White Wash

Sunday, March 31, 2013

He is risen!

Jesus is risen and alive!

For reasons that I'll explain in just a moment, Easter this year is more significant for me than ever before. Last year is definitely a very close second, but this year takes the blue ribbon. Where do I even start to share this journey? Well ... I guess somewhere close to the beginning.

All my life I've been taught to treat others as you wish to be treated, to be kind and honest, sincere and giving. I've always had God in my life someway or another but I never attended church regularly growing up. I would go with my cousins to vacation bible school, and I'm pretty sure I said the "come live in my heart and save my soul" prayer at least 5 or 6 times. When I turned 15, I started attending a baptist church that some of my aunts, uncles, and cousins attended and it was here that I completed my first actual bible study. Shortly after, I asked my parents to start coming to church with me, but I knew if they were going to come they'd want to go to an episcopal church. We had visited one a few times over the years during my childhood, so that's where Mom, Dad, and I started attending regularly. Not too long after we started going, I decided to join the youth group and signed up to go on a service mission trip with them to Equador. Mom and I were baptisted in this church, which made us members, and I became an acolite for some of the services. Unfortunately, sometime after that, the minister left and weeks following, we all found that we didn't enjoy the services quite as much as we did before he left. We stopped going to church eventually.

There's a huge gap in my story here. I went to college and forgot about God, like many young people unfortunately do. I remember there was one period in time when I applied for a part time job as a medical assistant. I knew this would be the perfect job for me to gain experience for PA school and I needed a job for some extra money, so it was perfect! Well, I didn't get the job. I was so angry with God for letting this happen. He knew how badly I wanted and needed it and He still didn't give me to me (but reflecting back, why should He have given it to me? I hadn't made Him a priority in my life. Now I see that God had his perfect plan and perfect timing all laid out for me. I didn't need this job to get into PA school -- "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11). I stopped praying and I didn't care anymore. Maybe I was depressed, but I remember life sucked around this time. Adam and I started fighting more and things just fell apart. Finally, I decided to give in and apologize to God. I remember it had something to do with a friend's facebook "about me" section. She mentioned that she loved being so aware of God and all of His blessings and her prayer was to never lose sight of that awareness. It made me sad in my heart that I wasn't experiencing that, so my prayer at that time started out as me asking God to mold my heart and help me to want him in my life again. I honestly can't remember how long it took, but my heart did change. God was working in my life. He helped me find another part time job in college that I learned so much incredible information from. More life lessons that anything, but I'm so thankful for that time and that experience. 

After I graduated college, I was still praying, but I never opened my bible, only went to church on occasion (read: maybe twice a year?), and still didn't really have a strong relationship with God. I knew that it was growing, and I could recognize that it was stronger than it had ever been before, but it really just wasn't what it was supposed to be.  Cue Adam and I getting engaged. I had known for a long time that I really wanted Father Peter (the minister that my family loved from the episcopal church) to marry Adam and me so I emailed him and asked. He required pre-marital counseling but he agreed to performing the ceremony. I guess that's neither here nor there, but it's was still sentimental to me. :)

Anyway, two weeks before the wedding, I flew to Kentucky for a business training, and at the end of the week I went to visit a good friend and meet her husband and baby boy. Before I knew it, the three of us were having a pretty intense conversation about our testimonies and our relationships with God. That night was one of the most profound and shaping conversations I have ever had in this regard. I realized that night that although I had absolutely no doubt in my heart, mind, or soul that Jesus Christ was my personal savior and that I was going to heaven after death, my relationship was still at a level of infancy. I was not shining the light of our Father and showing the way for others. They both strongly recommended that Adam and I find and join a church. As some point in this conversation, my friend (Whitney) mentioned Athens Church (Whitney's brother was a student at UGA at that time, and he had mentioned this church to her). Meanwhile at work, I had been having some conversations about church with two of the girls I worked with and one of them was attending Athens Church. One of my parents' neighbors also went there, and they had suggested that I check it out as well. 

Fast forward a year. Adam and I are already married and have been for maybe 9 or 10 months. We still hadn't joined a church, but the conversation I had with my friend and her husband in Kentucky was still weighing heavily in my mind and my heart. I finally decided that Adam and I were going to visit Athens Church. Man oh man, we have not looked back since!! Although we don't still live in Athens, there is a church here in Birmingham that shares Andy Stanley's messages. It's called Redstone Church. But when we can't attend Redstone, we watch the messages online.

Andy Stanley with Northpoint Ministeries is SO incredibly gifted with public speaking, sharing God's word, helping people live meaningful lives, and being the salt and the light of the world. I realize that I don't have much experience with churches in my past, but hands down these messages are the best, most delightful, most spiritual, most meaningful messages I've EVER heard. Every single Sunday I learn so much about God and the bible from Andy. My prayers are more meaningful. I can feel that my heart is changing, not because I want it to, but because once again, God is shaping and molding me. I find myself thinking about his sermons throughout the week ... they don't leave my mind at 12pm on Sunday as soon as church is over. I know that I still have many struggles with things that I don't understand, and I still have much growing to do as a disciple and follower of Jesus, but I also know I'm on my way. God is always on time with his perfect plan. My story is still being written. 

(Back to the top) ... So yes, thanks to Andy Stanley and his teachings, Easter is more significant to me than ever before! As I was saying, I still have struggles understanding God's plan and His timing but this is really something I shouldn't question. He has never failed giving me everything I've ever wanted, but these things aren't always received on the timeline that I want, therefore, I have to practice patience during these opportunities. "So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you." Luke 11:9. 

Adam and I both think that everyone should watch this particular series called "Christian." I can't even begin to explain it's meaning, but I strongly encourage you to at least go read the synopsis! Here's a link for you all. Click here and enjoy!

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Tuesday, March 19, 2013


I'm most certainly not doing as good of a job this semester at updating my blog weekly like I did last semester ... it's for the best, though...

Anyway, let's see ... what's new? Well, I'm currently on Spring Break!! We've all made it this far and it's w-o-n-d-e-r-f-u-l. Oh my gosh I can't even tell you how relaxed I've been so far this week and this past weekend. It really is a great little break.

So this past weekend we went back home to spend some time with our families. That's basically exactly what we did, and it was really nice. I got to see all of my immediate family (with the exception for my brother, who's currently deployed), some of my extended family, and we also spent a lot of time with Adam's family as well. Adam, the pups, and I all got hair cuts which was nice, my Mom and I went shopping for scrubs ... all in all it was a great, relaxing weekend. It really made me miss Athens, which was the first time that had happened. I couldn't believe all the change that's going on. That place is REALLY growing. It's unbelievable. Meanwhile, Birmingham is bankrupt and of course very stagnant. Seeing how much Athens has changed hurt my heart a little. :/

Now Adam and I are back in Birmingham and I've been being extremely lazy ... catching up on TV shows and movies that I haven't seen yet, sleeping in really late (because I can!), and cleaning a little bit at a time, just so I can feel somewhat productive. I've studied a little too. I plan on picking up the pace on that a little later in the week ... after all, I do have two tests next week, but let's not talk about that.

Hmmm ... what else, what else? I have 7 weeks left in this semester, only 5.5 weeks of classes. It's absolutely flown by! Nothing like first semester, which literally dragged by. Ok so the weeks went by quickly, but being in the midsts of that first semester was just so painful! It was a giant miserable tornado of medical knowledge that kept slapping me in the face and beating me upside the head; there was so much to take in ... too much! It became difficult to see anything other than blackness. Soul sucking Dementors. Death. I didn't see a light at the end of the tunnel; I didn't think there was an end ... to anything. At all. It felt like I was in this eternal damnation. Wow, I think I was more depressed than I knew ...

But then came Christmas break, and I slowly began to realize that I DID survive the tornado. Over the next three weeks of break, my battle wounds slowly started healing and the dark cloud lifted. The birdies began to sing again, and then there were blue skies! The blue skies have thankfully stayed. This semester has been much, much better. I can see light at the end -- it's definitely faint, and far away, but I'll get there. Summer semester is going to be SO much fun, with rotations in the ER and OR ... and after that is fall semester. In the fall I'll be a second year PA student, and that'll be my final didactic semester before clinicals. And as scary as clinical rotations are going to be, they're also going to be SO MUCH FUN!

So ... here's to staying strong over the next 7 weeks. :)

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Saturday, March 2, 2013

The weeks are flying by ...

Shoo-weee! It's been a minute. Let's do a quick catch up. The weekend after Valentine's Day, we hung out with Rob, Jenny and Catherine (Rob's sister). Catherine flew in from NC to hang out with Rob and Jenny (she had forgotten that Adam and I lived here now) but someone had forgotten to make her hotel reservations ;) so she ended up staying with us, and I'm super glad she did. I wouldn't have had it any other way! It was fun just hanging out with them ... we didn't do anything super special. If I remember correctly, Adam, Rob and Catherine went to the shooting range while I studied with Lindsay, but it was overall just a relaxing weekend.

That next week was crazy busy with like a bazillion tests, but thankfully I made it through alive! And that following weekend was David and Natalie's wedding. It was SO much fun getting ready with Natalie for her big day ... having our hair done, getting fake lashes put on, doing our makeup. She reminded me of myself on the day of my wedding. So happy and excited to be marrying the man of her dreams, anxious to see all of her plans coming together, and nervous because, well, it's her wedding day! Everything was perfect, Natalie looked incredibly beautiful, and I was so glad to see David for the first time in what seems like forever. I've missed those guys. :) I had every intention of taking a few pictures of Adam and me with the two of them, but by the time I remembered at the reception, I had already been dancing like a fool and my hair didn't look as pretty anymore. :( It was such a fun weekend though!!

This weekend I believe we're hanging out with Rob and Jenny again. This is their last weekend in town for the training before they head back to Seattle. It's been nice seeing them every few weeks. That's never happened before. Maybe, in our future, we can all settle down in places that are relatively close to each other. Of all our good friends, they're definitely the ones we see the least often. :(

We're also hanging out with Lindsay and her boyfriend John this weekend! He's in town, and although I believe I met him at our white coat ceremony, I've never really had the chance to talk with him or get to know him. So I'm excited for us to hang out with them this weekend too.

OH! How could I have forgotten about this?! So, this past week in school we operated on a live pig under anesthesia. Before I continue, I'd like to say that everything we did (and will do) in lab was (and will be) completely ethical, and I will forever be thankful for these pigs (and the cadavers from last semester, for donating their bodies to science for my education). These opportunities are invaluable and they will not be taken for granted. Anyway, I first assisted in removing one of the kidneys, and then we opened up the chest cavity and I held a beating heart. It was absolutely amazing. Next week we'll be removing the gallbladder. I can't wait!!

I guess that's about all for now. I'll leave you with some things that I'm looking forward to:
1. pig lab!
2. my new, super cute scrub caps coming in the mail!
3. going home for spring break!
4. spring break!
5. Grey's Anatomy coming back on at some point
6. The fact that we're basically at midpoint in the semester ... it's absolutely flying by ...

Ta-ta for now!

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