14th September: Dragons (4) -- Moods
Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you disquieted within me? Psalm 42:5,11
In one of the loveliest of the Psalms these words come twice as a melancholy refrain. They must often and often have been echoed by hearts bowed down in a black mood of questioning. Why, O my soul, why?
Moods are, in themselves, not necessarily rational. Doctors should not need to be reminded of that. We know that various bodily states -- metabolic, digestive or what you will -- can determine our moods. But we still can forget this. We can feel depressed, mildly or seriously, for no apparent reason, and yet feel guilty or inhibited or restrained as a result. Moods can swing up and down at different times of day. I tend to have a mild downswing first thing in the morning and so have learnt to be wary of my feelings at that time. For others it can come during the busy part of the day, at twilight or in the night.
If we know that our moods can be unrelated to real circumstances, we need to learn to cope with them. That wise Christian realist, C S Lewis, has said, when talking about faith (Mere Christianity, p111), that it 'is the art of holding on to things your reasons has once accepted in spite of your changing moods. For moods will change, whatever view your reason takes ... unless you teach your moods "where they get off", you can never be either a sound Christian or even a sound atheist, but just a creature dithering to and fro, with its beliefs dependent on the weather or the state of its digestion'. Moods are dragons to be fought.
We may be sure, however, that his advice lines up with the Psalmist's further words: 'Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my help and my God'.
The next psalm gives us the prayer of hope:
Oh send out thy light and thy truth;
let them lead me,
Let them bring me to thy holy hill
and to thy dwelling!
Then I will go to the altar of God,
to God my exceeding joy;
And I will praise thee with the lyre,
O God, my God
one life saved!
and then facing my own life's plight again
i realized today that its not going to be so easy to prove to people that i want to do this
they simply do not believe me
just coz i could have changed my mind so fast, doesnt mean they would believe that i could fall in and out of love with something so fast
lets put it out there, i was very, very sad to leave ce. i make no bones about that. walking out on the last day was one of the hardest things i ever did. it really felt like a second home.
HOWEVER, in the past 2.5 months since leaving, God's grace and mercy in my new posting has been truly endless.
the last time i experienced such grace and mercy was probably when God gave me all my miracles in the past.
i've met countless kind people - fellow mos, seniors and nurses alike, who taught me everything i need to know about adult medicine and adult emergency medicine with great patience and kindness despite the fact that i knew absolutely nothing about it and only know the paeds doses for urtis, that's it.
i've done innumerable new procedures firstly under guidance and later by myself, things i could never have imagined myself having the courage to do.
i've uncovered new sides to myself i truly didn't know i had before. new depths of courage, responsibility, incentive that i'm quite positive that was not inherent to me before this.
i've realized that all those years ago when God called me to medicine, he called me to THIS. THIS is what i signed up for when i signed up for medical school, but that three years ago, blinded by fears, insecurities & goodness knows what, i did not dare to do.
as time goes by, it becomes clearer and clearer to me that this is the path i must take even though it can be hard.
it's true that i did not make the about turn of my own volition. i did not one day give up and say "i have had enough of trying and now i shall try something else". it is true that God gave me this posting, this particular posting, because He is good, & because He wanted me to move on & stop ignoring his soft prompting. i admit that i did not give up by myself, but because God wanted me to stop moping in a corner that he has no plan for my life when he clearly does!!!
today, after making a call to scan and realizing that it was the right call, the satisfaction from that, i realized for the first time in my whole life that, i dont need to get into residency.
just doing this, and doing the right thing, is the best and happiest thing in the whole world.
& that God finally worked my miracle for me
not just getting into and passing medical school, but finding this path & fulfilling the wildest dreams of that wide-eyed pre-medical student standing outside the a&e doors vowing to one day be able to understand what goes on beyond those magical illusive doors.
i understand that, two weeks into this posting, it is too early to be able to prove anything.
i am willing to do whatever it takes & however long it takes
& i know that i will never, ever, lose my God, no matter how long it takes
& i will praise thee with the lyre/ o my God