Medicine / My walk with God / South Africa

When I am weak…

Medicine is a tough career choice.

Somedays I wonder if I will be able to cope with all the heartbreak that I’m going to see. I wonder if I will be strong enough. I feel so inadequate. So inexperienced.

We watched a video about domestic violence in class this week.

As I listened to the voices of ladies (and men) telling their stories, I could feel my tears begin to gather. Stories of isolation: “I had never felt so completely alone before…” Stories of fear: “I was too afraid to speak out…” Stories of disbelief: “I couldn’t believe this was happening to me…”

We had lectures about violence and rape.

Lectures about disability. One of the lecturers brought three of her disabled patients to class to speak to us. Their stories of courage against all the odds were such an inspiration. Yet still, I’m sure there must be the loneliness of being “different” in a predominantly “normal” world.

There were lectures about substance abuse and alcohol.

Lectures about public health. I feel so discouraged and helpless whenever they tell us about the traditional beliefs that still prevail in some communities. Did you know that there was a community where babies born healthy kept getting infected with gonorrhea in the eyes? Eventually, health care workers discovered that the mothers were bathing their babies’ eyes using small vials of the king’s (infected) urine in the mistaken belief that this practice would bless their babies!

This country is so enormous. There are so many people and so few doctors.

The task ahead of us is so monumental. I feel so small and overwhelmed.

Some days I wonder if it’s even worth trying.

And then I remember the difference that something as simple as hypertension medication can make in one person’s life. Freedom from debilitating headaches. The ability to think clearly. The ability to live a normal life.

The difference that surgery can make for even one child with a cleft lip and palate. Freedom from mockery. The ability to speak out.

The difference that one doctor can make by simply noticing the signs of abuse. The difference that a smile, a caring word or touch can make.

The difference that the Gospel can make in a broken world.

Suddenly my weakness doesn’t seem to matter so much anymore.

When I am weak, He is strong.

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”


2 thoughts on “When I am weak…

  1. Maybe you do know this story – but I have to remind myself also a lot about this story – if I feel so small and overwhelmed.

    “One day a man was walking along the beach when he noticed a boy picking something up and gently throwing it into the ocean.

    Approaching the boy, he asked, “What are you doing?”

    The youth replied, “Throwing starfish back into the ocean. The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them back, they’ll die.”

    “Son, the man said, don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish?”

    After listening politely, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish, and threw it back into the surf. Then, smiling at the man, he said “I made a difference to that one.”

    and I so agree with you – “When I am weak, He is strong.”

    All the best, never give up.

  2. Thank you for the post! it was very encouraging: “When I am weak, He is strong”
    Sometimes I find myself getting so caught up in my understanding of life and my perspective. But I need to stop and remember God’s Ways which are higher than ours and His plans. Isn’t it good to know that, as one of His children, we are a part of these plans and with God’s help may be a vessel in His hands.
    I’ll be praying that in Him you may be strong!

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