My heart was racing as my daughter opened the envelope on a beautiful Saturday morning on April 14, 2018. Her father and I had been praying for months that our 17 year old would be accepted into the Allied Health Program. This is a local program that allows high school seniors to split their time between high school and tech school. She would be allowed to shadow doctors and nurses getting a close look at how hospitals work. For a couple of weeks last summer, she shadowed two friends of our family who are doctors. However, this Allied Health Program would last an entire school year. One of her best friends was with her at our mailbox at the end of the driveway. Her best friend had been accepted into the program. All of us thought that this would be a great stepping stone before college. She wrote a thoughtful essay. She met all of the qualifications. She had stellar letters of recommendation. She did well at her interview. So, we were all shocked when she opened the envelope to learn that she was not accepted into the program. You read that right. She was rejected. This was the second big disappointment in her young life. The first was when she was not admitted into the National Honor Society. We shook our heads when she was not admitted to the National Honor Society and again we find ourselves shaking our heads. It was unbelievable that she was not accepted. Like many families, disappointment is not a welcome visitor at our house. We like happy news. I am sure you can understand. I am a “frequent flyer” when it comes to praying for what I want instead of giving thanks for what I have.
Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.” (The Message paraphrase)
Actually, the entire chapter speaks to this issue. Here is what I know for sure. Sid has wanted to be a “baby doctor” since she was four. She often wore a set of scrubs. She donned a surgical mask. There was an oxygen mask that she had fashioned out of another toy for a completely different purpose. She was like MacGyver in her bedroom turning her toys into medical equipment. She performed many operations in her bedroom. I am happy to report that all of her patients survived. She never lost a baby on the table. Following an operation, I often had goldfish crackers and chocolate milk as a snack for her. Today, she is a young Christian woman who is caring, compassionate, sensitive, hard- working, assertive, bilingual and smart. Can you tell I am a proud momma? She has fine motor skills like nobody’s business. She paints elaborate decorations on her nails. Most of the time, her nail art is so good that people don’t believe her when she tells them she does it by hand. Sometimes, this process of painting her nails takes hours. She enjoys it. She is patient and careful with her brush strokes.
Unfortunately, my daughter learned another lesson about medicine at age 11, when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. She was the only one home when I got the call from my surgeon telling me that they had found more than benign cysts. She came downstairs as soon as she heard me crying. I have always said that she has “eagle ears.” I have been through several surgeries since 2012. She has been a great cheerleader. We have had some very thoughtful conversations about cancer and life. She knows that I don’t believe in allowing cancer to own me. She knows that I live with uncertainty. You see, now, she is in a place of uncertainty. I guess that is the bottom line. All of us live with uncertainty to a certain degree. We like to think we are in control. God is in control. A telephone call from a surgeon or a letter in the mail changes everything.
Proverbs 3:21-26 advises, “Dear friend, guard Clear Thinking and Common Sense with your life; don’t for a minute lose sight of them. They’ll keep your soul alive and well, they’ll keep you fit and attractive. You’ll travel safely, you’ll neither tire nor trip. You’ll take afternoon naps without a worry, you’ll enjoy a good night’s sleep. No need to panic over alarms or surprises, or predictions that doomsday’s just around the corner, because God will be right there with you; he’ll keep you safe and sound.” (The Message paraphrase)
Sue is a clinical psychologist who lives in Pennsylvania with her family. For more about prayer, you may enjoy our series on The Power of Prayer. To listen to any of our Bible studies, tune in to your favorite radio station, listen to our podcast on iTunes, or listen through TuneIn or Stitcher online radio. You can also listen on our website