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November 4, 2019

A Med Student’s Exhortation to Live in the Moment

By Anna Delamerced, Brown ’16 

 

Editor’s note: The following article is reprinted with permission from Cornerstone Magazine, Brown University and Rhode Island School of Design’s Christian literary arts publication.

 

LivingLifeBrownIn the spring of 2012, senioritis hit me. After reading my acceptance letter to Brown, I immediately began to daydream. Whether it was envisioning myself walking across the Main Green to class or chilling in the dorm lounge with my hallmates, I was preoccupied by thoughts of college. Before I knew it, prom and senior projects had become things of the past, and I stood next to my classmates at graduation. “Where did the time go?” I asked myself. I had been thinking about college so much that I had missed out on savoring my final moments as a high school senior. 

 

This is something I’ve struggled with for a long time. Even at Brown, similar thoughts crept up on me. I loved many parts about college life: late night conversations in Perkins, studying at the Ratty with friends, singing worship songs on a Friday night. My faith grew exponentially through fellowship, prayer, reading God’s Word, and spending time with Him and my brothers and sisters in Christ. Still, it seemed like the pattern of wanting to move on to the next season continued.

With certain classes, for instance, I sometimes found myself thinking: Why am I here? Sitting in a Barus and Holley room, staring at a stain on the ceiling, I dreaded lectures. Knowing I wanted to become a doctor, I reasoned that I probably wouldn’t need to study physics for the future. I deluded myself into thinking, “Let’s just get this over with.”

But the truth was, I had been blind. I was so caught up in my own thoughts that I failed to see God’s hand in all of it. Looking back at those seasons of life, I slowly began to realize that maybe God had placed me in that physics class to help me be more in awe of Him and the complexities of His creations. Maybe He placed me there in that specific semester of sophomore year so that I could sit next to someone who would eventually become my study partner, and now, a friend that I still talk with to this day.

Though I know not everyone has shared this experience, I’ve seen students, undergraduates, and postgraduates alike struggle with the similar feeling of wanting to move on. But, brothers and sisters, we can’t keep looking so far ahead that we become blind to what God is doing right now.


Ask Him:

Lord, what are You teaching me right now?

Lord, how can You use me and refine me in this particular season?

Lord, I may not understand the reasons why I’m here right now, but would You sustain me and be my strength to help me get through this?

 

As a medical student now in the trenches of third-year rotations, I’m asking God to do just that: to help me embrace the season He’s placed me in right now. I’m clinging onto this verse: “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NIV)

I confess that sometimes I still wish I could graduate already. But I now need to fight this mentality with gratitude, humility, and contentment in the Lord. This means surrendering to the Lord, understanding that He is in control. We must recognize that in every season, God is using that time and place in which He has put us for His glory and our good. He wants to reveal more and more of Himself and transform us continually. If we keep living in the past or rushing towards the future, we will miss out on all the things God is teaching us in the here and now.

 

For medical students, this may mean fighting the temptation to move on to the next rotation. When I was on my surgery rotation, all I wanted to do was progress to the next one. But I fought that mentality fiercely with Scripture and prayer. I prayed simply, Lord, please teach me and use me where You’ve placed me. Help me to love You and love others right here, right now. That same week, I met an elderly woman who was in need of a comforting presence. She had been in and out of the hospital for various medical conditions and lived alone. She looked like she needed someone to sit with her and listen, and I could feel God pushing me to be that kind of person for her. 

For college students, here’s a  call to embrace the season you are in, too. Maybe you desperately want midterms or finals to be over (and that’s not necessarily a bad thing—maybe you do have tons of papers and exams, and you’re in need of respite and sleep). But what if He places someone right next to you in that class or in the library, and He wants you to share kindness and love with that person? Perhaps, also, God is refining you and teaching you through these times of trial and fire. And He will never leave you nor forsake you. So, in any season of life, in any moment, He is with you always. There is respite and refuge for us right there, even in the hardest of times. 

So, whether you’re rotating through a tough field or wanting to switch clinics, whether it’s cramming for a final in the SciLi or wanting to leave the cold New England weather for California, let’s embrace where God has called us, in the here and now. God has you. He makes all things work together for our good. That includes making the bitter into the sweet, making all things beautiful in their time. Our mountain top moments, our deepest lows, and everything in between—God can and will make all things beautiful. This is the day the Lord has made. This is the season of life God has placed you in right now.

 
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