*The 4th week of every month, 1st year medical student KeAndrea Titer writes about one of the items that are essential to pack in your bag as you journey to / through professional school. Check out her September and October posts.*
The Journey to Medical School: How to Pack Your Bag
Item #3: Attitude of Contentment
I remember the day I got my first acceptance letter to medical school. Others I knew had already heard back from that particular school and I semi-patiently waited for the email alerting me that a decision had been made. I was concerned about receiving the “Second Round” of decisions for I thought surely that meant my application and acceptance had been denied. Well, Judgment Day had arrived. I opened up the email, prayed for God’s will to be done, and EAGERLY typed in my password and user name to see what decision had been made. After only reading “Congratulations!” I burst into tears. I cried like a baby for several moments. I was SOOO happy at that moment for it was as if light from heaven had just shone on me. God had answered my prayers and I thanked Him for His goodness and mercy toward me.
It was easy to be happy in those moments; moments when I saw God’s plan for my life unfolding in front of me. The difficulty came in maintaining a spirit of contentment when it seemed as though God was not listening to my prayers. I would constantly express to God the woes I experienced during the application and waiting processes. I could very easily grumble about the tedious secondary application essays and rejection letters received. I was an ungrateful mess! I soon became so fed up with my complaints that I decided to just be content despite the adverse situations and requirements I faced. I packed my medical school bag with an attitude of contentment, knowing that I would need to use it daily.
I wasn’t quite sure how to truly be content; for to me contentment was synonymous to happiness. And I knew waiting to hear back from a school was not what I would consider a happy time! I searched the scriptures and found an attitude-changing verse. Paul tells us in Philippians 4:12, he has “…learned the secret of being content in any and every situation; whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” He concludes with this well-known verse found in verse 13, “I can do ALL things through Christ who gives me strength!” These verses helped to change my attitude about the application process. I discovered that God would give me the strength to finish those essays, wait patiently for a response from a school, deal with the rejections, and most importantly learn how to be content with my circumstances daily.
Now as a medical student, an attitude of contentment is an item I frequently pull out of medical school bag. During this roller coaster ride called medical school, I have had plenty of high and low days. There are days when I recognize God’s hand in piecing the concepts together and allowing me to retain difficult information. Then, there are days when I am completely lost in class and can’t seem to focus enough to accomplish 30min of productive studying. Through it all, I have come to hold on to Paul’s words in Philippians 4. God continually gives me the strength daily to handle the joyous and disheartening events in my life. He can and is willing to do the same for you if you only let Him. Will you?
May God bless and keep you, as I know He will, and grant you an attitude of contentment despite the circumstances you face.
Look out for the next item to be discussed soon. I wish you all the best
~ KeAndrea “Kiki” Titer