For everything, there is a season.

“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven…” Ecclesiastes 3:1.

Have you ever been stuck in a weird loop of life for so long that you really don’t even know what you’d do if the loop ends? I mean, even if this period of time hasn’t been the best, you’ve just been in it for so long that you don’t even know what you would do if you weren’t in it?

I think that’s what’s happening to me now. I’ve been in a season of change (I like to call it a season of change now, but if you were to ask me about 2 years ago I would have called it a season of drought and devastation) for about 3 years now. This season has consisted of many failures, many losses, and many times where I thought I may as well give up on life because this season seems like it may never end for me. Here’s the turnaround though- that season is coming to an end. Whether I like it or not, whether the outcome will leave me happy or not, this season will come to an end.

I’ve gotten to a point in all my failures and losses where, after one last attempt at a comeback tomorrow, my life will be out of this drought. Whether the outcome is good or bad, the season will be over.

Now the question is- now what? I’ve been so use to living life a certain way. Constantly working on trying to come out of this season and it has become a routine and a mindset, so what do I do when this season in life ends and i’m not actively working towards jumping this hurdle?

Yea, the obvious answer is to get ready to jump the next hurdle. Which I agree with. But doesn’t that feeling of the unknown scare the piss out of you? Because it sure as hell scares me.

I guess now that I think about it, going through seasons really prepares you for the “coming up next” in life. Taking a minute now, I realize that jumping over my life’s next hurdle will be significantly easier than jumping over this past one. Why? Because going through that long gloomy season has completely changed me.

At the beginning of the gloomy season (clearly what i’ve now dubbed it), I was so upset at my own life. I was wallowing in the sadness and the losses and failures. I let the failures define me and consume me and I was nothing more than a person waking up just to go back to sleep. As the season went on, there was so much change. This change took years, literally, but now I look back and realize that it all needed to happen the way that it did.

I finally stopped moping and wallowing. The point of that stopping was the same point I decided to truly turn to God for help. I guess I got to a point where I was so low that the only place I could look was up. I was previously upset with God for putting me through such a rough series of unfortunate events, but then I began to realize it isn’t about the event itself, it’s about how we face the events of life that really makes the difference. The whole “mind over matter” thing, as much as it is a cliché, it is still absolutely true.

I think the most change has happened to me and how I view all the circumstances in my life within the past 6 months. I’m really not sure what it is that caused me to just give up everything to the Lord, but the fact of the matter is that I did, and this time I TRULY did. I use to tell myself oh yea i’m leaving it up to God, but I don’t think I ever fully wanted to. Part of me wanted to be in control of my situations and believe that I could handle them on my own, with some of God’s help here and there. Reality hit hard and made me realize that isn’t the case. The truth is no matter what we do or what we think or what we plan out for ourselves, God has a plan and His plan is in action and always has been. Whether we see where He is coming from or not, whether we see His Hands in our lives or not, whether we want to believe it or not, God is in control and He does things for our benefit and we just can’t see or grasp that with our tiny human brains.

Once I fully realized that this was truth and that God has a plan and He really does care for us more than anyone in our lives ever could, that’s when I relinquished all my hurt, all my feelings, all my plans, all my heartache, and all my anxieties. I casted them all on God and let me tell you something- it was the greatest thing i’ve done. The greatest part of me season of “downers” was finally looking up.

Once this realization was made I strived to grow closer to God. I now make it a point to take time every day and simply read the word of God and talk to Him. I tell my friends this all the time- I literally talk to Jesus like I talk to any of my friends. I laugh with Him, I cry with Him, and now, I go through life’s daily struggles with Him. And I do so a day at a time because:

“Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own”.  – Matthew 6:34. 

So, looking onto a new season, looking on to the unknown, I don’t really look too far. It sounds crazy but i’m really just taking it all a day at a time. Finishing one day and moving on to the next, with God ever so present. Every time I start getting anxious thinking into the future, I stop and say a prayer and ask God to fill me with peace and to help me focus on today and right now and all the other things will happen as they are supposed to and God and I will face those things together when they arise.

I guess my point here is, I went through a really long season of sadness and hopelessness. But if I were asked if I would change anything about these past couple years- I would say no. This season has morphed me. This season has brought me out of the dust. This has helped me grow and will help me to continue to grow as I encounter all of life’s seasons to come.

We all have periods in our life that seem like never ending cycles of bad situations, but i’m letting you know that it does get better. Just trust in Him. It’s so beautiful and so worth it.

-MG

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No expectations, no disappointments.

If you know me then you know that one of my biggest weaknesses/flaws/issues/pet-peeves, whatever you wanna call it, is getting incredibly upset when people let me down.

We all have some set level of expectations of others. Obviously expectations of others vary on who the person is- but what doesn’t vary is how hurt I get when I get let down.

I’m writing about this because it IS a flaw. Because it isn’t healthy for me to become as upset and hurt by others as I do when they change plans on me or when they just don’t live up to the subconscious expectations I have for them.

I’ll give you a couple examples to have you see where i’m coming from- so, I have a pretty core group of girlfriends and we usually plan to do stuff together. I got pretty upset recently because, for an entire week, we planned out a dinner at a certain restaurant we’ve all been wanting to try. So because of that, i’ve altered study schedules and such just to make sure that I am going to be able to go to the dinner and not have to worry about any work I haven’t completed. To my dismay, I opened up the conversation about what our plan is (on the day the dinner was planned) and I could already tell I was about to be let down. The girls had discussed among themselves the night before (I wasn’t out with them because I was doing all the work I needed to do before the night I was going to take off) and they attempted to maneuver around my question. It was pretty obvious that they decided to change plans and just haven’t figured out how to tell me yet. So, on my end I was frustrated that I had planned this all out just to be let down; but on top of that, I was upset that they didn’t want to just fill me in on what they want to do instead of just wiggling around the topic until the time of dinner approached.

Now, you’re there reading this and thinking “this girl is so petty, this isn’t even a big deal because plans change!”. You’re right. I get that. I can sit and think to myself and tell myself the same exact thing. The difference is I don’t know how to just let it go.

This flaw of mine has been brought to my attention several times within the past couple years. I do know it’s a flaw and I am trying to work on it. I sit and I think about why I get so upset? Where is that stemming from? Why can’t I just accept changes and accept that people will let me down? And I came to the conclusion that it’s because if the tables were turned, I never have it in me to change plans once they are set. Knowing how much it upsets me, I always go through with plans (even if I no longer want to) and I always have the other person (or people’s) best interest in mind. I want to make sure that THEY are okay and that there’s no chance of them getting upset at me. And then the reason I get upset is that, I expect others to have the same mentality.

One of the hardest lessons of life i’ve learned (well, one that i’m continuing to learn) is that people don’t always treat you the way you would treat them. This is such a hard lesson and concept for me to grasp and be okay with. My mentality is to think 20 steps ahead and see how my actions will make another person feel and to make sure that said person is going to come out of the situation happy. I strive to accommodate for others in order to keep them happy. This is not, by any means, something that I am bragging about. I think of this as a blessing and a curse. I do like that about myself. I don’t want to change that about myself because I whole-heartedly just want the people that I love to be happy. Heck, I want people that I’ve just met to be constantly happy. And maybe that’s because I wish to be constantly happy as well? Who knows? The “curse” part of this is the reality that I end up hurting myself because I automatically think things like:”but I would never change plans on you when you’ve been looking forward to something” or “but I would go home early just to spend time talking to and making sure you feel okay”.

I guess I just take the golden rule of “treat others the way you wish to be treated” way, way too seriously. And because of that I end up feeling hurt and let down more often than I should. I end up letting little changes and little let downs be so much bigger in my own head than they need to be.

I do know that this is a flaw. And I really am striving to work on it. And when I say that, I mean i’m working on accepting change more leniently. In no way do I mean I will change how I treat others because it is not how they treat me. I will simply have to learn that people disappoint you. It really is the sad truth but not everything will go as planned all the time. It’s just the fact of life that I need to get accustomed to, sooner rather than later for the sake of my own personal happiness.

Happiness should not stem from others. Happiness should be something from within. Something that doesn’t fluctuate based on other people’s actions.

I guess my take-away here, for myself and for others is simply:  Expect nothing and accept everything & you will never be disappointed.

-MG

 

Thought bubble: We all want to be happy, but sometimes trying to find happiness can be a struggle. Often times we search for it in all the wrong places or ways, when the answer is much simpler- God. “Happy are the people whose God is the Lord” Psalm 144:15.  

 

Surpassing all understanding.

Many people speak of encountering peace in their lives. By peace, I mean the inexplainable peace of the Lord.

“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Surpasses all understanding. Thats a pretty big statement, don’t you think? But, it is so true and there really is no better way that St. Paul could have spoken that phrase.

I had a meeting with some of the most important people in my school. Im talking the big dogs, the ones with massive glass offices and views you didn’t even know you could see from your part of the city. The untouchables, pretty much. And in this meeting I discussed with them just how anxious I am about all the things coming up in my life. Now, before I keep going, a crucial part to this story is that, before I entered into this meeting, I made sure to pray and ask the Holy Spirit to speak through the deans and to me. I prayed and asked to hear the Lord in the meeting. I wanted to hear Him tell me what to do next. I prayed and asked for a sign, for comfort, for peace.

And I can tell you one thing is certain, “Ask and it shall be given unto you”. I asked for the Holy Spirit to speak and I cannot explain it but I know what I heard was the Lord telling me what would happen next to me in my life.

That all sounds crazy, right? The truth is, I received answers in this meeting that I didn’t even think were options for the questions I was asking. There was a specific point where I heard an idea from one of the men I was talking to and for some reason it struck a cord in me and I instantly felt at peace after hearing it. It’s like I knew within me that that was exactly what was going to happen to me. That idea that was thrown out to me was exactly what I would live out in about 5 months.

When St. Paul talks about this peace that surpasses all understanding, he really wasn’t kidding. I wish I could better put into words and describe exactly what it feels like to just know that the Holy Spirit has spoken through someone to you. And all I had to do was ask to hear Him? Pretty amazing if you ask me. And just like that, the anxieties I had going into that meeting had suddenly diminished. I was anxious about so much in my life that was completely up in the air, but just by praying to hear the Lord and then feeling such a gentle touch of overwhelming comfort, all of my anxieties were turned into dust.

I guess what this experience has taught me is the immense power of communication. We mope and cry and whine our way through life. We complain that God isn’t there and that He doesn’t hear us; that He doesn’t attend to us. The fact of the matter is we are just lazy, and we fail to put in effort to simply ask Him to speak to us.

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”

Just remember, the power of prayer is so incredibly immense.

-MG

 

a dream of a child’s past.

I firmly believe that it’s unhealthy to try to be 100% positive and happy 100% of the time. It would be lying to yourself. It would be lying to everyone around you. It would, believe it or not, hurt you.

I’m a big believer in mind over matter. I’ve taken very serious hits in the past 4 years, and life hasn’t backed off. I keep thinking it’ll pause and say “okay that’s enough for now, she’s not handling it too well”, but no, life has no remorse, it will continue to hit.

For this reason I say, it is okay to not be okay 100% of the time, and i’m speaking this through the heart.

I would say that i’m currently in rock bottom. Of course, life could always get worse, but I guess I mean emotional rock bottom. In this point in my life, this is probably the weakest i’ve been. And I know I write a lot about being okay with God’s plan (which, I still am, I promise), but I don’t think I write enough about the reality and rawness of going through life, taking the hits, and trying to keep telling yourself that in the end, it’ll be worth it.

The truth is, life’s biggest hurdle, our biggest struggle, is coming to terms with the fact that it won’t be easy and it won’t be everything we imagined it to be when we were children. When I was a little girl I wanted to be a fashion designer. I wanted to be a fashion designer more than I could ever express to you in writing. From the moment I could hold a crayon until about 10th grade- I was sketching and designing. That was all I wanted and what I was so very passionate about. I wanted to show my sketches to everyone I knew, the minute I finished them; of course, that took some time because, being OCD, I overanalyzed every fine line.

Then high school came around. I was in a medical magnet program because in middle school my parents made it very clear to me that they did not believe in my dream. They made it clear that I could not continue to sketch designs of clothes that no one will ever see. They made it clear that it wouldn’t make any money, and that it would be impossible to make it in that field. So, being the obedient child I am, I took what they said and gave up. I gave up the biggest and most passionate part of me- and I applied for the medical magnet program in high school, following the steps of my Aunt, (whom I looked up to so much at that point in my life – she dressed very well and was incredibly gorgeous. She carried herself with so much elegance.) who is a pediatrician. I knew nothing about what it took to be a doctor. I knew that I liked children, and I liked helping people, so why couldn’t I also be a pediatrician? And so, I worked towards that throughout high school. I became a CNA, a licensed first responder, and I entered into an externship program to further explore the world of medicine. During this externship, there was a pivotal moment that shook me and made me swear i’d never become a physician, for I never wanted to endure what this physician endured.

I was rotating through the hospital. This week I was in the ER. It was my first day and the nurse at the front desk was explaining to me what happens when a person gets checked in- green coding meant the person was fine (probably had the flu or such), yellow meant they were stable but that could change at any point, and red meant the person did not survive. There was one name in red that day, and I happened to take note of the name at that moment. The day went on and it was quite dreary, until a middle aged man frantically ran in and looked at me and said “i’m looking for my father, I got a call that there was an accident and he was brought here. His name is ____”. The minute he said the name, I promise you my heart stopped beating for a couple of seconds. I looked at him and said “one moment please.” and found the nurse and told her what was happening. She greeted the man with a smile and took him into the ER room where he will soon find out that his father has died.

The minute she took him back, I ran to the bathroom and immediately broke down. Why though? I didn’t know this man. I didn’t know his son. What I did know was, that man was at work. It was another average day. He had no idea that he was going to lose his father that day. One phone call changed everything and it was so unfair. I couldn’t handle the reality of life, and I knew I would never be able to handle telling someone that their loved one has died.

I didn’t care about logistics behind the fact that some doctors may never have to do that. I didn’t care about what my parents thought. I vowed I wouldn’t become a physician, for that feeling, is too much. That duty is too much for me, and I have an abundant amount of gratitude and appreciation for every physician that does this daily.

Well, I seem to have gotten side tracked here. The end of that story is that I stopped the externship. I ended up looking for other healthcare opportunities and ended up deciding it would be fun to shadow my dentist. And the rest is history from there.

But now, I’ve reached a point again where, I’m questioning if this is what I am meant to do? I’m beginning to wonder why all of  these memories are flooding back to me? Why am I reminiscing on a childish passion?

On this very day, at this very moment, I am not okay. I hold up a tough front. I put my best foot forward and I make sure to never let my family see that I am crumbling. It is so incredibly difficult to feel incapable. I feel incapable, inadequate, and inept. I have been trying to pass one standardized exam for 4 years. An exam that everyone around me passed on their first attempt. Why? Why have I given up what I wanted as a child and endured so much to be where I am now, only to see that, once again, it may not be for me? Once again, I may not make this dream a reality.

Over the past 4 years there have been many failures, many times where I really should have been either held back or dismissed from the program. But for some reason, I was always given another chance. I was given chance over chance. I don’t understand it, and I know that we are not suppose to understand or try to understand what God is doing or why He is doing it, but sometimes that is really hard. Sometimes, it’s hard to be okay. Sometimes it’s hard to hold up a strong front.

But what can we really do? All I can think of is, accept that bad days come. Some days I will cry and mope about my life and how i’m not where I thought I would be. Some days will be great and filled with motivation and willpower. We just have to take it a day at a time, ride the waves of uncertainty, and pray for the will to continue. Pray for God to enlighten us, strengthen us, and keep our spirits up.

I’ve taken you through quite the whirlwind of emotion today, but I did feel like it was necessary. Like you needed to see that i’m not always positive and happy about the uncertainty in my life. So that, if by any chance, you’re also going through a rough patch, you see that it’s okay to not be okay. But the catch is, you can never let the sadness take you over. Mind over matter. Take an emotional break for a day, but the next day you must rise up and get to work and move forward. Take it a day at a time.

Remember, it will all be worth it in the end. It won’t be easy. But it will be worth it.

Much love,

-MG

Supercut.

Happy New Year everyone!

With a new year upon us, it’s almost impossible to not play a reel of highlights from 2017 in your head while counting down to the start of 2018.

Every year, my family starts off the new year by heading to church at around 11pm. Within the last hour of the year, we end it by singing praises and then lifting up our prayers within the last couple minutes and ultimately ending the year & beginning the new year in prayer.

This year I couldn’t help but think back to the end of 2016/beginning of 2017 and thinking to myself “just think, this time next year you will have jumped over your hurdles and moved on to bigger things”.  Well, “this time next year” was last night, and it shook me because I felt like I have not moved or progressed in a years time when it comes to my “hurdle” that i’m always discussing. As anyone could expect, dwelling on the fact that one has made “no progress” throughout an entire year, will definitely keep your spirits down- and they were way down as the new year was being rung in all around me.

Today I stopped to think about the fact that my whole life does not revolve around its hurdles. So much more has happened in the year of 2017 then I am giving life credit for. I’ve progressed in so many other ways this year. I’ve made some amazing new friends, strengthened existing relationships, battled some pretty tough battles, and learned so much about myself. I’ve grown- and that alone should be keeping me going. That alone should be enough to prove to myself that this year wasn’t a waste. That i’m not stuck.

I can’t wait to reflect back on 2018 next year. So much of my life is completely up in the air right now- and that’s really under-exaggerated if we’re being honest. But that’s okay! It’s almost a little exciting!

The fact of the matter here is, we can’t enter into a new year in fear. The fear of being inadequate, the fear of being stuck, the fear of the unknown- it all has to end.

In order to transcend, in order to progress, we must first know that the “unknown” is very much so KNOWN. It is known to HIM. God has a master plan. There’s a blueprint of our lives. Things ARE going as planned. It may not be our plan, and that really sucks sometimes, but it sucks way less when you stop and remember that His plan is greater. His plan is THE plan. His plan is going to take us to heights we never dreamed of. We just need to stop dwelling on the negatives of our past years. We need to stop focusing on where we could be if we had just (insert your own thoughts here).

We need to restart, fresh, with this new year. Enter 2018 knowing very well that it has been planned out for you, and it has been planned to be whats best for you.

With high hopes & spirits.

-MG

Hone in.

In dentistry we tend to stare very hard at very small details for long periods of time. In doing so, it’s very easy for a dentist to forgo looking at the big picture, in our case the entire oral cavity. In dental school they teach us to make sure we notice when we do this, stop, step back and recollect our thoughts and make sure we have a big picture view of our goals for our patient- not just a micro view of the cavity we are filling. In a way, it’s a life lesson that we all could learn from.

Becoming a dentist is my short-term goal. Once upon a time, it was my long-term goal but now I’m nearing the end of that path and I realize that I’ve been so focused on this portion of my life that i’ve lost sight of the big picture. There’s so much more to life than finally becoming a dentist (or achieving any career goal you may have) and we really forget that so easily. We lose sight of the bigger picture because we’re so focused on the small steps and details of our life.

I have a very soft spot for…well, humanity as a whole. I tend to care for every single human being that I see and meet. Growing up I knew I wanted to help people but didn’t know how I would be doing it. My path right now is to do it through means of dentistry (I could go on and on about access to care and etc. but I will spare you, as this isn’t the point). Being on the path to dental school and through dental school has been incredibly rigorous, as you could imagine. I’m going to be honest and tell you that throughout the journey I completely forgot why I was working towards this to begin with. When I stop now, and step back and look at the bigger picture, I realize, that dentist or not- I have a role to play here on earth that is much greater than dentistry.

God granted me a heck of a lot of compassion. I don’t mean that in a bragging manner by the way, because believe me when I say sometimes it’s hard to feel for everyone at every moment and feel like you are responsible for everyone’s happiness and well-being. But I know he granted me all these feelings for everyone around me for a reason. I so badly want to go out and do good. I want to help those that can’t be helped and be a voice for those that do not have one. The thing is I cannot right now. That’s just not where I am in life. But it’s so important for me to pan out and remember my bigger picture, my goals, my aspirations.  (P.S. It really gives you more drive in your day to day life).

Today I pray we all take the time to stop honing in on the minutiae for a bit, and to step back and reorient ourselves. Why are we doing what we are currently doing? What is our bigger purpose? What is our life’s goal? We are so much more than our careers. Our careers are a stepping stone to help us accomplish so much more. We are capable of so much. We just need to step back and remember that. Keep the bigger picture in mind. Figure out your talents and your strong points and use them for the greater good.

Much love.

-MG

It’s been a while.

Well hello, hello, hello, old friends. It has certainly been a little while since my fingers have so aggressively hit these keys. Aggressive out of excitement to get back to some writing and clearing my thoughts, not built up aggression that could later cause me to toss my laptop out the window- I promise.

Well let’s take a minute here to gather thoughts on life. It’s December… what the actual frick. The year is coming to a complete end…literally 2017 is ending…IT FEELS LIKE IT JUST BEGAN?! Am I the only one this confused about this? 2018 is around the corner, and it is supposed to be a big year, but ALAS- who really actually knows?

2018 is the year that approximately 200 students in my class have been looking forward to since August of 2014. Because, dearly beloved, this is the year that marks our graduation from dental school (*round of applause for everyone actually making it out alive/sane*). But again, who knows what is actually going to happen in 2018. I keep repeating that because, as you may sense, that “big thing” that I went through… yeah, so, I went through it and it sucked again. This “thing” has seriously been the biggest speed bump my life has ever seen. And many people question how i’m still sane after going through everything I have been through these last 3 years. To be honest, I question how sane I really am sometimes.

I’m not going to sit here and dwell on how awful it is to get such dreadful news after working so hard for something. It is what it is at this point and I just don’t dwell anymore. The good news is- God is real. I’ve been given YET ANOTHER chance to overcome my obstacle, to put the peddle to the metal and finally ride over this speed bump. The question now is- how? I really don’t know (insert nervous laughter here).

I’m going into this kind of blindly. I’m going in kind of numb as well. I mean picture going after something… the same thing.. for 4 years. You and 200 other people run towards the same speed bump; 200 pass over the speed bump and continue on to the next speed bump. You, on the other hand, have tried to pass the first speed bump 4 times now. Everyone else is moving forward, but you are stuck. You’ve tried everything you could think of, but you’re still stuck. So now what?

That is the theme of my graduate school experience- “now what?”. And from someone who has been through more than you can imagine in the short period of time of grad school, the answer is- you never know now what. We sit here and we plan our days down to the last minute… but realistically we have NO IDEA what will happen in the minutes to come. Anything…ANYTHING can happen. Any news can come your way and change your plans. Then you’ve gotten your hopes up for nothing, you’ve spent all your time planning and now it’s time wasted, and you’re back to square one. How fun right? Wrong. Not fun. Not in the slightest. But I don’t think it’s really suppose to be fun.

I’ve started reading a book titled “Whatever, God” by Fr. Anthony Messeh (which I highly recommend) and it has really come to me at a perfect time. The gist is that the writer and his wife made a deal to take every card dealt to them by God and simply say “whatever you want, God” (there’s much more to the book, but i’m going to let you read it because I think it’s too good to just summarize). When you get to the point of multiple failures, several losses, and having your life be thrown up into the air and spun around and have it no longer look like your life anymore- you really start to believe in “whatever, God”.

Through the failures and losses and emotional turmoil i’ve endured, i’ve finally come to the point where I truly am saying whatever. I have zero control over my life and that has become more than evident to me. Every time I plan something out, it (comically) goes the opposite direction. So whatever, God. I’m ready to take life a day at a time and do what I can and see where God really wants me to go. Where will He lead me? What does He really have planned for me? It must be something so much greater than all the losses i’ve endured. Maybe I’m here in Boston for a reason, and it could be that the reason is not actually to be a dentist. This is incredibly scary (seriously, you have no idea how many dental school loans we take out) because my whole life vision revolves around leaving here with a degree… and what’s happening is leading me to believe that my vision may be blurred.

But again, who knows?

I guess what i’ve been trying to say is: i’m not sad. I’m not mad. I’m just being. I’m just letting God take the wheel here and lead me where He wants me to go. I want to be where He sees will be best for me. If that happens to be as a dentist then, woo! If not, that’s fine because i’m sure He will open up another door- the right door! And oh what a journey that will be.

-MG