Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Gateways of Hope

My last exam was last Tuesday and, aside from a couple of bits I still need to get signed off (I'm going to go into the hospital tomorrow and beg for mercy...I want my summer!), I have finished third year! What an absolute marathon of an academic year, but one in which I've developed hugely. Becoming a clinical medical student has been a seriously steep learning curve, but one in which I've definitely blossomed. More than ever, I love this profession. It's exhausting, frustrating and there have been many points this year where I have desperately wished to be doing 'a normal job/degree' but I love the challenge and actually feeling like I can play a useful part. Disclaimer: the term useful is very loose here...my med student jobs have ranged greatly at different points - from being the official 'curtain opener/closer' on a ward round (yes that's a thing) to running a clinic myself and presenting each patient to the consultant before giving them a management plan!

OSCEs were MUCH harder this year but my exponentially improved knowledge and clinical and communication skills meant that I coped. The first day was terrible by everyone's standards (all the grim stations, lots of stress, too hot, awkward histories and tricky imaging to look at) but second OSCE day went so well - I felt myself excelling on a couple of stations (like actually excelling, not even just doing okay) which was amazing.  

I'm proud of how I've managed this year - maintaining my relationships, jobs and interests while doing the most stressful year of my degree. I so strongly believe that every season is precious and full of opportunities - I don't want to ignore 'life' while desperately, unhappily, constantly studying and assume I'll live for real when I'm qualified. I want to be in my life, present, exploring NOW.

Recent beautiful things have included:
 My impromptu holiday to Iceland in late April with Phoebs: exploring a gorgeous country, perfecting my 4x4 driving through insane snow and eating so much icelandic meat and cheese..

Special times with the tiny people I adore

 The 'British Summertime Festival' which was a much needed revision break where I saw Ellie Goulding and Taylor Swift amongst others. My whole day was made by this 9 year old TaySway superfan who sat on my shoulders for the whole act and then threw his arms around my waist for the biggest hug at the end. His joy brought more joy to me than anything else at that festival....although sneaking in an entire sharing bag of skittles in my bra was also pretty impressive!...

Getting stuck on the roof of my house during a particularly boring revision day home alone (I thought I'd be able to get back in easily!) and having to be pulled in through a different window by my very understanding next door neighbour...

Generally spending time with people who share my heart

Those other times that broke up the constant studying and crushing pressure to perform: revision picnics; helping my housemate Georgie with her cooking commissions; drinking endless cups of tea; end of OSCE-day sea swimming; building incredible snack packs to take into our written exams...

I'm now back in the North briefly, seeing my mum's new house for the first time; recuperating from the exhaustion of the last few months; catching up with old friends; a long weekend in Suffolk with my mama. 

This is my current phone background:

I'm increasingly aware of my need to do exactly this: to guard all the incredible things entrusted to me from the ways they could fall apart. The potential in my life is so huge - relationships, medicine, children, worship-leading, ED recovery etc etc, yet there are so many ways that lies and fear could cause me to not fully steward those gifts and opportunities.

A few weeks ago, I was brave and went to a women's prayer group linked to my church called 'the well'. I'd been once before with a friend and LOVED it; was prophesied over, sang out in worship etc and I was so determined to continue pursuing God in this new way, even when my friend couldn't make it this time. The topic was based around worship, specifically the 'gateway of praise' described in Revelation - a doorway made of pearls which are formed in irritation. As we are challenged and irritated and choose to violate the enemy's suggestions - be they relapsing into our ED, running away, not daring to step out in faith etc, a pearl is created. These pearls form the doorway through which God enters our lives. We choose to create a gateway and He enters.

Hosea 2:14 "but then I will win her back once again. I will lead her out into the desert and speak tenderly to her there. I will return her vineyards to her and transform the valley of trouble into a gateway of hope"

I took great encouragement from this. I will continue, daily, moment by moment, to violate the suggestions of the enemy. I choose life; I choose Jesus' best for me. I choose to fiercely GUARD the good things entrusted to me: the painful, messy areas of my life are being and will continue to be transformed into a gateway of hope. God is a passionately creative redeemer indeed....

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