Monday, January 17, 2011

Revelations 3:8

I learned many, many things in Jamaica. For the first time in my life, I spent every hour of every day surrounded by medical professionals and watched as they practiced in rural villages. I memorized the names of various medicines and the ailments they were prescribed for. I listened to a sick baby’s heart and heard the blood gushing through a tiny hole in the ventricle. I cried for the children with cigarette burns and machete scars. I held infants burning with fever and rejoiced with their mothers when the doctor said their child would be okay.

I learned how to pray in Jamaica. I learned how to pray in a deep, rich, powerful act of worship you feel completely humbled by. I learned how to be in constant communication with God, all the time, with every breath. Thanking Him for the day, praying for the sick, praying plans would go smoothly, praying with patients, being prayed for, marveling at His work in prayer.

I swore to myself that next time I went to Jamaica, I would be the doctor. I would be the one with the stethoscope discovering life-threatening problems and working to fix them. I wanted to be the one to make a difference. And though I had been obsessed with medicine for years, my two weeks in Jamaica solidified my passion and made me hunger for doctor-hood as never before.

It’s been almost a year since Jamaica and I’m struggling. I’m struggling with how to make this a reality and how it’s even possible. I’m a pre-med student who’s a poli-sci major and hasn’t taken any science and who isn’t good at it. I’m a pre-med student who should have started the pre-med track two years ago, but didn’t know how, and therefore, is two years behind. I’m a pre-med student who now has too many units at the JC and *has* to transfer to a 4-year college. I’m a pre-med student who has too many units to double major or minor in science. I’m a pre-med student with too many units to complete the necessary science requirements to take the MCAT. I’m a pre-med student who the deans at UCD, UCSD, and UCSF tell should have a “plan B”.

I feel like if this is where God wanted me, if He wanted this to work for me, He would make it work. “I know all the things you do, and I have opened a door for you that no one can close.” -Revelations 3:8 But He hasn’t. Everywhere I turn, doors are closing and I can’t get through. There are rules I can’t escape and those rules slam doors shut right before my eyes.

I found a tiny note I wrote in the back of my Jamaican journal. I cried when I rediscovered it; a quiet whisper of doubt from a time when I was surrounded by what I thought I loved.
I’m trying to force myself not to begin to reconsider medicine. It’s so competitive, so hard, so demanding. Am I pursuing this out of pride? Trying to prove I can? Proving people wrong who say I can’t? I’m more excited and hesitant about medicine and surgery than ever. Oh dear...God? Help?”

I don’t know what to think. I don’t know how to proceed. Everything I’ve wanted and hoped to work for and planned for my life seems to be trying to grasp fog.
I need to spend a lot of time in deep Jamaican prayer.


A Circle of Quiet said...

Sending love and prayers to you, Ris. Those "between a rock and a hard place" seasons of life often yield the richest fruit.

Mama W.

Wendy Nelson said...

Dearest Risa, I pray God will give you the desires of your heart as you continue to keep your eyes on Him. This is my prayer for you daily. Lovingly, G-ma Wendy

Enrique said...

Desde la distancia y la impotencia por no poder ayudarte te acompaño en esta etapa crítica de tu vida.

Me ha impresionado tu descripción de la experiencia que tuviste en Jamaica.

Doy gracias a Dios por ti. Por poner en el mundo un corazón como el tuyo; limpio, tierno y justo, que se enternece con los que sufren y se entrega a hacer el bien sin miramientos egoístas. Eres un regalo del cielo.

Te mereces lo mejor.