| Guest Writer – JD |
I have so many questions nowadays. When I was small, a simple yes or no would suffice from my parents. As a teen, I felt so confident in my knowledge of the world but so unconfident as a person. And as I grew, I found myself as a person but I feel less and less confident in my knowledge of the world. Even now, more questions come up.
A constant question at work comes up every day: “How can I manage my patients better?”
I find that my work is more and more person specific; the answers that are right for one person are not right for another person. A treatment that is right for one patient is not right for another. That is the beauty and challenge of medicine, to find the correct answer for this patient. Many factors come into play, and many questions emerge. Where is the patient physically and mentally? What can be medically done? What is the best decision for this patient at this time? If I am not sure, is there someone to ask for advice?
Most of the time, after asking a couple of these questions, I am able to find a suitable solution for the patient before me. Sometimes, however, there seems to be no right answer. Perhaps the answer is simply, “I don’t know what the right thing is to do for this patient at this time”. There might not be enough evidence to make a recommendation, I might not have enough background medical knowledge, or I might know enough about the patients’ situation to make a recommendation. Once I have exhausted my options, I find only one choice left to acknowledge – “I don’t know”. There is a confidence and power to be able to say, “I don’t know”. I don’t know what to do. I’m not sure whether this is the best thing to do at this time. There is a beautiful fear and exhilaration in exploring uncharted territories together with your patient.
These questions do not just happen at work, but also appear in difficult decisions everyday. What do we do when we don’t know what to do?
Similarly in my personal life, things could happen at any time to introduce chaos into the neatly bundled expectation of my pre-mediated plans. Questions arise from this interruption to my plans – “Why did this happen? Was there anything I could have done? I wish this didn’t happen.”
I exhaust myself with all the questions, finally coming to the realisation that I simply do not know. I wish I did, but I don’t. If I knew, I could make the decision confidently, but I just don’t know the answer for this situation.
Family, relationships, day-to-day household decisions. We do not always have the answers.
Storms of Life
Storms of life will always come and crash over our lives. Do we know what is going to happen? Are we able to plan life’s steps? I know from personal experience that this isn’t possible.
I’m writing this with tears welling up while reflecting on some of the storms of life. Each of those tears is precious in the hands of the Lord. He is the One who holds my life in his hands and will never let go. He is cheering for us every step of the way, encouraging us to go to Him, to love him more. It is always a choice on our part however. He will not force us to follow him or choose Him.
There is a beautiful exhilaration and fear in following and exploring the world with the One who has, does and will love you more than you will ever comprehend or know.
So plan your path, but know that ultimately, God will make your way.
“A man’s heart plans his way,
But the Lord directs his steps.”