18 January 2007

Semi-rose colored lenses

God's really blessed me in several areas, as He always does. But especially of note are some great things He's given me lately. Instead of reflecting on God's grace and blessing, I've been wrapped up in the circumstances that feel like the opposite.

More often than not, it's seemed that my closest friends (aside from Steve) have always been the ones that aren't necessarily in the same zip code. When my long distance friends and I catch up on the phone, we're able to share in each others' joy and sadness. We lift one another up in prayer, and we mean it when we say we will continue to pray for one another.

A Lesson learned in military life and again in chiropractic school is to be guarded about what you say and reveal to others. I'm thrilled that I was recently awarded a very large scholarship. I've shared this news with family and a few close friends, but I haven't told anyone at my school. The last time I won a scholarship (about a year ago), I told a few of my closest friends at school, and sadly, they were jealous. I'd rather not deal with that again. For 6 months, I've been saving my meager paychecks from the Triune toward some costly chiropractic equipment. This scholarship helps me afford some of it instantly. But I recently learned that I may have to fork over several grand for an upcoming internship experience. So, my scholarship may have to go toward that instead.

At the moment, I also have a couple of great clinic opportunities in Asia. I thought I would have no other option than to work as an associate for another doctor--that prospect isn't bad at all. Yet, what disheartend me more than anything was that I would most likely not be able to start doing structural and scoliosis correction immediately when I practice. As I recently explained to my friend Jenn, it would be like driving a Lamborghini, and then being stuck with a Cavalier. It's pretty much scenario right now in the Palmer clinics. Those of us who've trained at scoliosis seminars and who currently have patients with severe scoliosis--we know we could get some amazing results if only we had more of the rehab equipment and the opportunity to take radiographs as needed in order to monitor patient progress. But, since we're only interns, we're subject to the red tape jungle of the clinic, and we must submit to the practicing philosophies of the faculty clinicians (some of whom believe you can't diagnose a subluxation based on x-ray film). Okay, I'm done with the explanatory venting. . . back to the job opportunities:

So, I have a couple of options of working in clinics in very large cities. For one, I'd work as an associate for a doctor who's already doing his best to tackle scoliosis cases. The limiting factor may be that this clinic won't be able to afford the necessary equipment to accomplish scoliosis correction. Without the equipment (which is critical for gaining the case results), I can expect to only work on scoliosis cases less than 30 degrees with predictable success.

My second option sounds fabulous at the moment. Another organization is very interested in working with me to establish a scoliosis center in Asia. They have asked me to submit my ideal business plan and floor layout which they will use as a baseline for government & hospital negotiations to make things happen. I can ask for the moon and stars, and I may not get them . . . but I'll get far closer to what I originally want in a start-up clinic if I've been asked for my opinion. As thrilled as I am about this option, again, I have friends AND family members who aren't. I get at least one phone call a week from someone in my family telling us NOT to move to Asia. This is so familiar . . . because it happened when I was commissioning in the Air Force, too. It's sometimes very difficult to explain to someone WHY we plan to do things that appear so offbeat and unlike the American dream of practicing in the states, accruing a ton of wealth, and then retiring early. There's nothing wrong with that dream, but it isn't exactly what Steve and I feel called to do at this point in our lives.

I can't ask others to be happy for us nor to agree with our goals and decisions. I also can't expect our beloved friends and family to always be thrilled when God showers us with blessings. Ultimately, having expectations of other people only leads to disappointment. I love my friends and family even when it doesn't seem like they're supportive. But, I still struggle with the fact that I want some small glimmer of their approval for our upcoming adventures. I am so grateful that through everything, I have Jesus Christ and Steve . . . both of whom keep me in line when I become an ungrateful whiner . . . and both of whom are always loving and encouraging.

I'm 8 months out from graduation, and I don't know how any of the job prospects will pan out (I need to see something in writing). We don't know where we'll live or how long we'll stay, but we know that we're moving overseas and that we will serve. God continues to bless us and to open opportunities as well as close others.

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