Thoughts of reaching a point where I had Jones, M.D. on my personal desk was all that clouded my mind for years. I grew up playing with Chemistry sets and looking at water under microscopes. I was never big on watching television but when I did, my eyes were glued to Animal Plant. I went from wanting to be a Hydrologist to wanting to be a Veterinarian then later a Psychologist but eventually settled on becoming a Dermatologist. When I was nominated to participate in “doctor camp” at a university near my home while still in high school, I was sold. I had the opportunity to get a taste of what it would be like to be a student in medical school. I learned how to create medical memorandums, how to stitch up wounds, and how to administer blood pressure checks. I didn’t even bother looking into other careers because I just knew becoming a doctor was for me.
Entering my freshman year of undergrad I wanted to major in Psychology but was told by several people that I had to major in Biology to get accepted into medical school. I was upset to have to change my major but I was willing to do whatever was necessary to become the doctor everyone (including myself) was anticipating. I now know that majoring in anything with a pre-medical concentration can get one into medical school–evidence of how seeking advice from man can lead to confusion. My parents were ecstatic and I thought I had everything figured out. I was going to be a Dermatologist and there was nothing in my way. My parents were happy. I was happy. Medicine seemed to be what I was most familiar with and what I only really cared about–perfect. My parents were even networking with doctors at Temple University and University of Pennsylvania on my behalf. I was enrolled in a Chemistry course for Chemistry majors and I was proud to say that I was holding my own, although I had no special interest in Chemistry. After many nights without sleep and days spent in the library I received an offer to study medicine in China or Australia for a summer. All of the good news had me on an artificial high. Everything was perfect…. until about 6 months later.
My back was against a wall. I went from getting 98% on Chemistry tests to hoping I could get an 85%. I went from reading a chapter in Biology a week ahead of time to being 5 chapters behind. I will admit that the Lord had been putting on my heart to change my major and that maybe becoming a physician was something He hadn’t ordained for me. I began hating every class I was enrolled in. I was behind in my work because I wasn’t studying, going to class, or even paying attention when I actually went to class. I was miserable in the back of every class and I didn’t care to even pretend that I wanted to be there. I loved the enthusiasm some of the other students had but for me–mine was long gone. I hated everything I was doing starting with when I entered the classroom and had to sign my name on the attendance sheet. I even began considering dropping out of college because I knew that the issue was solely that I didn’t have any drive or ambition to learn the content being covered. I learned that it is different when you decide how much of something you do and when someone else tells you how much of it you have to do. This is when I began to panic.
For a couple more months I went back and forth with the idea of changing my major. My two biggest issues with changing my major was that I didn’t feel as though I was good at anything else other than medicine and that most people change their major from Biology because of the inability to keep up with the work. I had too much pride to let anyone even think I wasn’t able to learn and comprehend the material. But in all actuality, my lack of caring to even DO my work was what was really pathetic. After swallowing my pride I changed my major to Psychology and declared a minor in Philosophy. I wasn’t saved at the time but I currently recognize the hand of the Lord and how He was guiding me the entire time. I felt like I was taking a chance and I was certainly hoping it was a smart one because it was already time to begin registering for classes for my junior year.
Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV): “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Isaiah 58:11 (NIV): “The LORD will guide you always; He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.”
Psalm 37:23 (NIV): “The LORD makes firm the steps of the one who delights in Him.”
Proverbs 16:9 (NIV): “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.”
Proverbs 3:5 (NIV): “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.”
Psalm 48:14 (NIV): “For this God is our God for ever and ever; He will be our guide even to the end.”
Jeremiah 10:23 (NIV): Jeremiah’s Prayer “LORD, I know that people’s lives are not their own; it is not for them to direct their steps.”
Psalm 37: 4-6 (NIV): “4 Take delight in the LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart. 5 Commit your way to the LORD; trust in Him and He will do this: 6 He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun.”
I have always had an interest in Psychology because it has a combination of Human (brain) Anatomy and Physiology, with an ounce of intellect. I guess it is safe to say that my first Psychology class in high school was the first class to really spark interest in what I would consider to do as a profession. Examining the job description and annual income of a Clinical Psychologist really got my ambition flowing. I at one point thought I wanted to become a Clinical Psychologist because it almost felt like second nature for people to come to me with their issues and I somehow happened to see the light at the end of the tunnel. As I look back, I shake my head at the fact that while I was still of the world, I was giving worldly wisdom. If anyone has received advice from someone who is still in the world they know that advice from someone not grounded in the Lord can place one on a worse path than they were on when they started their journey. If Christ gives me a heart and mind to give advice to someone pertaining to something He has already brought me through, I feel much more comfortable simply because I am now being led by the Holy Spirit. I no longer desire to be a Clinical Psychologist but I do pray that more Psychologists and Psychiatrists grow to know the Lord because there are too many doctors pushing pills and not enough understanding and exposing the truth about spiritual influences on the mind.
Shortly after I made the major/minor change I acknowledged that I would be beginning to study a field that didn’t necessarily embrace the Lord for who He truly is. My goal though, especially with Philosophy is to understand their language. I am all about learning their perspective and comparing it to the Word to effectively bring enlightenment. How can I speak about what I don’t know about? It would be very difficult to minister to someone who has a hard time accepting what it is you have to say merely because they know that you don’t have any knowledge on their philosophy of things. I ask the Lord as I study and learn the material of my major and minor that I never mix up His Word and the world’s word. He acknowledges my prayer. Last semester my Philosophy teacher didn’t care for me too much once we reached the chapter on God and the idea of a supreme being. Of course I wasn’t going to sit there and allow lies to fester when the Lord has revealed the Truth in my life. I was more than happy to share the wisdom God has shared with me. Honestly, the teacher and a few classmates weren’t too happy about me breaking down Scripture and the existence of God. To my surprise I wasn’t discouraged by the evil looks and smart remarks considering that was the first time I spoke publicly on the existence of God and the relevance of Scripture. The nerves I usually experience during public speaking didn’t matter because when the time came, the Holy Spirit gave me the things to say and I said them. The Word is so powerful that even an atheist has to agree at some point. Lets be realistic–it gets frustrating running from the Truth.
Even currently as I take classes in Psychology and Philosophy I find myself interested in the content I am learning but thankful to be able to have the Truth of God with me to keep my mind sober (1 Peter 4:7) and protected from being soaked in the poison of the world. I am pretty simple when it comes to my preferences in academics. If I can read, converse, and enhance my critical thinking and analytical skills—I am a happy camper. I am finally majoring in something that keeps my attention and encourages me to go the extra mile to complete and understand the material.
I find it very interesting that as I had been working on this article for the past week that I have been asked about my major change close to 10 times. As I gave the individual’s my reasoning for changing my major it gave me time to brainstorm. Sometimes once we conquer hurdles we forget how the battle really happened. I am thoroughly grateful to be at peace with my major/minor/career goals. I was so stressed and frustrated trying to find missing pieces to a puzzle that only a preeminent being would be able to see decently and in order. I went from being confused, lost and undetermined to being assured that God has the most beautiful and divine plan for my life.
God says that if we delight in Him that He will give us our heart’s desires (Psalm 37:4) but He also has the ability to put desires in our heart. There are some careers that I believe I would enjoy pursuing and there are also some that I feel would be the ideal profession. When I have thoughts of pursuing some of the careers that make me feel like they were created specifically for me, I first pray to God and acknowledge that although I have dreams and aspirations, I would rather His will be done than mine. After praying to God and announcing the desires of my heart I give them to Him to shape, mold, crop, copy, and paste the ideas and eagerness. It always blows my mind when God combines our desires with His because His touch extends all things for His glory. All and still, if I find myself in a career or profession that I once thought I disliked or something I thought was too boring to even consider, I know for a fact that God will make it work for me. I know that for whichever career He chooses for me,it will do and be all that He wants it to do and be. With His blessings come happiness, peace, and delight so with understanding, I am content with throwing my old career aspirations out of the window to make room for what He has already ordained. When someone asks me what I plan to do with my life I respond, “I am not sure yet.” Of course being in my junior year as an undergraduate student people usually expect some type of career option. I mean I have aspirations to do analytical work and I wouldn’t even mind being an Organizational and Industrial Psychologist or even being involved in executive management. God is never late and He is never early–He is always on time. When I need to know my career goal, I will. I used to live by the quote, “Do what you love and the money will follow,” but now I live by, “Submit to the plans of the Lord our God because EVERYTHING else will follow.