That all sounds bad, huh? I've told some of my closest friends here, and I really think it's true, that I'm probably in a worse spiritual state than I was back in August. My daily time in the Word and in prayer has shortened and I am less ready than I once was to try to encourage and pray for classmates. But with all of this apparently negative reality, I know that God has provided for me in marvelous ways.
When I told my friends that I thought I was actually in a worse spiritual state now than when I started, I also told them that if it wasn't for the various ministries I'm involved with here, things could have been much worse. The constant accountability and edification I have found in our weekly Christian Medical and Dental Association meetings and in our Men's Group Bible Study meetings have been invaluable. Through those relationships with brothers and sisters in Christ I have been given the opportunity to honestly share struggles, to seek the counsel of my colleagues and their prayers. Having a wonderful church family who I look forward to seeing every Sunday has also been very important.
Another conversation I've had with some of my classmates is a "what if" conversation considering whether we would have gone to some of the more prestigious schools we applied to had we been accepted. And there was a time when I would have said, "yes," that if I had gotten into Harvard or Mayo Clinic that I would have gone there. But looking back on this year and considering things with the eternal perspective of the importance of my soul, I would have to say, "no." Think what you will about Seventh-day Adventist theology, but I have to say that they have founded and nourished an institution where a Christian can become a doctor and where they can be affirmed and encouraged in their faith in Jesus Christ. For this I am very thankful to my Adventist brothers and sisters.
In closing I would say to any Christian entering medical school, do not underestimate the trial that awaits you. Temptations that once may have looked dull because of the vibrancy of your spiritual life may gain a new and enticing luster. But if you can find real Christians to be open and honest with, to pray with and to succeed and fail with, you will make it through with your faith intact.