Today I finished my last two finals of the semester. Even though I have enjoyed an evening of no homework, no looming quizzes and just mindless activities, I am still bewildered from this semester. I say I am "bewildered" for a few reasons. This semester was a flash and I cannot even wrap my mind around how I am seeing the end of it....almost unscathed. Within that flash, was one of the most challenging semesters academically that I have ever experienced in all my career of being a student. There were really high highs and many lows throughout this semester and at times I really began to rethink my decisions amidst my stress. A small glimpse into the mess: 3-4 quizzes per week between all my classes, on top of assignments and labs due. This might not seem like much but when you have dinner to cook and a house to keep... it adds up. Usually school comes in waves and you can "catch your breath" in between the "waves" but this semester was a consistent flood. I would see jobs come through my e-mail box that I know I could take and go back to working private practice hygiene to enjoy "the simple life." To be honest, I really miss that life most days. But it never failed that amidst the chaos and dark times, I was reminded constantly by my Savior that I am called to this life that I am living. I would see my purpose through family and friends who have loved me and supported me relentlessly, most often on the days where I felt I was near my breaking point. Grateful will never cover those moments and I feel that I have failed a lot this semester in showing my thanks for all the kindness shown to me. My biggest reminder this semester came through a simple e-mail a couple months ago.
"ROMed 2015" was displayed in the subject title with the first line within the e-mail from Sandy stating: "Did that make your heart skip a beat?" It did. Just days earlier, I had one of my lowest moments of my semester after a week of quizzes. During a calculus test on a Friday... I finally broke. Much to my humiliation, it resulted in my first ever panic attack to include tears, struggling to breath and gagging. Yeah, I said it, gagging. It was that day when I said to myself that surely, I couldn't handle going to dental school if it took one bad week and a calculus test to bring on such an awful episode. I figured, as I have many times in my life, that I cannot do it and somehow my life needs to take a different path. Truth is, I can't do it but God can and as my heart skipped many beats as I read the ROMed e-mail, I was firmly reminded that God always can. As I read that we will be going back October of this year, I remembered just how specifically He has called me and exactly why I want to become a dentist. I needed that reminder, in the worst way, and it has pushed me through this crazy semester with grace. I am thankful that the good Lord has grace on my soul... daily, when I do not deserve it.
It was 2013 before our move to Colorado, in Romania, when I knew exactly that God was calling me to apply to dental school. I have had that dream since before I went to dental hygiene school and I know He has prepared me to this very moment to do what He has called me to do. For those of you who know me well, Romania and all of my precious friends and the people there have such a very large chunk of my heart. I let them have it, gladly. God willing, I will continue to go and leave more each time, which is why I can hardly contain myself to know I will be back in October! It's even more exciting to think that within the next couple trips after this year, I could be going as a dentist and do what I have dreamed of doing... doing more to serve these amazing people because they deserve every bit of what our wonderful team can offer and more! God knew that I needed refocus my energy on His plans, rather than what I thought I needed to do (or not do) to remind me that He calls me to beautiful and big things even when the road to get there is long and trying. Again, for that I am so very grateful.
So, in the months ahead of our trip, I'm making a promise to be better about blogging my journey through a school filled summer and preparation for Romania. The doors that have already been flung wide open to make way for ROMed 2015 possible for me, personally, have been amazing! All my professors for the fall have given me the thumbs up to pursue this! I am still amazed at God's goodness and their understanding! I ask for your prayers for our team full of "veterans" and also some awesome new faces this year! Pray that the way is already being prepared for us to do God's work through our medical, dental and vision teams, as well as opening the hearts of those we will be serving.
When I think about Romania and I tell people about it, I talk about all the eye opening moments where you can see God at work. I laugh about the fun moments our team has and I will also remember how tired you are... but it's the best kind of tired. Even amidst the fatigue and the chaos that comes with long clinic days, just like my crazy semester, I am called. I am so thankful I am called. What are you called to or what is God calling you to that maybe you have said "I can't"? I am proof positive that He can, just let him.
Live. Laugh. Be called.