As a full time senior student at Oklahoma Baptist University studying to go to Physician Assistant school, my life is consistently filled with stress. Currently, my life is in a state where any decision that I make directly impacts the future paths I will follow. My parents always set high expectations for me as a child, and those have morphed into the expectations that I have for myself. I am very thankful for that, but sometimes I take my “overachieving tendencies” a little too far.
I made the decision that I wanted to be a PA at the age of 14, and have been all math and bioscience since then. As such, I have accumulated a 4.0 GPA at a private university as a Pre-Allied Health major and am now in the middle of the application process to different PA schools across the nation. I have been lucky enough to have an interview at one of them so far, but as for right now, I am waiting. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting. WAITING! How long can I wait, right???????? The email that I am waiting for WILL DECIDE MY LIFE! Either I will get in and begin my journey into medicine, or I will graduate in May with a degree that requires post-grad school to get a job in the field, no money, nowhere to live, and no plans. I KNOW! As a 20-year-old who barely even knows what a 401K is, that is a pretty daunting scenario.
This is my daily train of thought: Why haven’t I heard anything yet? Did they not get my application? Did they not like my application? What was wrong with it? When am I going to hear from them? Will they just tell me already?! Did I completely mess up my interview? Why did I say that instead of that? I need to know where I’m going! My whole life depends on it!!!! AHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!! STOP!
Those are destructive Hannah Karr thoughts. None of those things are from the Lord. Don’t get me wrong, it is great to have ambition and purpose in your life and I feel so fortunate to have God calling me to help people with medicine. But this entire, continuous, torturous experience has taught me one thing: I cannot do this every day without the help of God.
I am the first one to tell you that it is easy to forget about that when everything else in life seems so urgent and pressing. You have all these things happening in your life that need your immediate attention and there isn’t even time to breathe, let alone to take a rest and seek solace from God. For me though, when I do, whether it’s through my quiet time, worshiping through music, or through relationships, it is a literal, physiological relief. Meaning, I can feel it in my chest, in my head, in my heart. There are consistently weights being crushed down on me, and by myself, I am not strong enough to lift them off. I don’t know if you have experienced this, but if you haven’t, I urge you to seek comfort with God. It sucks the poison, the stress, the worry, the ickyness out of your system and fills you with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness…. All the things that I have been striving for and failing miserably at attaining with my so-called intelligence, independence, and determination have begun to unfold through my intimate relationship with Christ.
God has given me a vision and a peace for my future and an amazing family and circle of friends to share it with. To be honest with you, I have friends who are going through the process to become PAs, doctors, and dentists, and the process is so stressful and taxing that I am at a loss of how people who don’t know the Lord get through it. It makes me sad and desperate for the dying world. But those thoughts tend to ignite my fire about knowing God more and trusting in Him to guide my future.
I mentioned before about my family and friends. Hands down, I think this is one of the most important aspects of my life (aside from my relationship with God). This, however, only enhances that. My family has always been amazing and supportive of whatever my dreams are and have always encouraged me to pursue them. But living so far away, my friends at school have also become part of my family. They periodically leave me little notes of encouragement. Below are two of them:
While praying for you this morning I just felt like God sees in you a heart that is burning and wants to know Him more. I feel like God is saying that you can have as much of Him as you want. He is limitless and exciting and you’re not meant to settle for the mediocre Christian life.
Ephesians 1:18-19a (NASB): ‘I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened so that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.’
The Lord is really jealous for you and He is like a consuming fire (Song of Songs 8:6, Hebrews 12:29). I feel like this year will be a time of so much growth in Him.
I just wanted to write you a note to tell you that I am praying for you this week. I know that you are nervous for your interview, but I just wanted to remind you that you are kind, intelligent, talented, and beautiful. Most importantly, you are a beloved daughter of the most-high God. This interview is just another stepping stone in God’s magnificent plan for your life. Your calling to be a PA will be realized somehow, someway, and this is just another opportunity. I pray this week the peach of God will be with you.
Joshua 1:9 (NIV): ‘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.’
God is essential to my life and I have learned that having relationships with people that feel the same brings encouragement. They help remind you that when you get in those AHHHHHHHHHHHH!! screaming, worrying, stressing moods that I mentioned above, God is always there waiting. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting. WAITING. Waiting for us to turn to Him just as I think I am waiting for my future. He is my future; He is the key to every door that I need to unlock; He is the reason why I have this calling. I just need to step back and remember that, because I know that every time I do, His unfailing love and presence is always there to save me from my worldly worries.
About the Author
I am currently a senior Pre-Allied Health major at Oklahoma Baptist University. I am 20- years- old and originally from Colorado. I love to run, hike, read, cook, bake, and just generally have a good time every single day. I have a passion for building relationships with people and love seeing the friendships that flourish from that. In twenty years, I would love to see myself working as a Physician’s Assistant with a husband and a family, and traveling all over the globe. Most importantly though, I am a follower of Christ and I try to live out every day accordingly.