So I've already mentioned God several times already; I am a Christian, and while I've never been one to share deeply personal things with other people, I think that I'm called to do so when it comes to my faith. I won't lie - it's super uncomfortable for me and not something I do on a daily or even weekly basis. I know some of you may not understand my hesitation and others may not relate to the feeling of wanting to share that information. Regardless, being open about my faith is important to me and I find that writing about it is a way for me to start articulating my thoughts. The hope is that, as I gain confidence and feel more at ease, it will eventually become more natural to weave this part of me into real life conversations.
I've been trying hard to be more intentional about reading the Bible as part of this learning experience and I've found that the She Reads Truth app is a great way for me to start my morning. Between those daily readings and the messages our pastor has been sharing at church, it seems that I've been hearing the word "grace" pretty frequently. This is fitting, since grace is something I've needed by the truckload recently; the timing also couldn't be better to explain to you the meaning behind the name of this blog.
I've already bemoaned the fact that living through med school and residency is hard. While I'm sure you'll get sick of hearing me say it, I know I'm not alone - there are many blogs and websites written by women who reveal what it's really like to be the one at home waiting for a doctor. While I relate to these women BIG TIME, many of them highlight the fact that there is an unrealistic expectation placed on doctors' wives in terms of appearance and lifestyle. I count myself lucky that I have not yet run up against these frustrating stereotypes, but I understand that it can and probably will happen over time - at that point, I will be rereading these blogs for sure. However, when looking for support for the here and now, I realized what I needed to hear is that I can do something about my circumstances. Residency isn't going anywhere, and I think I can safely say that programs across the country aren't suddenly going to decide that doctors should only work from 9:00am-5:00pm. While that may be welcome news for wifeys (and husbands!) everywhere, is it good for patients? Not so much.
I'm the first to admit that, when dealing with the struggles and frustrations of being married to medicine, I'm no poster girl. When my husband comes home from a long day of who-knows-what-kinds of crazy, he often has to navigate the mine field that is me before he can safely escape to the bathroom - where, apparently, there is peace and quiet. Contrary to what my poor hubby may believe, I don't lie in wait, ready to ambush him with questions and mail and plans the second he walks in the door; rather, I picture myself welcoming him with open arms (which is relative, because let's be honest - I'm not touching that germy white coat) and a smile. Unfortunately, that sweet scenario very rarely unfolds in real life. Is it difficult for my husband to deal with? I would guess the answer to that is a resounding yes. But does he still come home and love me, mine field or not? YES. He shows me grace.
The same is true of God - some days I literally don't do anything to deserve it, but He shows me constant grace because of His love for me. While that's comforting, it's also intimidating because I could never hope to measure up. Thankfully, Romans 6:23 says "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." A free gift like that is amazing without a doubt, but that doesn't mean I shouldn't try; something I struggle with on a daily basis is the need to keep score, to make sure I get the last word, to be right. But really, what does that matter? I should be so grateful to receive the grace of God and of others that I want to give a little more than I get every day, holding only myself accountable. For me, "resident grace" is a reminder that if my marriage is built on the right foundation, it should travel well. Our circumstances and surroundings can always change at a moment's notice, but that doesn't mean our attitudes, hope, and respect for one another have to change too. It's a reminder of what I've been given and how I've been blessed, and a challenge to return it tenfold no matter what. I definitely don't have the capacity to get anywhere close to that goal on my own (remember, I can be an annoying mine field), but I believe that with God guiding me, it's possible.