It was a blessing in my life and in our marriage that I did not see nor understand. I had mentioned in a previous post about “a year of disappointment”. I did not go into much detail about this disappointment and how it drastically changed our intent to move to Vermillion, South Dakota.
As news of David’s acceptance into the University of South Dakota’s (USD) Medical School begins to spread. I thought it appropriate to write about last year’s disappointment, and share the unseeingly blessings that bloomed in a time of fog and uncertainty.
The place where David will be spending the majority of his time. Congratulations David!
David’s journey of preparing for Medical School started much before we met – studying for the MCAT, shadowing doctors, maintaining a competitive GPA, traveling abroad for a Medical Missions Trip. I joined him in this rocky terrain of applications, interviews, and awaiting acceptance letters during our engagement and now first year of marriage. In December 2012, David and I took our first trip to Vermillion, South Dakota. He interviewed with the faculty and we were both introduced to the curriculum David would be enrolled in upon acceptance. The reality of David becoming a doctor set in. I was realizing the time and energy and commitment of applying was just a tip of the ice burg.
As January 2013 passed with much excitement – we got married! And as the winter brought its annual gift of snow and spring brought the promise of warmer days, we waited and waited for an acceptance letter. Finally, after much anticipation, the letter with a USD return address arrived. This is it. David nervously opened the letter and I eagerly waited for him to read it.
11th on the waiting list.
Not exactly ideal. But it was a promising spot. On average 20 people on the waiting list end up with admittance into the school.
Each week David called. And each week he crept his way up the list by one to two spots. As May came, David was still number 2 or 3 on the list. So we made the decision, took a leap of faith and began looking for places to live in Vermillion.
June came and went. Number 1 alternate. July came. We waited and waited. By this time David and I are both unemployed. The uncertainty of our year ahead started to set in. Disappointment lurked. We would mostly embark on the rocky terrain of med school applications and interviews for another year.
Like I said, it was a time of disappointment. So close. Any closer David would have attended the White Coat Ceremony and started classes in August. But instead of numerous hours spent studying the human body and instead of time scheduling around class and studies for dates, our year was nothing like we planned.
And as for those invisible blessings I mentioned earlier, they all came as a result of not being accepted. Because if he was accepted we would not have had experienced these blessings in the same way.
- Conflict brought about intimacy in our marriage. David was hired as a CNA at a Care Center. And I as an Educational Aid. David worked night shifts, I worked a convenient school day schedule with personal fitness training on the side. Needless to say our schedules were backwards which caused a lot of communication mishaps. But the conflict that aspired from such wonky schedules created a deeper intimacy between David and I. We cherished the time we were awake at the same time and learned (not always easy) how to be intentional with each other, how to care for each other, and how to serve on another.
- Humility with a vote of confidence. Any kind of rejection is a slam to the ego. As a wife it was not easy to see my husband’s confidence shrink while uncertainty rose to greater heights. Not to mention the lessons of humility that accompany care and patience with the elderly. My prayer early on was asking God to rebuilt David’s confidence, showcasing His faithfulness and goodness. And He did. David got multiple interviews (unlike last year) with more than one offer to attend medical school in the Fall. What a vote of confidence from God!
- A cherished trip to San Diego. David’s mom, Jo, was receiving cancer treatments at a facility in Mexico. As she took a drastic change for the worse, Jo was checked into a hospital in San Diego. Upon realizing time with her was ending, David’s dad flew us and his sister to San Diego. A trip that would not have been possible if David was in school. I will forever cherish this trip and the time spent with Jo – crying, laughing, and talking. Whenever I looked at her in that hospital bed I would smile at her knowing should would return the gesture and I would have a mental picture of the joy she held.
- Generosity from new friends and old friends. I wish I could go into every kind and generous gesture we have received from others, but the list would not end. It has meant everything to me and David to stay in touch with our friends back in Colorado and Wyoming. Numerous calls have been made, texts sent, and letters written from friends that continued to encourage us. New friends in Vermillion have blessed us with their hospitality and kind words. Many of them have taught me that generosity doesn’t just come in monetary form, but from homemade meals, bags full of groceries, and “get-well soon” packages.
What are your invisible blessings?