Saturday, August 02, 2008

up in the air.

i promised more perspective on my Boards...and this whole experience, really. because perspective right now, for me, is something that is in constant flux--ebbing & flowing, rising & setting each day as events change.

at this point in our lives, our future is about as concrete as the mud in my backyard. God has been SO GOOD to us and we've been blessed beyond Earthly measure for many, many things that we certainly don't deserve. looking back on the past 3 years is a true testament to the soverign grace of a Father who has the best in mind for His children. Our prayers--every last one of them--has been answered to an extent above & beyond what we originally prayed for. and yet, one of the greatest struggles of my faith has been to maintain the perspective that God still has the best in mind for His children and will still answer prayers for our future. because things seem so uncertain to us, because i haven't found an accurate crystal ball yet at the Dollar Store, because it seems that the world itself is in flux right now, and becuase i am a need-to-know-er, the FUTURE seems especially daunting right now.

but here is what we do know:
1. i will be back in wv until may of 2009, with a 1 month break (2 weeks vacation, 2 weeks elective clerkship) in december.
2. i will have the freedom to choose the location of my rotations after may 2009, with certain requirements as to the speciality i rotate with.
3. if all goes well, i will graduate may 29, 2010.
4. jon will likely be headed overseas may/june 2009.
5. jon's ETS date is in june 2010.
6. my residency will start in july 2010.
7. jon & i are going to do everything in our power (which really is only prayer) to live together after may 2009 + deployment.

the field of medicine is a little scary right now. the "big shots" at the AMA & ACOP are strictly regulating the number of positions they fund each year (via the government) for residencies. and these strict regulations aren't changing much as the number of schools & the number of students in each class increase. and unfortunately for us, this coincides with the financial regulations of loan repayment without the option of forebearance and decreasing salary-to-cost-of-living ratio's for residency salaries.

to sum it up: the "right" residency for us may be more difficult to find that it would have been 10 years ago.

of course, there is lots to consider in the equation: army commitment, relocation, continued education, lifestyle availability during residency, location, proximity to family/friends, and community. and while all of this will certainly be calculated in the whole equation when we sit down to talk over our options, its ultimately not up to us.

my Board scores are looked at by every residency program director. i'll be scrutinized for why i didn't do better. why i didn't study harder. and how i justify those 3 numbers beside my name. in short, THEY ARE IMPORTANT. and so, although i'm praising the high Heavens that i passed, i'm also confident that God is up to something.

i just wanted to pass. i just wanted to see a 400 next to my name on my score sheet. and although i did pass and i did see something higher than a 400 next to my name on my score sheet, the numbers that met my eyes there weren't as high as i would have liked them. weren't as high as i thought they should be--would be--for the insane number of hours that i studied.

but God answered my prayer to pass.

and now i'm left with a new perspective. i kind of had a feeling that i would pass. i've been studying since March. but by how much i would pass was the question--one that was answered with a large dose of Grace & reassurance....

i know that God will open doors for us. He will make space in the residency He has already set aside for me. He will reveal His plan for our lives, careers, & continued schooling. and He will do it on his timeline. my score on the Boards does reflect my knowledge--but certainly doesn't reflect my character. and i think that by Him answering my prayer to pass...but surprising me with my lower-than-expected score was His way of keeping me HUMBLE...keeping me/us dependent on HIM for our future plans.

because when all is said-and-done, we have no choice but to look to Him anyways. to lay ourselves at the foot of the Cross and praise the mercies he makes new every morning. and like the consistent sunrise that brings warmth each morning, God's consistent blessings will--i am certain--be lit in our lives with time. i did pass. i passed this test. i passed this *stage* of school. but i hope and pray that we have a long future together--one that will constantly need to be surrendered to the all-Knowing.

and this was a perfect reminder that to us, life is up in the air....but then again, so is God :)

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