Faith and Hope, Part 1

The past two months have been quite tumultuous for me–a series of faith-testing events, followed by a curve ball that came out of nowhere. In the midst of all these, I found God speaking to me about these two things: Faith and Hope. It’s been quite a journey, and I think I’m only able to begin writing about it now because I still haven’t absorbed everything there is to be learned about this experience.

What I’m about to share is obviously something very personal, but somehow I feel safe writing this to you–the old friends who have reconnected with me through the stories I’ve written here, as well as the newer friends I’ve found (and have found me) in the blogosphere. And perhaps I write this even for the occasional stranger who is surfing, searching, for a little faith and hope.

My husband and I have been blessed with 3 beautiful children. And, for differing reasons and circumstances every time, I’ve always ended up taking a year off from medical training  for each of my pregnancies. This has resulted in me working with those a little more than a few years younger than me, and seeing my classmates from med school already starting private practice. At the end of the day, I look at my 3 babies and bear no regrets–this is my vocation (expounded on in Our Love Story, Part 2), my ministry; my career will have it’s turn in God’s proper time. Having given birth to baby #3 last April (around the time I started writing this blog), I was already preparing my application requirements for fellowship training around November of last year when results of a test I took forced me to rethink my plans.

Because it had come out positive.

positive pregnancy test

Surprised, confused, dumbfounded, I called up my husband and cried, not even trying to hide the despair in my voice, “I don’t know what to do, I don’t know what to do!” (Not that there was anything else to do but have another baby, but let the pregnant lady have her moment of hysteria.)

I don’t know what to do. Will I push through with my fellowship application (that is, if they will even accept me once they find out I’m expecting)? Or do I take yet another year off, my 4th overall and my 2nd in a row? Or, instead of fellowship, do I try to look for a short-term job opportunity? Do I stop breastfeeding baby #3? How will we manage financially?

But the most pressing question for me was the one on my career. Will I be delayed for another year? How old will I be when I finally start my medical practice? But more than these uncertainties, even just the thought of possibly having to forego training for another year made me feel so sorry for myself. I began listing in my head the career opportunities I had to “give up” because of one pregnancy or other. Really? Another one?! What other sacrifice must be asked of me?!!

That night, while preparing for his worship-leading that week, Peter came across this video and showed it to me.

Suddenly, it felt like all my concerns about fellowship, all my frustration about being delayed (again), seemed so small and petty. For here was a God so great, so BIG, that there was no language on earth that wouldn’t praise Him. And this great God was asking me to trust Him, to believe that He is in control, and that He knows what He is doing.

The human heart may plan a course, but it is Yahweh who makes the steps secure. –Proverbs 16:9

For we all have hopes for our life here on earth–how we wish to spend it, how we want good things for ourselves. Our hearts were made to dream, after all. But when God shows us that His plan, His hope for us is different from what our human hearts can dream, then that is when our faith needs to outshine and outlive our earthly hopes. Our faith needs to be bigger than the temporary disappointment, deeper than the emptied hole of our broken dreams, and stronger than the uncertainty of tomorrow.  Our faith needs to hold on to the God who remains good, sovereign, and omniscient, that we may be able to say, after everything, “I will get through this, I will get better, I’ll be okay.”

Not that our concerns mean nothing to Him–they are real, and for sure, they hurt. But God is just as real, and is patient with us and our earthly hopes, as He Himself hopes for the day when we will hope and dream as BIG as He does.

The Lord is not being slow in carrying out His promises, as some people think He is; rather is He being patient with you, wanting nobody to be lost and everybody to be brought to repentance. –2 Peter 3:9

What do I believe?

In a world that doubts and fears,

In a time of pain and tears,

What do I believe?

I believe You are Love.

I believe that You see

How hard I am trying,

Struggling to be

Just like You.

What do I believe?

When Your plans are far from mine,

My dreams human, Yours, divine,

Will I still choose my way?

I believe You behold me

With love, tender love

I believe that when I cry, so do You;

I believe that Your thoughts will always be

Greater, deeper, wider

Than what I can see,

Than what I can know.

What do I hope for?

When Your Word has been spoken,

When my heart has been broken,

What do I hope for?

I hope that tomorrow

You create me anew,

To desire as You do;

To trust, to die

Just like You.

(The journey continues in Part 2)

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5 thoughts on “Faith and Hope, Part 1

  1. – “For we all have hopes for our life here on earth–how we wish to spend it, how we want good things for ourselves. Our hearts were made to dream, after all. But when God shows us that His plan, His hope for us is different from what our human hearts can dream, then that is when our faith needs to outshine and outlive our earthly hopes.”

    Beautiful! Thank you for sharing your experience- I was very touched by it. God Bless!

  2. Thanks for this. I know my husband is experiencing a lot of frustrations with planning for the future. He wants to know very badly what to do now to get to a particular place in the future, but it is painfully obvious that he’s not in control. Anyway, we will be praying for your discernment. Perhaps this will help him to feel at ease about his own.

  3. I thank all of you for your encouragement and kind words. The very fact that this piece resonates with you gives me comfort that I truly do not tread this path alone. You are all in my prayers as well.

  4. Pingback: He Gives and Takes Away – JUAN GREAT LEAP

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