Chapters

March 7, 2012 § Leave a comment

Life comes in chapters.

Not neat chapters. Not like Chapter 1, followed by 2, followed by 3. Or at least, mine hasn’t been that cut and dry. But intertwining chapters that tell the story of a life lived. Chapters come and go, and are occasionally revisited. But, when one chapter ends, it is sad.

So that is what I feel today. The end of my chapter. I had my last official lecture at college today. I’ve been here for 5.5 years, and it has become my home. A few professional courses, one presentation, and 2 finals away from leaving the official coursework for grad school for good. And while graduation isn’t until August, this almost feels like a bigger milestone. I am setting forth, moving on, flying the nest as they say (I think?) 1 week from today will be my last night in this small town, probably for good (but hey, you never know right? I did say some chapters are re-visited…)

I don’t really like to dwell, because sad emotions tend to stick with me for a long time. I don’t mind reminiscing or even shedding a few tears, but I’m not going to spend eons of time commemorating my time in graduate school.

Except maybe, briefly, now 🙂

Honestly, it’s weird. I am a student. That’s what I do. And while technically I’ll still be a student until August 5, 2012, it feels odd to know I won’t be sitting at my desk again, turning around to talk to the dude behind me, turning to my best friend/seat mate to share answers and plan our day. It’s funny because I almost feel like life has been weaning me off that anyway.

Leaving undergraduate to come to graduate school felt like a completely different world, so the world of undergrad/barely studying/2 hour naps during the day was gone in August 2009, and truthfully I can barely remember most of it. I have good memories, don’t get me wrong. But the in’s and out’s of the days, the agony of picking my own schedule (haha) is kind of a distant memory by this point.

First year grad school was spent mainly with one person, my study partner, just surviving. That’s a whole different story, but basically, it involved a lot of BS&T, wit little or no time to socialize.

Second year brought a new marriage, bringing me a little closer to the life I know now. More time spent diversifying my interests, a  little less time spent with my best friend / study partner ( henceforth known as BFSP). Or, rather, different time. Time still spent studying, but more time on other pursuits.

First semester of my 2nd year was difficult, as I was dealing (rather badly) with an anxiety disorder, but with some counseling and time, 2nd semester of 2nd year became the beginning of “slack off” time. I have great memories of 2nd year 2nd semester and summer semester. Beach volleyball, chicago trips, etc. So began my really cherishing of grad school. And then 3rd year brought an abrupt end. 2 clinicals back to back brought me slowly into the professional world. BFSM got engaged, and became otherwise distracted (not in a bad way, just different) and my friends scattered.

And so perhaps this past 10 weeks can be looked at as one of those chapter’s revisited. I still go home to my husband every weekend, but 4-5 days out of every week has been spent with good friends, good conversation, and very little school work. It has FLOWN by, as time tends to do when you’re living it. No 9-5 schedule. Plenty of good exercise classes. TV time 🙂 It’s been, dare I say, almost blissful?

I am looking forward to moving on. I think in life you have to be. While, truthfully, I’m learning more and more to become engulfed in the present and stop constantly agonizing over the future. But I mean, I know it’s coming and I can either dread it or embrace it. And right now I’m falling pretty strongly on the embracing side. But, this move pretty much defines the meaning of bittersweet.

I won’t ever be in a classroom full of people sharing my life at that point. Empathetic (some…), energetic, compassionate (haha some…), and so diverse. I won’t experience the camaraderie of day to day life with my peers. I know work is somewhat similar, but I’ve tested out the waters on clinical, and I can say that it isn’t the same. I’m sad. I am.

This chapter has truly changed me as a person, and affected my inner being. Not to be to poetical or anything. But honestly. My soul is different. I think, in a good way. But this has forever affected the course of my life, changed who I am and how I react to situations and those around me. Given me coping mechanisms (good and bad) and great memories to cherish.

I have so much to look forward to. New friendships, starting a family, buying our first house, getting my first job, growing old with the best man I know. But right now, I look back. Back to a time that shaped me into what I am today, definitely not perfect, but better than when I started. I cherish this chapter, and know that every once in a while, maybe after a phone call to BFSM or any number of sorority housemates, I’ll revisit it, and it will be happy memories.

To the next chapter…

Back

January 9, 2012 § Leave a comment

Two steps forward…

And one back to school. Here I am. Sitting in my walk-in closet sized room, on my twin bed. I feel like I’m dorming again. Which is something I thought I would have turned my back on forever, to be honest.

The Lord is good. I am rooming at a friends house for 10 weeks. Most school weeks are only 4 days, which means extra long weekends to spend with the hubs. Every Friday is something to get excited about, because it means going home to see the people I love. It’s funny, because I was so used to being in the clinic I forgot what school even meant, but now that I’m back, I can already feel myself adjusting, falling back into that familiar routine. And while I wouldn’t have chosen it, it honestly is kind of nice.

And here I am. I will say it again: The Lord is good.

You would think I’d know by now that everything will be okay. This is something I’ve been dreading for weeks. And yet, I’ve spent the last few hours catching up with friends and its been nice. A bright spot that I wasn’t expecting to my day. And that’s how it works. Just when I think things are looking dim, God sends me a bright spot.

Let all that I am wait quietly before God,
for my hope is in him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress where I will not be shaken.
My victory and honor come from God alone.
He is my refuge, a rock where no enemy can reach me.
O my people, trust in him at all times.
Pour out your heart to him,
for God is our refuge. – Psalm 62

God placed this passage in my heart on Sabbath. Once I read it, my worries became smaller. They did not dim completely, because the Devil still works on our hearts, and he definitely knows how to hit my weak spots. But I was able to look up this passage several times yesterday and today, and each time, it quiets my soul.

God is it. He is my refuge, my rock, my hope, and my salvation. Life is hard, but God is mighty. Whatever the future may hold, whatever my tomorrow brings, I know that my victory comes from God alone.

 

Worry

January 3, 2012 § Leave a comment

School starts in 6 days.

It started Sunday- waking up with that dreaded feeling of break almost being over. On the one hand, I’m glad I won’t be lazy any more, because let’s be honest- besides one day of intensive cleaning, I have not gotten a lot done.

But, on the other, I love it when my sisters are home and my husband  is off in the evenings, and I can just be. When I look back at everything that’s happened this last month, it has been lovely. And I am sad.

I struggle with this a lot. This sapping of my spirit. Not to sound dramatic. But you know how your life is sailing along at a wonderful pace and then wham! ? That’s how going back to school after a break feels. Because this is what I love. Being with my husband. Spending time with my family. Going shopping. Sipping coffee and watching 30 rock on Netflix.

And this upcoming year is hard. I keep trying to come to terms with the fact that there are hurdles to conquer, and to mentally prepare. But every time I think of going on two more clinicals…two more awkward first weeks of not knowing anything. Two more experiences of feeling inadequate. Two more commutes And then boards. And then finding a job. And then getting good at that job.

I’m scared.

But. This is where I struggle, and this is where I want to work on in my life. Yes, this year will be hard. But one thing at a time.

I have 3 months of seeing my friends, of a bit of clinical break coming up. And I will enjoy it. After that, Clinicals will fly, because they always do. After that, I will take and pass my boards. And after that I’ll find a great job with good benefits and wonderful people to train me, and I will settle in.

Do I want this all now? Yes. Is it part of my journey to learn to wait? Yes.

God tells us not to fear. Anything. Don’t worry about the future, Don’t fear hardships, Don’t fear even death. And if I’m not suppose to be afraid of death, I’m probably not suppose to worry about taking a test.

The following is from Matthew 6.

25 “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? 27 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?

28 “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing,29 yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 30 And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?

31 “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ 32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. 33 Seek the Kingdom of God[d] above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

34 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today”

There are weeks I read this daily. There are days I read this hourly. Because as simple as this passage is, it is the truth. My needs are taken care of. God will give me everything I need. It goes beyond what I will eat and drink. It goes to my career. It goes to my clinical placement. It goes to my marriage. In every aspect of life, God’s got it. Worry “dominate[s] the thoughts of unbelievers”. And I am not an unbeliever.

I can prepare for my tests. I can arrange my clinical placement. I can sign up for my boards. But will I spend today worrying about passing my test? Or worrying I won’t go to the place I want to? Or worrying I won’t make it through my boards? Or worrying I’ll be bad at my first job? No. Because I am called as a christian to let God handle it.

And He will. Sometimes I chastise myself by thinking “How dare you?” because really, How  Dare I? How dare I worry about the future when God has proved himself over. and over. and over. and over. that He has my life in His hands and it all works for His glory.I know this because I see it in my life. over. and over. and over. I spent years miserable, because I couldn’t grasp this concept. But God is shaping me always, and I think today is a chance for me to try and get it right.

So even though today is one day closer to change, I think I’ll let God worry about it.

Wait

December 28, 2011 § Leave a comment

I don’t like to wait

I like plans. I like forging ahead. I like it when things happen.That’s why I make lists. And calculations. And countdown calendars.

In 7 months, 1 week, and 1 day I’ll graduate. In 300 days I’ll take my boards.

I think part of the problem is these things have to be planned. It’s hard to get out of that mentality, when for the past 5.5 years I’ve had to make plans in order to succeed. If I don’t plan and schedule, I miss the boat. But at what point does that become a detriment to the rest of your life?

I can feel something inside me telling me to slow down. Telling me to enjoy life where it is. I make too many plans, countdown the days of my life, focus too much on one single event that I think will make me happy. And then it doesn’t. I pass my test, then begin planning my study session for the next one. I sign a lease for my first apartment, and begin searching the internet for new homes.

Life just happens. It does. I’m not knocking timelines or goals. These are good things, that have carried me through 5+ years of college, put money into my savings account, and gotten me through every big event thus far in my life. But, I’ll say it again. Life just happens. And if I constantly wish for the next big thing to happen to me, I miss the present.

And the present is pretty. darn. good. When I can sit on the couch and talk with my family, life is good. When my husband and I can take a trip together, life is good. When I can call my best friend anytime I want, life is good. When I can come home to my own place, buy my own food, and love a good man, life is good.

And I’m missing it. When I bury myself in dreams, I miss it.

Someday I’ll buy a house. Someday I’ll have some babies. Someday I’ll have a great job. I will graduate. I will take (and pass!) my board exams.

But right now, I need to live in my right now.

So New Year’s Resolution # 2: Live in the present.

Resolve

December 27, 2011 § Leave a comment

This year, with a little effort and elbow grease I will:

1. Take written comprehensives

2. Complete 2 clinical internships

3. Graduate

4. Take boards

5. Find a job

I am appropriately freaked out about this. 2012 is BIG. And it’s coming whether I am ready or not. So I am resolving to be ready. Obviously, by preparing for my tests and internships in any way I can. But mostly, mentally.

Change is hard. I don’t like change, as a given rule. And yet, it sneaks up on you anyway. And, if the past is any indicator, I don’t handle change very well. With change comes worry, and with worry comes freaking out and with freaking out comes a loss of joy.

I’m tired of losing my joy.

I think as Christians, we are called to live in the fullness of joy. I don’t mean that every moment of our lives will be filled with rainbows. But I do mean that there should be less freaking out and more giving thanks. More moments of peace and less turbulence. And I AM NOT a philosopher, a bible student, or a pastor. But I feel called to make a change. I am not living in the fullness of God’s joy, I am not living a life full of the joy of the Lord.

So I welcome 2012 as a time of personal growth. Less worry, more faith. More time with Christ, and less with burdens. More self-discovery of what it really means to be a follower of Jesus. And the rest will fall into place. Maybe not where I would have put it, but it will be there.

“Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10.

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