On the Side: March 2024

Match Day Mercy and Blessings
by Carol Shrader

I hear Wade talk about his interviews for residency sometimes. I hear him describe flying to a centralized location in the Southeast and renting a car. I hear him describe traveling from program to program to hit as many schools with one flight as possible.

I guess it is because I was home in our apartment in Chicago, Illinois with three 1-year-olds that that season is fuzzy and I don’t remember the exact details. However, two instances do clearly stand out in my memory:

The first was his trip to interview in California. Chicago received 23 inches of snow that weekend. Wade called after his interview, just before the program took him outside for a luau on the beach. Being outdoors sounded heavenly, so I dressed the triplets in their warmest clothes and tried to go to the park down from our apartment. The sidewalks had been shoveled, but the shoveled path was not quite wide enough for the triplet stroller. I fought snow and stroller for a block or two before turning around. I pushed those babies back to our apartment, turned the heat up to 78, dressed my trio in little Hawaiian outfits a friend had sent them, and then we pretended we were on that beach with daddy (pictures below).

And then I remember the night we had to turn in the rank list. We wrestled with that list more than anything we have ever done before or after. We went back and forth. Then we scratched everything out and did it again. And then again. And probably one more time.

Match Day is approaching quickly for so many of you. I want to look you in the eyes and hug you tight. I know. I know. This is a crazy system that forces us into situations where we are literally out of control. We can support our men while they do the work, while they study for boards. We can encourage them as they apply and hold down the fort while they travel for interviews. We can write their rank list, erase it and write it again. But then the entire thing is simply out of our hands.

And so, as we sail toward the day…I feel strongly that I need to say to you:

God has already written your story.

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be” (Psalm 139:13-16, NIV).

Let me underscore that: All your days were written before ONE of them came to be.

Listen, to me, God did not write an adventure novel where you get to choose your own ending. You know those novels, right? If you pick that Hero found the treasure, you turn to page 72….and if you think Hero did not get the treasure, you turn to page 85. The ending is different depending on your choices.

God. Did. Not. Write. Our. Story. That. Way.

Do you hear me? Yes, Match Day is coming this month and it feels like we have little to no control over our future, but, oh dear ones, you can rest in the One who absolutely, 100 percent knows your future, the One who wrote your story, and…oh y’all this is the best part…the ONE who knows exactly where you will match and already knows the plan for you there!

Can you rest in knowing that? Can you rest in knowing that God will not give you plan B this month—even if you don’t get your first, second or 15th choice. God will not give you plan B. His plan was written already. His plan IS written already. Rest in the knowledge that He knows, He cares and He doesn’t do plan Bs.

I love you dear ones,
Carol Shrader

Carol is wife to her wonderful Wade who matched way back in 1999, and though she is fuzzy on the memories of all his interviews, the memory of opening that match letter is seared forever into her brain!

Christian Medical & Dental Associations®

About Christian Medical & Dental Associations®

The Christian Medical & Dental Associations® (CMDA) is made up of the Christian Medical Association (CMA) and the Christian Dental Association (CDA). CMDA provides resources, networking opportunities, education and a public voice for Christian healthcare professionals and students. Founded in 1931, CMDA provides programs and services supporting its mission to "change hearts in healthcare" with a current membership of over 13,000 healthcare professionals. CMDA promotes positions and addresses policies on healthcare issues; conducts overseas medical education and evangelism projects; coordinates a network of Christian healthcare professionals for fellowship and professional growth; sponsors student ministries in medical dental, PA, and other healthcare training schools; distributes educational and inspirational resources; hosts marriage and family conferences; provides developing world missionary healthcare professionals with continuing education resources; and conducts academic exchange programs overseas. By being the "hands of Jesus" to needy people, CMDA seeks to fulfill His Great Commandment (Matthew 22:39; 25:36) and His Great Commission (Matthew 28:19). The Christian Medical & Dental Associations® is a 501(c)3 and is governed by a Board of Trustees and House of Delegates. Policies of CMDA are interpreted and applied by the Board of Trustees, which also establishes the guidelines for the executive director and his staff. An elected House of Delegates assists the board with recommendations on courses of action. The House of Delegates is composed of graduate, student, resident and missionary members who are elected for three-year terms by district and meets annually at the CMDA National Convention. Approximately 75 employees currently make up the staff of CMDA in the national office and U.S. field offices.

Leave a Comment