“Only one life, twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.” – C.T. Studd
Have you ever been into a situation wherein you don’t know if you’ve made the right decision in life – those times that you cannot stop asking God if what you’ve chosen is really His will, and people are starting to tell you that you are pursuing something “worldly”?
It’s my junior year in Med School. Just one more year before graduation. I could have been rejoicing by now that I am almost there, but sadly, I’ve been asking God for the past months if this is really what I must desire. It’s not easy to see sick people almost every day, and spend sleepless nights to study and review. Worse, I’m starting to think if what I’m trying to pursue is more inclined to being a “worldly achievement”.
But what makes a dream really worldly? Is it the knowledge it gives? Is it the wealth and prestige that comes with it?
I am living in a third world country. Our healthcare is not that much ideal compared to what developed countries have. In fact, according to the latest DOH survey, there is only 1 Doctor for every 33,000 Filipinos. Just imagine the intense demand for Physicians in my country. My home Province even lack doctors. I saw how people from my own town go to another City just for them to have a check-up, and I even heard real stories of people dying on their way to the hospital because they need to travel for hours before reaching the nearest one. Those things could have motivated me more to joyfully pursue my dream, but deep inside I am struggling to embrace this choice with joy knowing that my true essence as a woman is not defined by whatever I will gain in this world.
I personally believe that women don’t need to gain so much worldly degree to make a difference. Just by looking at the humility and modesty displayed by the women mentioned in the Bible, educational attainment was never measured so they can see their worth in Christ. And knowing that by heart, I was trapped in asking Him over and over again if chasing this dream is still worth it or maybe it is just another desire that I must abandon.
How am I going to reconcile my love to help the sick and this choice that looks “worldly” for some? Does it really steal my true worth in Christ? Is pursuing a ‘worldly’ degree too much? As a Christian woman who just simply wants to obey God, does chasing this dream look like I am running away from what God has designed me to become? Am I obedient to God if I stay or am I obedient if I’ll drop this dream?
Just by looking at some posts in my Facebook newsfeed, I feel like a part of my lifestory was delayed. Those people whom I’ve met for the past years are now in a relationship, planning their wedding, having kids and enjoying their jobs. But here I am with my books, notes and a pile of paper works. Those things made me ask God if what I’m struggling now is a consequence of pursuing something that is not His will for me.
I get it. We don’t need to pursue big dreams to make a difference. But what if God gave you that opportunity? Are you going to walk away even if circumstances are leading you to pursue it and make it happen?
For the past months that I was bombarded with thoughts that made me doubt my choice, I came to realize that I don’t need to overanalyse my situation to the point wherein I will doubt His goodness and provision and worse, forget that I am not living a blind fate. He put me here for a reason, and to doubt Him this way is never a good sign of a strong faith.
I chose this dream because I want to help. God gave me this opportunity that many people who are close to me were not even given a chance to have it due to financial constraints. I chose this to someday minister the sick and be a part of God’s plan for His Kingdom. Yes, I could have settled down by now, become a wife and a mother, but those opportunities are not yet here. My husband is not yet here in my life, and I don’t want to waste my time waiting for something that is not yet meant to happen and then throw away the chance to make a difference and help a lot of people soon.
Sometimes it’s not the dream itself that must be changed. It’s the motives of your heart that needs to be reevaluated.
All the ways of a man are clean in his own sight, But the LORD weighs the motives.
– Proverbs 16:2
This dream can be a worldly one. An unbeliever can pursue it and make use of it in a bad way. I can gain so much wealth from this soon if I want, but my soul doesn’t desire to pursue worldly wealth and become greedy someday. Our God has crafted healing this way for a purpose, and I desire to be used by Him through this.
In a world that is drowned with hopelessness and deceit while some portions of this world have never seen a Physician for the past years, and many patients die without even knowing our Lord Jesus Christ, how will you, as someone whom God has given the chance to grasp that dream, use your dream to be able to do His will through your life? How are you going to make Him known through that career He put you in?
Worldly feminism tells us to chase our dreams and follow our hearts. But the LORD our God said that we must follow Him even if it means that we need to die daily (1 Cor. 15:31). We now see women stand for their rights even at the expense of abandoning the joy that comes with embracing the identity that God wants them to have.
But as a Christian woman – set apart for His glory, I know where I truly stand and I know my limitations. I know that chasing a dream without God is a worthless ambition. But I also know through the wisdom that He gives that it’s not the glory that comes with your ambition that makes it worldly. It’s the motives of your heart – the depravity of your soul who longs to steal the glory that should be given to God alone. That’s what will truly make your ambition look like you’re chasing another selfish and worldly dream.
It’s not the dream itself, but how you use it. It’s how you see yourself, and know deep inside that God deserves all the glory in all the things that we will gain and achieve someday.
“So the end of the matter is this: Live for God. Obey the Scriptures. Think of others before yourself. Be holy. Love Jesus. And as you do these things, do whatever else you like, with whomever you like, wherever you like, and you’ll be walking in the will of God.” ― Kevin DeYoung; Just Do Something
Now, Lord, I would be Yours alone
And live so all might see
The strength to follow Your commands
Could never come from me
Oh Father, use my ransomed life
In any way You choose
And let my song forever be
My only boast is You