Saturday, October 31, 2015

before the morning

1st November 2015: On God's Guidance

Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Psalm 37:3-4 (AV)
One of the most perplexing problems that Christians have to face is to know which way to go, which door to enter, which choice to make out of several possibilities.
It may concern the big decisions in life, personal or professional, such as marriage, or the next job, or the next exam, or it may be one of the more ordinary and humdrum routine matters. We want to do the right thing, and choose the right course... but how to find it -- that's the question.
Start with God. Commit your way honestly to him, and you can be absolutely certain that he will bring `it' to pass, whatever your 'it' may be.
Then, consider all the circumstance in the light of what you know about God -- his character, his supreme knowledge, his love and concern for you personally. Bring the possible choices to this touchstone. Our own desires and personal preferences may be helpful, or they can be positively misleading. Be open and honest.
Then, try to discover if there is any test in scripture, and passage or incident that throws light on the pathway.
Listen to experienced Christian friends, who can proffer helpful advice, if they are understanding and honest, and are not afraid to tell you the truth.
Then pray in words like these --
O my God, I gladly confess that you know everything, and that you
have a plan for me and my life. I now deliberately ask for your
guidance in respect of... I honestly want to do your will, and I
acknowledge that your will for me is best and is what I ought to
do. Help me to choose, for your sake and the sake of others.
And when later on you look back on the increasingly numerous experiences of his guidance, all the `coincidences' that have happened to you, you will be able to say `I being in the way, the Lord led me' (Gn 24:27 AV).
maybe, just maybe, God actually does have a plan for me. 

three years ago i really did believe that with all my heart. that no matter the odds, somehow God would work a miracle for me. i dont know why & how i had such a strong conviction. three years on, i DO know, quite well actually, what being a doctor actually entails. comms stations are often actually less scary than the actual situation. my junior d was regaling us of tales of her post call real life comms nightmares which literally made us nearly fall off the chair with laughter. its the kinda thing you dont know if you shld laugh or cry so you just end up laughing. 

i think i still do believe that there is A plan, even if i have no idea what it is. i guess you could call it childish conviction tempered very significantly with ennui and world-wearyness. 

was walking up the steps to the interview, remembering all the times i had walked these stairs, up & down, before debates feeling i was going to be lynched or egged (and furthermore in a white dress...), and after in our triumph. all the times i had gone for this very same interview before. i guess you could say i felt a bit sian like the dude who keeps rolling the stone up the hill daily and then the stone rolls down again at nightfall

then i suddenly remembered that just a few days before, we had been all bumming in the mo room when completely out of the blue, my mentor had popped in to discuss future research prospects with me. it was really almost like the day with m when we were walking in the dark and suddenly we saw the campfire light at the end of the pathway

ive been running this marathon for the longest time, ive hit the wall more times than i can count. everytime i start a new posting with all its attendant new quirks & systems to relearn, it really feels like even tho my signature is that i never stop running, i just can't go on anymore. but somehow day by day, i am becoming a better doctor, which for me is really half the battle. a neverending battle, the true one fought daily. 

the exact details, i leave it to God. but i thank him for the last minute spurt of encouragement which i had not anticipated at all, it could only have come from Him :) 

now for a new and busier ward after a month of chilling. oh dear. i hope we all survive this. 

Sunday, October 25, 2015

a gleam of light

24th October 2015: Be Blessed

God made us alive together with Christ and raised us up with him in the heavenly places that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness towards us. Ephesians 2:5-7
As Christians, we are the recipients of God's tremendous blessing. When we were dead in our sin, Paul told the church at Ephesus, God made us alive, raised us up and placed us with him in a heavenly position. Why? Why should God be so generous with us? God has done this, Ephesians 2 tells us, `in order that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace toward us'. God is blessing us now so he can bless us more later: God is in the business of blessing. He wants to bless us.
God has arranged the universe to make his blessing available to us. Having saved us, he has `given us everything we need for life and godliness'. He has also prepared for us good works to be done, for it is in doing good that we experience his blessing. Finally, he has set before us, as Moses explained to Israel, life and prosperity. The abundance of God's kindness is available and is accessible to us.
How, then, shall we make God's blessing ours? Moses and Joshua were each instructed to live according to God's word. It is in obedience to God that we reap his blessing. Yet it is not in our own strength that we obey, for having been crucified with Christ, it is now Christ who lives in us. Obedient to his word, we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.
Interestingly, however, God's blessings often come to us in disguise. Even the `trials of many kind' and the `painful trial' or `fiery ordeal' referred to by New Testament writers will lead to deepened faith and a revelation of God's glory. God's blessing will far surpass the difficulties of the present age. Amid the sleep deprivation, pressured circumstances and stressful situations incumbent upon those in the medical profession, God offers a remedy. To the weary, he offers a light yoke. To the workers, he offers the promise of a harvest. We need not succumb to `burnout'. We can take on his yoke and look beyond burnout to blessing.
It is overwhelming to meditate on the vastness of God's kindness to us. He is blessing us now so he can bless us more in the future. Accepting his provision, even through difficult times, we can obediently choose to live his life with his prosperity.
Thank you, Lord, for the graciousness of these words of
assurance: `I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord,
`plans for welfare and not for evil,
to give you a future and a hope' (Je 29:11).
so apt. thank you God for the past 26 years (finally i can tell pts i am 26 when they ask HAHA. last time abit malu... "how old are you?" "wah 24, so young ah".) 

there's no question that if the sixteen year old me knew that i would actually be a doctor AND able to do plugs/ lumbar punctures/ episiotomies/ T&S/ assist C sections and supervise hos, i may not have believed it... haha. really amazed that i managed to get this far, unquestionably with God's grace. there is a never-ending hill to climb still, there are so many ways i still need to improve.  

let's hope the next 26 years will be spent walking in God's way :) 

Monday, October 12, 2015

coffee& tea/ there must be something in the water

just plugging away, one plug at a time
been philosophizing a lot abt what it means to be a good doctor & unfortunately it just takes time & practice & experience. it does get a little easier bearing the slight increase in responsibility.
camaraderie is really such a nice thing i must say. something that i always worried abt but has never been in short supply in the 1.5 yrs ive been working. something to be thankful for :) i remember back then vaguely worrying that i wouldnt know what to do on my first day of being a doctor and not knowing anyone hence compounding the blurness. well 1.5 yrs ago (and now) i'm still blur and noob but luckily i have always felt pretty much in my comfort zone thanks to all the sip and everything. maybe the least comfort zone was in ce when i just started my mo-ship HAHA. but even then there was feli and mich for the new noob mos support group heh. so thank God for that, at least. 
taking the exam was actually something really nice, except when i stared at the qns for 1b. everything else was fun. maybe becos for a week, i thoroughly entertained the thought that i might possibly be allowed to study this for life, that finally i could do what i really love. who knows if i'll pass. as time passes by, my levels of ennui and zen-ness increase exponentially. ok maybe those are mutually exclusive things. it's just so HARD to do the right thing all the time & be a thousand places all at once. im a marathon runner not a sprinter sadly. 
but this ocd training is really doing me good. nowadays when i clerk pts, even if its just a kid coming in for an infusion, i find myself going thru the old notes to trace back how they were diagnosed, etc. automatically pulling up the bristol stool chart for every kid with abdo pain people had previously put down to 'constipation colic', charting heights & weights and bp 99th centiles. recalculating all antibiotic doses. good habits :) 

i think i just need to trust. that God isn't leading me down a rabbit hole into wonderland. that if he put this dream into my heart, that it's for a reason. a lot of it sometimes comes from confidence. yeah misplaced confidence isnt good either (but we all have to learn & i am learning from all this!). i really like it when the reg discusses with us the mx, or makes us defend our decisions or list out the pros and cons. coz sometimes it really can go either way like to culture & cover? or to wait it out? but some things really involve a thought process & discussing it makes it more sensible & defensible. 


Saturday, October 3, 2015

strong enough to save

4th October 2015: Work Out: God is at Work

... work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for God is at work in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. Philippians 2:12-13
We know that nothing we do or do not do can earn us salvation -- it is a free gift from God. Sometimes we almost get the feeling when he hear Christians speak that our spiritual growth is also a gift from God for which we can do nothing.
In these verses Paul shows us that the Christian life is, in fact, a partnership between God and ourselves. We do something -- `work out' says Paul; and God does something -- `God is at work'. This should not be too difficult for us to understand for there are parallels in everyday life. You help your patients by providing them with a cure, but they on their part must co-operate actively. To borrow from Paul, they have to `work out' their healing even as you are `at work' in (surgeons literally!) them.
As William Barclay puts it so wisely: `There can be no salvation without God, but what God offers, man must take. It is never God who withholds salvation; it is always man who deprives himself of it'.
Finally, what about `fear and trembling'? Again, Barclay says: `It is not the fear and trembling which drives us to hide from God, but rather the fear and trembling which drives us to seek God in the certainty that without his help we cannot effectively face life'.
O Lord, never suffer us to think that we can stand by ourselves,
and not need thee.
A prayer attributed to John Donne
there's too many things
that i dont understand
so it's into Your will
& it's out of my hands
2 days more, i can do this :)

then its back to the daily grind. on the bright side, the calls im doing are with quite nice regs. and 3 calls have passed, so i can no longer technically say im noob. funny that an exam is looming & residency is awaiting and all i can think of is GOD HELP ME SURVIVE ALL MY CALLS. its like nothing else really matters except that all my patients survive the night (plus i can now no longer call my mo....). also im getting better at blood taking and plug setting. few times ive been called by the hos and successfully got in difficult plugs ;p the other day a baby had ga through the foot plug i set (!!) amazed. 

its like no matter how you try
perfection is just too far away
so lift them up to Me
all the broken pieces of your life


day off and then one week of holiday! have been really into notion reccently so just set up my notion dashboard since i have a day off to...