Stress is a real thing

But so is God.

That’s something I should remind myself regularly, every day even. Because when I start to rely on myself, when I start to think about what I should do, on my own, when I think about the things I can’t do and how miserable it is, I start to leave God out of this. But when I am reminded that He can do all things, even things I can’t imagine for myself, everything is literally carefree.

I cry because of stress. I cried last month because of stress. I cried last night because I wasn’t able to get any work done. And now, I’m drained. I met some friends at a coffee shop to study, had my second cup of overpriced coffee which drained my allowance for this week, but nothing has worked. So now, these few minutes are spent throwing some time up in the air. I just consoled myself with the fact that I met my friends, whom I miss very badly, so, no regrets.

But I also missed God. I barely had time with Him this week. By the end of the day, I’m too drained and sleepy to spend a few minutes with Him, I end up crashing. I’ve been awoken a few minutes before my alarm time a few times this week, and the first thing which came to mind was to talk to God, but I chose to sleep it off instead. And now, I’m a disaster. It’s true – I really am lost without Him.

But my relationship with Him was the best thing that ever happened to me. To be honest, I’d rather let go of everything than let go of Him. It’s been a habit running to Him whenever stress or disasters happen, even though my feelings are not exactly at par with His commands. Even though I feel sad, angry, or stressed, I can run to Him. I cried last night because of stress, confusion, and exhaustion, and even though it was late at night, I couldn’t sleep. I listened to songs about Him, and I found myself resting in His presence. I just have to remind myself of why I’m doing this, and Who brought me here. I should always tell myself that I can’t do this on my own. He will see me through.

A few things

I got grilled in Clinical Evaluation for today. Not too much, but I was told off by my doctor in front of the group that I have to participate today because it was graded, as if I never participated in our practice sessions before. It was a bit confusing on my part because I do participate. It’s just that I don’t talk as much as the others because a) I’m not a show-off, and b) I don’t like asking patients impertinent questions. They are too stressed out as it is. Apparently, in med school, being quiet can make you look non-participative. Some professors just like people who stand out even if they end up trampling on others because they ask all the good questions for history-taking and leave nothing for the others.

Oh, and prejudice is real. This is the real world. I used to look up to this one professor who I thought was very down-to-earth and open-minded, but as the head of the department, she has her own biases towards her own research group, and even though their methods are not at par with standards, we are the ones who have to suffer because our adviser is powerless. In short, we’ve been wasting time because we’re going to do some extra methods which her group doesn’t have to do, because it’s her group.

Something awesome did happen today. I saw a doctor I knew from Bible study and greeted and chatted with him as he was exiting the library to get something to eat. When he came back, he had something for me and my friends to eat. Cool, isn’t it? Doc saved a potentially bad day. Plus, I napped in the afternoon and am having coffee now. So everything’s peaceful again. I just have to remind myself from time to time not to be so innocent when it comes to the world – just optimistic but realistic.

Even so, I know harsher things are coming my way. I’m probably gonna cry in front of consultants or patients when I go to the hospital for duties. But for some weird reason, I have yet to think of quitting. Med school is the only thing I’ve ever been sure of in this world. You know how you contemplate about certain – or most of the – things in life? With med school, there’s no hesitation. There’s just “go.” So, enough talk. I will have to perform in the coming exams. Again. God, help us.

I made it to the Dean’s List

Though it may not be a big deal since there’s no official certificate for that (or I wouldn’t know, maybe they do; this is the first time it has happened), for this grading period, my GPA passed the requirement. I can’t wait to see the list, just to confirm it.

All praises and thanks to God. He knows how much I bothered Him about this. Ever since the summer, I have been praying for a scholarship. I told Him I was gonna do my part, but I really needed help. I went through first year of med school all alone, and it was tougher than ever. I just wish I will be able to maintain it as the year goes on. I’ll have to do it for five more grading periods. My final exams will have to perform. God will see me through this. I feel like crying. My heart’s shouting happiness even if some undesirable things happened today. It’s as if it can’t dampen my spirit. I feel inspired. I know it will be tougher along the way, it won’t always be like this, but it really will do me best to trust in Him.

A moment of sanity

I’m in the middle of an exhausting week. Though I’d like to just throw my hands in the air and declare its impossibility, I know all things are possible through God. I just need a few minutes to organize my thoughts. I also need a nap.

I got some of my grades this week, and it came as a shock to me that they are kind of at par with the grades of my friends who are at the top of the class. I am beyond ecstatic but I am hoping that the rest of my grades are good. I am really praying and hoping right now I also manage to get into the Dean’s List. I know my study habits have leveled up this year, so I will be disappointed if I don’t see any changes, even slight ones. Though I did have a hard time with some subjects, I hope I managed to pull through.

I’ve also been having a crisis about my social life lately. It’s as if it’s sinking in a year later (because I started med last year). Maybe it’s because I didn’t do my best last year, and I’m really trying this year, which is why I still had a social life last year, and now, I have to make decisions which literally erase it. But I came to the realization that I really have to give it up. The people who can tolerate that can stick with me. But I have no time for acquaintances. That triad – social life, grades, or sleep: pick two – is real. I need my sleep. I can’t function without it. Grades are an essential. Social life… well, I dunno about the repercussions of losing it, but it’s bothering me because if I weren’t so protective of myself and my goals, something could have been happening between me and this guy I like. I just end up pushing him away because I’m scared that something will happen if I let him in. I realized it’s all just him. I don’t do things which let him know I like him. I’m not even sure he likes me, so I guess I can bank on that and justify my pushing him away. I guess there’s some sort of passive-aggressiveness in me. I do that, and then I end up beating myself up for it. I hate it. But every time I pray to God about this, He has always answered me with Ecclesiastes 3: 11. He has made everything beautiful in His time. I have absolutely nothing to worry about. I believe that if something is meant to happen, it will happen, otherwise, the other possibility would have happened. Plus, I should just leave it all up to Him.

So there. I’m a lone, hungry med student who has a ton to study for tonight, and it never gets done. But thank God I’m here. This opportunity is a giant blessing.

Oh, and I made microwave smores last night. I’m gonna try the oven tomorrow.

Plus, I realized that keeping a security blanket might actually tell that I have a bit of a developmental delay.

Let’s contemplate about babies

Last Friday, we had our first Pedia patient. I wanted to blog about it then but I was pressed for time so I wasn’t able to. I still am pressed for time. I have two papers to write, a case analysis to study for, and the rest of the notes I have to study before I get swamped with even more things I haven’t studied. My goodness, med school.

But then, babies. We had a newborn patient yesterday. At first, I was so scared about this – it was our first small-group discussion for Pedia. Pedia is very different. Growth of children is very dynamic. Plus, we didn’t know how our preceptors would be – would they grill us on the spot or would they be kind and understanding? Fortunately, our preceptor was very gentle.

Our patient was four days old. It was a newborn baby boy. I got to touch his head to feel his fontanelles. It was so freaking soft. I got to see his ear with an otoscope, and I got to check his orange light reflex with an ophthalmoscope. Thinking about it now makes me cry. Two things: I can’t believe I’m experiencing these things now (using medical equipment and checking for things I had no clue about a year ago) and babies are inexplicably adorable. It makes me almost want to have one, except obviously, it isn’t the right time.

I had the privilege of looking into his eyes. He was so soft, delicate, and pure. It was human in the purest form. But seeing him and thinking about how he had the potential to become a person, to grow, to have desires, feelings, thoughts was amazing. It was amazing how something so fragile can have the potential to be that. I hope and pray he uses his full potential. I hope he will be blessed.


I woke up early today (it’s a Saturday) thinking about all the work I have to do and how much I can get done if I work all day, but God came to my mind soon after, so I sat down and talked to Him. I don’t get to do this on weekdays due to the hustle and bustle. His message was about different things: Hebrews 4 and Hebrews 10: 19-39.

Hebrews 4 was about the Sabbath. Sundays have been ringing in my ears for the past few weeks, especially when the weekend draws near. I’m tempted to study on Sundays. I know we need rest but there are only 24 hours in a day. Even weekends are not enough to get everything done. Ideally, I’d like to see friends on a Friday night, do laundry, finish everything I have to study, go to church on Sundays, spend time with family, and rest. I want to ask God specific questions like, “Is it okay to study on Sundays?” but the exhaustion after that is good enough answer that I actually do need some rest. Whenever I use my Sundays up, I enter Mondays exhausted, which defeats the purpose of a weekend. Then, I become more unproductive because I didn’t get enough rest. It’s a vicious cycle.

It’s not about the legalistic point of things. God won’t tell me that if I study on Sundays, I’ll go to hell. I don’t think He means that. I for one know that if I don’t study on weekends right before exams, I’d fail. After all, everything I do is for God. I just have to keep that in mind and be constantly reminded of that. But how can that happen if I don’t have time for Him?

This brings me to the conclusion that my Sundays are for Him so I can talk to Him, so I can rest in His presence, and because I actually do need rest. If I work 100% of the time, where will God be in my life? I can tell myself all I do is for God, but I can get so lost in work, it’ll be exhausting, and in the end, pointless. I’ll be lost. That has happened to me before. So Sundays are a way to remind myself that He is good, that this is all for Him.

How do I rest in His presence? I know I’m not the brightest student in our class. I was never that kid. But I love med school. I love medicine. In fact, the only reason I’d like to have a bunch of cash is to pay for my tuition to become a doctor. It’s a weird passion I can’t seem to let go of. It would seriously break my heart to stop being in med school. Right now, I do my best (although there are those occasional lazy days when I’m just so burnt out) but my best may not meet the standards of what this world is looking for. I may get average grades. I have been hoping and praying for a scholarship since the summer, so I will do what I can, and leave it all up to Him. I can’t just be lazy all the time and convince myself it’s all up to Him. No. But I can’t work all the time, relying on only myself, because it was He who put me here. It is He who will see me through.

It’s a great Sunday to praise God

The Sabbath has been ringing in my ears for a few weeks now. Unfortunately, I didn’t follow it the past two weeks due to the exams. I prayed and hoped God understood. Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath, but I can see how it is important, both for our physical and spiritual health. As men (well, women, too), we can be so limited. We can get very exhausted, and we can tire ourselves to the point that we don’t have time for God.

I used to do that because I was escaping hurtful or angry feelings back then. But now, I believe I’m not running away from anything. This can be proven by the fact that I have opened the part of my journal that I have taped. The entries in there are full of hurt and anger. It is hard to imagine I was that person once, but I am so happy that I have forgiven myself, that God has forgiven me, I can be reminded of my past and not be ashamed of it. The funniest part is that anyone can open my drawer and have access to it, but I am not at all afraid. They may see the first part of the journal, but they will ultimately arrive at the end, and if they do read it, they will see how God has worked in my life.

Today, I didn’t do any work. I finished work for a part-time job last night, by God’s grace. I was so tempted to read the 100-page chapter for Pediatrics, but I didn’t. My family and I watched a film (The Scorch Trials) and the best part about today was that my grandma and my brother finally got to attend church with us. If you can remember from my previous posts, my brother is in a depressive state due to the past. I’ve been praying for a long time for him to even just try to hold on to God and accept His love. I hope this is the first step. I hope he will come knocking on God’s door and realize it has always been open.

Lastly, remember this guy I like? It’s his birthday today. Our church family gathered in his house for a Bible study two days ago. We talked almost the whole time. I don’t really know what the deal is. I don’t know if he likes me back, but I’m so impatient about it that I’ve been pestering God about him again. You know what? God has answered me with the same verses He gives me when I pester Him about this guy: Ecclesiastes 3. Everything is made beautiful in God’s time. It couldn’t have been a coincidence. This has happened three times already. The thing is, I dunno if I will end up with him. I dunno if these weird happy feelings I have will last. I dunno if they validate anything about the future. All I know is that I hope I will love and end up with someone who is after God’s own heart, someone I can truly serve God with, someone who will lead me closer to him.

In short, I want God to infiltrate every aspect, every corner of my life. I may have thought in the beginning of my spiritual journey that it will be a gamble, but with God, there really is no gamble. His love is everlasting. Nothing has ever satisfied, and nothing in this world will ever truly compare. I couldn’t imagine my life if I didn’t have Him in it.