To describe my week, it has been nothing but very dragging and exhausting. All because of the incoming holidays, my mind can’t keep up with the school responsibilities. I’m always tardy, I nap during lectures, I am forced to go on duty and make my clinical formulation and the worst is, I haven’t been studying the number of chapters to read because I find it so lengthy and boring. I feel worthless and all the more I feel ineffective because of the rainy weather. I guess my brain is already on vacation mode. Of course, I do feel guilty of not studying but I shouldn’t only be studying just to pass the exam, I should be studying to learn, to help my future patients and become a good doctor.
Because of my deep reflection which happened a while ago, I remembered this certain doctor who had a memorial lecture on our school. I can remember so well his encouraging talk. He said that the path we chose on becoming a doctor is not an easy one and that it is difficult to defy. And on our daily journey as doctors, there will be challenges that are difficult to face and our character will be tested. However, we shouldn’t be worried when facing such challenges because day by day this will sharpen us to be a better version of ourselves. However, I realized that the more I am almost done with medical school, the more I feel so inadequate and that my brain has 0% information. I feel like I have become a monster: so lazy, complacent and undisciplined. Well, not all the time. Haha.
Being a medical student means we are always struggling just to get through the year after the other especially on the never-ending reading and studying that this profession requires. “Cover to cover, over and over.” But I realized that studying will be more hard beyond the four walls of my school, especially when I am left on my own to deal with my patients.
I realized that I should complain less with the number of books to read or study for the upcoming exam because there is a far more difficult test waiting for me in the real world, and if the power of five books is already too much for me to handle, then maybe, I am not fit to face the real challenge.
From the thick medical books to the thinnest of journals and papers. They are there to constantly update us with the new research discoveries, may it be new diseases, new equipment or new procedures. A doctor myself must be equipped with the essential tools as to not cause unnecessary harm on my patients, and by tools, I mean knowledge, updated knowledge.
Medicine has not been and will never be about the grades. It is actually the passion to help and care for others that will be the measure of one’s ability to become a good physician. That passion will be the driving force for every medical student to strive in school, not because he wants to get good grades, but because he wants to learn all aspects of human health in order to deliver the best care he can for his future patients. In that way, we will never get tired studying and reading. Of course, we do get tired but if our thoughts are sync with this idea then no matter how tired we are, we will still be happy and contented at the very end of day.
“The more I read, the more I feel so inadequate. I’m not good enough. I’m not smart enough. Can I still do this for the next years to come?”
Yet despite this internal battle I face daily while learning in medlical school, almost always when the tears just barely begin to well up in my eyes, a feeling of peace overwhelms me. Maybe I’m inadequate. Maybe I’m not good or smart enough and maybe I can’t do this…
With my God, nothing is impossible. And with Him, all things are possible. The things that were only asked of me to do is to just take up my cross daily, follow and love Him, which right now, as much as I don’t like some of the things that I am doing- missing important events, staying up late to complete paperworks and read tons of chapters, getting stressed out with clinics, etc., means I need to do my part and try my hardest to learn this material to the best of my ability. All I can ask of myself is my best effort, and God will take care of the rest.
In a world and a life with so much uncertainty and unexpected challenges, I find comfort that my worries are irrational in light of a God that will see me through any and all circumstances and will never abandon me.
And so, I press on, trying to replace my worries with God’s love and grace, which, no matter what happens, will protect and carry me wherever this crazy life should take me.
Going to medical school, in some ways, is like going back to high school with school every day again. It’s a change from the style of learning you’ve become accustomed to. Additionally, you may have more classes at once than you had during college. However, the amount of information you have to know (and the detail to which you are expected to know it) makes college seem like it was a walk in the park. However, we are encouraged to look for activities that will help reduce stress other than studying and I can’t deny that social media is on top of my list. It’s one of the most effective stress-reducing activities for me. When I’m too tired to function and then try to scroll my feed on Instagram, I become awake and energetic instantaneously. Haha. Amazing how it can also save you from dozing off. But, I didn’t realize that social media was also one of the reasons why I always compare myself and still feel inadequate in my abilities as a friend, sister, classmate, and daughter.
Social media was also one of the reasons why I’m so addicted to beauty products (nothing wrong with trying to look good and feel good) because I love hearing people compliment me especially my eyebrows (Lol! Sanguine problems.), and I hate to admit that it’s the reason why I’m so addicted to online shopping. I always purchase clothes and things thrice a month and wouldn’t mind if I’m carrying an empty wallet. Other than that, I was surprised to know that I can survive eating once or twice a daily for a person who really has a big appetite. All of these things are the work of the enemy. I knew what I did was unhealthy but I still continued doing it.
I thank You for my neurons. For my well functioning dendrites and axons.
You created my brain for the purpose of bringing glory to Your name. I do not want my brain to be conformed to the patterns of this world, instead I ask You to enter all areas of my brain that You might give me the ability to process academic and spiritual wisdom from your Holy Spirit.
I believe that you created my inner most being and that my brain is fearfully and wonderfully made by your hand.
Lord I repent of all the times I have not regarded my brain and my learning abilities as a gift from You. I ask you to forgive me for the negative thoughts and words that I have spoken against my own brain and learning abilities.
I repent of trying to solve my learning problems through my own efforts rather than turning to receive your love, grace and healing touch first.
I pray that I will not have a Spirit of fear about learning new things. I accept your gift of the spirit of power, love and self-discipline into my brain.
Give me the Spirit of wisdom and revelation that I might succeed in school and to know You better.
Thank you, Lord, for using me. For choosing me.
Thank you for blessing me with Your bounty. Your favor. Your love.
I feel more peaceful and fulfilled than I ever have in my entire life.
I am learning so much. Growing so much.
You are so good to me, Lord Jesus.
I don’t deserve Your love, Your grace, Your favor nor Your blessing.
Yet, you still love me.
Your little doctor in the making,
I could start this letter by thanking you for many things but I would like to say first that there are no words to actually describe how much I love you and how thankful I am for your life. I am so blessed to have you as my role model, hero and father.
Thank you papa for providing shelter to cover our heads, food to feed us, things we actually need and for allowing us to have good education. Thank you for loving, leading and guiding us. Thank you also for loving mom because from you, I’ve learned what it means to love your spouse. Thank you for sacrificing for us-waking up in the middle of the night to respond to emergency calls, making rounds, going home late and for always waiting patiently for your seven daughters plus wife to get finish from dressing up every occassion. Even until now, dad, you chraracter amazes me and that’s the reason why I respect and look up to you.
Even though you are a busy man, you still never as in ever fail to give time for us, you ALWAYS give time for us like how you also give time for treating your patients. Papa, I can never fully express my gratitude to you. You will always be the first man I will ever love. I would be completely lost in this world without you and Mama. God knew exactly what He was doing when He chose you to be my father!
(Don’t mind my stressed face, please. Haha.)
If you are like me, you probably start the week a bit slow. I used to hum a song that says Mondays get me down. Perhaps it’s because of the hangover from the weekend’s gimiks with friends, activities you joined from church or school or probably, your past time at your house. I had to force myself out of bed and take a shower. Mondays find me lazily preparing for school in the morning and yawning through the professor’s lectures the rest of the day. I usually can’t concentrate. No brilliant ideas surfaced, and my schoolwork was so-so. I’d finally get perked up in the afternooon but, by then, the day had practically gone by. One cup of coffee from the nearest coffee shop should do the trick.
Later, I realized that it’s not Mondays that get me down. It’s my attitude. If I truly wanted to honor God with my studies, then I would pursue excellence no matter what. I won’t write term papers, answer exams or listen to the professor just so I would pass the course. I would do all these because I am serving the Lord.
And here’s what’s encouraging. Even if we should not expect something in return, God promises us a reward for serving Him. To get the highest grade or a teacher’s commendation or our classmates’ admiration or an exemption from the finals are perhaps some of those rewards. But the joy that our accomplishments bring to our parents and the honor it gives God are the best returns for our hard work.
Do your work willingly, as though you were serving the Lord himself. In fact, the Lord Christ is the one you are really serving, and you know He will reward you. Colossians 3:23, 24
(Devotion: Real time)
1. Change of lifestyle
I have been in a current situation where hanging out, chilling, and doing other fun stuff is no longer listed in my planner. I used to love hanging out with friends in shopping malls, movie houses, and coffee shops. Anywhere, you name it. Unfortunately, those days were over.
Monday to Sunday, I study. From the moment I wake up, I take a shower, dress up to go to school, attend my Problem Based Learning class, go home, study ‘til dawn and then sleep again and wake up again. Yhup. The same cycle everyday. No, it’s not depriving myself from all the good things in life but it’s more like of a discipline. Self-discipline can be considered a type of training, creating new habits of thoughts and actions toward improving yourself and reaching your goal.
2. As you build self-discipline, you build time management.
In Medicine, you are given a bulk of chapters to read and if you don’t finish reading the set of chapters given to you, trust me, you’ll be in misery. Why? Another set of chapters are given to you the next day and you’ll be left behind. When you do not have control over your own self, how can you control time? So, time management is important though it can become an overwhelming task.
Each and everyone of us has God-given dreams and desires. Big ones or small ones. Without such dreams, there will be no ambition to chase. No goal to reach. We will all be nothing without dreams.
When I was young, becoming a nurse/doctor was my dream.When I graduated College, I felt that pursuing Medicine was a calling so I took the NMAT exam out of blue. When I knew about the results that I passed a month after, I was all the more excited that I was already close to my dreams. I immediately inquired and applied at my dream school which was the no.1 Medical School in our country.
Fast forward. After the first month of class, I was in culture shock. I was exhausted. I wasn’t well adjusted. Have you experienced being enthusiastic about something recently, but then you realized that the joy you once had was gone? I was like a kid chasing an ice cream truck to get my favorite strawberry ice cream. Once I bought it, I held the luscious ice cream cone with delight then immediately devoured it and then minutes after being satiated, gone. I hardly noticed the feeling of excitement. Never did I expected that studying would really take much of my time. Time for myself, time for family, time for social life, even my Quiet time with the Lord was affected. However, aside from the bouts of stressful days, sleepless nights, caffeine overload days in order to finish reviewing four books with a bulk of chapters, I’m still grateful for it. Why?
Paul said in the Book of Galatians, “Let us not be weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we don’t give up.” There will always be a spectrum of good and bad days. It will always be part of our lives. It’s like taking a surprise quiz and finding out whether you pass or not. Things won’t always work out the way we plan. But we shouldn’t be afraid because even if inconvenient situations catch us off guard, it doesn’t catch our God off guard. These things are planned and divinely placed in our path for a reason. God uses circumstances to draw us closer to Him and to change us to be more like Christ. It’s these moments where our faith is tested and we look down to see whether we are standing on rock or sand. Do we really believe that God is in control of all the details of our life? Do we really believe that His grace is sufficient to get us through the day? If we then continue to respond right in every way, if we allow tough times to shape and mold us- we will turn out to be better and brighter version of ourselves.
Dreams come with great responsibility. It is just not enough to dream and not do something about it. You have to work hard for it. Sweat. Tears. Blood. I always do believe that you reap what you sow.
So whenever you feel like giving up? Pray. Pour out your heart and soul through prayer because even when you pour out your heart to a friend, they may or may not accurately interpret the cry of your soul. God always hears, always understands, always listens with compassion.
But remember this, this is what David meant when he said delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.
Delighting in Him is a command and a condition to His promise-to give you your heart’s desires. Prayer is not for gratifying our natural desires. Prayer is for satisfying the desires of people who are devoted to God’s desires. It should coincide with God’s plans. “If we ask anything according to His will.”
Just trust and believe in Him. You never know, just a few more days of believing, another few weeks of doing the right thing, another few months of staying in faith, and you could see great results!
Keep standing and keep believing because you are closer than you think to fulfilling every dream and desire He has placed inside of you!