A New Chapter - A Personal Reflection
Tomorrow is my first day of orientation for medical school. I feel a strange mix of emotions—excitement, nervousness, apprehensiveness, a tinge of anxiety, among others. Now that I am finally approaching this milestone, everything is beginning to feel real at last. Getting to this point has been a long, long journey but in many ways, my journey has only just begun. Side note: I have heard it said that going from pre-med to med student is much more gratifying than going from med student to MD. I suppose this is because the sheer thrill of officially entering into the medical field overshadows the grueling task of actually getting your medical degree.
My biggest concern entering into this new chapter of my life is not the academic work itself—but rather the concern of staying grounded—in my faith and in my sense of purpose. Often times it is so easy to get enamored by the blessing that you forget about the blesser. Once upon a time, medical school seemed like a far-off distant dream that was always out of reach for me. I had begun to view it as the ultimate goal of my life—until I finally realized that getting into med school isn’t the end goal for me. Over the years, I have learned by God’s grace what it means to be a Christ-follower and to live with an eternal perspective instead of a worldly one. Only when I reached this understanding did I see medical school in a different light—instead of this unattainable dream, it became a practical means to an end. Although I do not know what exactly God has in store for me, I do know that I am in this field for a reason—and this knowledge is what motivates me to keep pressing forward.
This past Sunday, the pastor preached on Hebrews 4:14 “Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.” This verse reminds us that, as believers, we must hold firmly to our faith, or our confession—because perseverance in faith is proof of genuine salvation. I was encouraged by this verse because—as I am entering into this new chapter, I have a lot of fear and worry that I may fall off the right track and succumb to old ways. But this verse reminds me, and all of us who believe, that Jesus himself is the perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:2) and that we therefore have nothing to fear when it comes to losing our salvation. Knowing that it is not my own ability or strength that saves me, but Christ himself—gives me peace and the confidence I need to face the future.
Another verse that has encouraged me greatly is Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Over the past several weeks, I’ve seen this verse repeatedly—and it could not be more appreciated than in this season of my life. This verse reminds me that wherever I go, whatever I do, God is with me and that I therefore do not need to fear or be discouraged. Even when I face the trials of life, I have the ultimate source of strength and courage to sustain me.