being WITH me more.

Today I let him out on the balcony to enjoy the fresh air while I was making tea. And he happily went outside, but then I peeked through the window and noticed he just sat there staring at the door. He then started people watching (dog after my own heart), but every few seconds he would glance at the door. This lasted a total of no more than 5 minutes before I opened the door and he happily trotted in to sit at my feet. He’d rather be inside with me than outside without me.

And the thought crossed my mind–do I love Jesus like that? Am I more interested in His presence than my pleasure? Have I come to fully grasp that His presence IS the utmost fulfillment of my pleasure? Or am I fully able to enjoy myself with complete disregard for His presence? Why even attempt to find joy apart from Him–when He is the source of all joy? May I find more joy in being with Him than in doing anything without Him. Oh, to learn the simple lessons that come so naturally to my sweet Houston 🙂

God’s grace in my life:

Abba is so good to me–His love for me far exceeds my love for my dog–my love for anyone or anything. He takes great delight in me. Oh, that I would delight more in Him and long to be near Him at every moment. He is with me. Hallelujah and amen.

singing

Posted in Birthday, The Surprised Life

26

You will keep in perfect and constant peace the one whose mind is steadfast [that is, committed and focused on You–in both inclination an character], because he trusts and takes refuge in You [with hope and confident expectation]. Trust [confidently] in the Lord forever [He is your fortress, your shield, your banner], for the Lord God is an everlasting Rock [the Rock of Ages].” [AMP]

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord, forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.” [ESV]

People with their minds set on You, You keep completely whole, steady on their feet, because they keep at it and don’t quit. Depend on God and keep at it because in the Lord God you have a sure thing.” [MSG]

~Isaiah 26:3-4

As those of you who have been following this blog know, I’ve been doing annual birthday posts (232425) since I started med school–but this year my post is a little late (technically I’m only one day past my birthday…month (haha)). 25 was such a year of growth, restoration (which was my word for the year–seriously amazing how God restored so much that felt broken), and challenges. I had my writing published as a CMDA devotional. I switched from peds to family med at the very end of my 3rd year after realizing that I enjoy procedures and feeling the Lord connect all the dots of third year (the love for every rotation, the desire to work with all the family members, the goal to serve overseas, the innate desire to know a patient’s full story, etc.). Finished up my third year of med school and started my fourth year (aka med school heaven).

16b2ea84ad1b3f7e4a8129b5f73b2982

I traveled to Canada and was overwhelmed by the love and generosity of strangers-turned-friends. God used them to encourage me, especially one sister in Christ who spoke truth and love into my life in such a specific way that it could only be of God. I was blessed with the opportunity to serve with fellow Jesus-followers at a FQHC clinic in Indianapolis and learned so much. I worked with an incredible team to start a group that invests in the mental health of med students. Loved my sub-I rotation and worked with an amazing team at Eskenazi. Went through some highs and lows, but was consistently encouraged by the ministry of Pastor Steven Furtick and Elevation Church. Continued to experience the Lord restoring me. Started a habit of reminding my heart and telling the Lord daily: “I choose You today and every day.

I spent a month rotating in Tulsa, OK and about a week rotating in Memphis, TN and then hit the interview trail hard (traveled all over the country!), met absolutely AMAZING people on the trail, worked some crazy ER shifts and left with my own “war stories,” watched my first patient die, almost died myself during an ice storm (praise God for angels in the form of brave men and a kind policeman), finished off my core med school rotations (that means that “if I become a doctor” will soon have to drop the “if”!), finished off the interview season at a resort on the beach, struggled to make my rank list (as in, REALLY struggled), received the advice to “dream big with God,” spent many nights sitting in my closet (my go-to place for distraction-free Jesus time), heard from the Lord very clearly, experienced His peace, made some decisions, blessed to be encouraged and loved by so many people, watched the Lord answer very specific time-sensitive prayers in such a short time frame, and have seen the Father lean in time and time again, speak very specifically through various people/sermons, and continually say lovingly, “Trust me, child.

So as is my somewhat silly custom, I found verses with the number “26” that I want to “claim” for this year. The Isaiah passage above actually found me when I wasn’t even looking. And here’s the other verse from Psalm 26:3–

“For Your steadfast love is before my eyes, and I walk in Your faithfulness.”

I am grateful that one word from Jesus still has the power to calm storms and bring peace. The Lord has been so gracious and good to me this past year–even when I couldn’t see it or didn’t feel Him near. I know He never once abandoned me. I know He has good in store for me. I know He is good. And I know Him in a deeper way as a freshly minted 26yo than I did at 25. He made Himself known in the valleys and on the mountaintops. He rarely roared above the noise, but was most often found in the moments of vulnerability when I’d reached the end of myself. He taught me that sacrifice is not a one-and-done type deal, but a daily, moment-by-moment choice. Same with trust. And He’s proved Himself not only sovereign and trustworthy and good and loving, but also near. For that, I am very grateful.

My word for 26 is “steadfast.” May my heart be steadfast, grounded in the truth of who HE is and trusting Him wholeheartedly, “with hope and confident expectation.” I’m expecting to be surprised by joy as I keep my heart steadfast on Him.

God’s grace in my life today:

All of the above. Wow, even though most of what I wrote above just barely scratched the surface, I’m overwhelmed by how faithful He has been to restore me and make me more like Him. He is so good.

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Posted in Uncategorized

The Grave Clothes

…He cried out with a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come out.’ The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, ‘Unbind him, and let him go.‘” [John 11: 43-44]

Jesus came to the grave scene and with one command, a dead man walked out alive. This man was brought from death into life…yet Lazarus could have spent that life still bound by the clothes of death. I think it’s so key that Jesus didn’t stop with the resurrection, but made it a point to say:Unbind him, and let him go.

Do you hear the Father whisper that to you? Do you hear Him calling you out of the grave–from death into life? Perhaps you’re like me and He made you alive a long time ago. He didn’t just tweak your bad heart to make it good…He went in and took out your dead heart and gave you a new heart that beats for Him.

But how many of us remain bound in our grave clothes? How many of us remain frozen as the accuser plays scenes from our lives over and over again? As he hits rewind and play, as he pauses certain scenes and revels at the look of anguish on your face, as he writes alternative endings that cause you to despair…as he continues to rewind and play until you forget that there’s more to the story.

As he rewinds and plays and pauses, he slyly allows you to miss out on what’s actually happening in real time in your story. The accuser hates the fast forward button, because he knows something that we often forget: this story has a good ending. Your story ends on a high note. The King wins.

The King won at Calvary–even when all hope seemed lost, when despair seemed logical. Oh, how the accuser must have loved rewinding and pausing the scene of Calvary in the minds of the disciples, reconstructing alternate story lines where they’d never followed Him in the first place and avoided looking like fools, alternate endings where Jesus was never crucified. But while the accuser was busy rewinding and pausing and reconstructing, all of heaven was counting to three. And all the rewinding and pausing couldn’t stop the King’s story from playing. 

One. b3f861d4f9a22535b86b0287e42e0e74

Two. 

Three.

The King walked out and won once and for all. The horrific story line became the heralded story line of His followers. The magnificent resurrection could not happen without the devastating crucifixion. Hear that truth for your life–for your devastation. The King never ends a story with devastation…where there is devastation, there is always resurrection on the horizon. 

The accuser recognized his defeat, but he’s not one to give up. And so he came up with a new plan: if he can’t stop the King from making dead people walk out of the grave, maybe he can convince the dead people to remain in their grave clothes. If they stay trapped in the grave clothes, they’ll never look beyond the devastation that happened to the see the resurrection that will happen.

Oh, but the King will have none of that. And so He firmly speaks those 6 words:

Unbind him, and let him go.”

Hear the words of your King today, my friends. Don’t let the accuser get one more second of convincing you to remain in your grave clothes. Stop replaying those scenes and see the story that’s unfolding before you. The story of life and hope and resurrection. Stop listening to the accuser and start listening to your Advocate.

“My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous…I am writing to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven for His Name’s sake.” [1 John 2:1, 12].

Whether it’s something you did, something you wish you had done, something someone else did, something you wish someone else had done, something that happened, something you wish had happened…let me whisper this sweet truth to your heart, as the Father has whispered to my heart:

You are loved, whether you feel it or not.

You are chosen, regardless of who has rejected you.

You are made to live whole, even if you are broken.

You are alive, even if the grave clothes deceive you to feel dead.

Dear friend, it’s time to be unbound and let go of the weight of the past, the weight of “what if” and “if only,” the lie of hopelessness, the deception of despair. Your story was not meant to be rewinded or paused. Your story was meant to be lived. 

The King won. The King made you alive

Now watch as the Savior unbinds you and lets you go. May we come alongside each other and follow His command to “unbind him, and let him go.”

The King won. The grave clothes have no place on you anymore. 

Walk in life, walk in hope, walk in victory

Trash those grave clothes…for the King offer you resurrection clothes.

“Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him. And the Lord said to Satan, ‘The Lord rebuke you, O Satan! The Lord who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is not this a brand plucked from the fire?’ Now Joshua was standing before the angel, clothed with filthy garments. And the angel said to those who were standing before him, ‘Remove the filthy garments from him.’ And to him he said, ‘Behold, I have taken your iniquity away from you, and I will clothe you with pure vestments.‘ And I said, ‘Let them put a clean turban on his head.’ So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the Lord was standing by.'” [Joshua 3:1-5]

“I will greatly rejoice in the Lord; my soul shall exult in my God, for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation; He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.” [Isaiah 61:10]