I have been married for twenty-four years and have two children. I’ve been a family practice physician for seventeen years. I was raised in a Christian home and was in church all the time, but it was when I was eleven years old that I recognized that I was a sinner and needed a savior and asked Christ in my life. I have had some difficulties and time that I have strayed, but knew that I was saved because I felt the Holy Spirit convicting me and pulling me back to Him.
As I was growing up, I always felt that there was a mission that Christ had just for me. As a youth, I wondered if it was to be a foreign missionary. I knew that I was to be a physician, but I didn’t know how God wanted to use that and was eager to know what was next for me. I never have gotten answers all at once. Instead, I have found that finding God’s will and following it is a lifelong process.
I now understand that I have not been called to vocational ministry. Instead, God has directed me to be a family practice physician in a typical “doctor’s office” setting. Along the way, God has given me opportunities to be a part of mission trips. He has used each experience to train me, grow me, and prepare me for other opportunities to serve Him. For instance, God told me to go on a medical mission trip to Brazil. I have to admit that I was afraid to go, afraid that God would show me that I was indeed to become a foreign missionary after all. He didn’t. Instead, He taught me the joy of taking working vacations to help people in other countries where medical care isn’t as available. Spending my vacation this way benefited others, but it also benefited me. Being in a foreign country gave me a new perspective and opened my eyes to what God wanted me to do in my daily setting. It gave me strength and courage.
Two years after this mission trip, a patient of mine who had become pregnant as a result of sinful activity came in for a referral to get an abortion. Instead of simply providing the referral as I had been told to do in medical school, I had the courage to counsel my patient in a God-honoring manner. I told the patient that her actions may have been a sin, but that now there was a life that needed love and care. The patient chose not to have an abortion. The patient’s mother was furious and threatened to sue me, but I didn’t care. A life was saved because I was able to talk to my patient with confidence. My trip to Brazil had given me the boldness to be a follower of Christ first and foremost and a physician second.
In addition to carrying out Jesus’ ministry in my daily practice, God has directed me to
open an indigent care clinic, and I feel that God desires for me to do what I can to fight the epidemic of single parent homes and to help reestablish the family unit in my community. Until God leads me otherwise, I will continue to follow Him in these areas, seeking Him out in every circumstance. I have learned that my personal relationship with Jesus directly impacts my ability to carry out the ministry that He has given me in an effective way. When I am not plugged in to the Holy Spirit, the results of the ministry God has given me are pretty puny.
To those just beginning to explore God’s will for your life, I’d advise you never to jump to conclusions about what God is going to do with your life. It may not be what you would expect. However, when he does speak to you, don’t delay in responding to Him.