On the Side: May 2021

Sharon Chatwell

“You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.” – Isaiah 26:3 (NKJV)

Peace seems scarce these days. In fact, we seem to be living on a peace spectrum that runs anywhere from shaky armistice to literal dumpster fire. Even as I write these words, which you may read later, I am sure that if there isn’t something disastrous going on today, there will be tomorrow.

The lack of peace we have been experiencing has occasionally caused me to feel that I need either serious antidepressants or lots of antacids. After considering both options, I settled on antacids and I’m happy to say that I’ve weaned myself off of even most of those at this point. (Turning off the news channels has also helped.)

In addition to all of the craziness going on around us, many of our med student and resident families have just gone through the Match; a necessary event that often brings with it upheaval and increased levels of stress. The idea of moving to a brand-new location, often far away from family and friends, is challenging to the most even-keeled of families, even when the move is to a desirable location or a preferred training opportunity. Believe me, I know.

I remember when we moved to beautiful, Lincoln, NE. My cute little Texan heart wasn’t sure about moving out of state permanently, especially to one of the square-shaped states that make up much of the Midwest. It had been different when we were considering a 3-year fellowship in Minnesota (where it was often warmer in our freezer than it was outside.) That at least was temporary. You know, something to do while we were still young. This, however, was a permanent move.

Don’t get me wrong! It was a wonderful practice opportunity. Still, leaving home “forever” seemed pretty drastic, especially when the only persons we knew in NE were his potential partners. (We joked to our real estate agent that she was our best friend in the state, and we’d just met her!) Thirty years later it is easy to look back and know that it was the right move. But at the time we thought about it long and hard, and compared it to several other options, some of which were closer to home.

I remember the day we decided sitting in the office parking lot waiting to go in and have one last talk with the partners before heading home. As we sat there, we prayed together. We put it all before God. “Is this the place you want us to go? Are you calling us here to practice medicine?” As we finished our prayer, I opened my eyes and felt what could only be described as a deep sense of peace. We knew then that we were to accept their offer, because we had both felt it.

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.

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