Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I’ll go where you want me to go…

There is a beautiful song in our church hymn book that says:

“I’ll go where you want me to go dear Lord, over mountain or plain or sea.  I’ll go where you want me to go dear Lord.  I’ll be what you want me to be.”

That has certainly been the song Jonathan and I have been singing over the last 8 years of our life.  Every move or journey that we have taken has not been without the Lord’s hand.  This next journey has not been any different.

We have traveled to the Caribbean, then back to Utah, to Kansas, and then on to Arkansas.  Most of the time our place of residence was not by our choice.  It has always happened how Heavenly Father wanted it to happen.  Every time, it has been what is best for our family.  One destination in particular ended up being one of our biggest family trials, but we had to go through that trial to end up where we were supposed to be.

The next phase of life brings a bright light to the end of our tunnel.  You see we are nearing the end of Jonathan’s residency.  Residency is the training a doctor receives once he completes medical school. Yes, did you know that while in residency you are a doctor?   Residency is where you train to be the kind of doctor you would like to be.  Jonathan has been doing his residency in Physiatry.   Another term for that is Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.  That’s a fancy term for a rehab doctor.  Jonathan helps people recover from injury, strokes, or certain disabilities that may affect muscles and nerves.   After you complete your residency, it is time to start your own practice or find a job.  Residency’s very in length depending on the type.  Jonathan is a fourth year resident in a four year program.   However, instead of starting his own practice or signing on with a clinic, Jonathan has decided to specialize in his field of Physiatry.   There are specialties in every kind of medicine.  When you specialize, you do what is called a fellowship. 

Jonathan has known all along that a fellowship was the right path for him.  He wanted to be able to learn more then he was taught in his four years of residency.  I know four years is a long time, and you might think that he should be able to have learned everything.  I am hear to tell you that doctors cram so much in to their brain.  It is amazing all the knowledge he has floating around in his brain.  I don’t know how he keeps it all straight, but there is still more to learn.  He will always have more to learn.  He wanted to do his fellowship in Interventional Spine and Sports Medicine.  During a fellowship, you have the opportunity to work with doctors in your field.  You work in their practice as a doctor, and receive special training from them in the specialty you are seeking.

Fellowships are hard to come by.  It takes a lot of work to secure them.  Jonathan has worked very hard the last 8 years, and deserved everything he wanted.  You see I don’t think he deserves it only because he is good at what he does.  He deserves it because no matter what he faced in his medical career; he put his family first.  I am hear to tell you that because he put his family first, Heavenly Father was willing to bless him with his desires.

And so the story of how Jonathan has been blessed with the fellowship he so desired:

Jonathan started applying to fellowships.  As he did this, he only applied to programs West of Arkansas.  We were ready to be a little closer to home.  Soon after he applied, we received word from a practice in Utah, and 3 in Phoenix.  Great!! All a little closer to home.  I was ecstatic;  so was our family. 

He interviewed with the group in Utah and immediately knew it wasn’t the practice for us.    We started looking forward to his time in Phoenix, I started preparing for our move closer to family, a temple, and a greater concentration of LDS church members.  When I say this, I mean literally,  I envisioned us in Phoenix.  Picking places to live.  Telling my family it was a very short drive.  Finding the best school districts. 

I even made a deal with Heavenly Father.  “Heavenly Father”, I said, “I promise to go to the temple once a month, if you can help us secure a job in Phoenix.”  The temple is a very special place for LDS church members.  We long to go there.  Many of us have to drive hours to the nearest temple.  If I lived in Phoenix, it would be a very short drive to the nearest temple. 

Before his first interview in Phoenix, he was reviewing the list of fellowships and one stuck out to him in bold letters. One he had not applied to.   He called this program, and asked if he could send them a resume.  They politely told him that they had filled all their interview spots.  Before hanging up, Jonathan then asked if he could mail it anyway.  The lady replied,  “sure, sometimes we have a cancellation and are able to fit you in.”  Jonathan then sent his resume to a state that is not West of Arkansas.  I don’t think he even told me.

Several weeks later, after returning home from his first Phoenix interview, he is so excited.  He loved the owners of the practice, and enjoyed being in Phoenix.  I was so elated.  They were to make their decision on September 15th. 

Two more Phoenix interviews to go, and then; he got an email from that practice EAST of Arkansas.  They loved his resume, and had made room for him.  They set the dates for the 19th and 20th.  PERFECT!! We will have heard from the Phoenix fellowship before he even has to go to the Eastern Interview.  Then on Monday the 12th, Jonathan has the feeling to call the East and ask if everything is still in order for his interviews on the 19th and 20th.  The woman replies, “excuse me?’  She then gets this sorrowful sound in her voice as she realizes she has given Jonathan the wrong dates.  They too are making their decision on September 15th.  She needed him to come on the 13th and 14th.  That is tomorrow. 

To make a long story short, they agreed to interview him on the 14th and 15th(decision day), because of their mistake.  Jonathan flew out the next day.  He had an amazing interview on the 14th, and when he called me that evening, I knew.  I knew that we were not moving to the warm weather.  I could hear it in his voice.  He knew also.  He had not yet been offered the job, but he knew in his heart that he would be.

I went to bed that night, telling God that I would go where he wanted me to go.  Even though I had promised to go to the temple once a month, he reassured me that this would be even better for our family.  I also felt these words enter my mind, “all your losses with be compensated.”  That meant to me, the blessings of the temple, the church members in numerous amount, the warm weather, and being so close to family, will be compensated for by some other wonderful blessing.

“I will go where you want me to go”, were the last words uttered in my prayer.

The next morning, after just one hour of being at the practice, Jonathan was offered the job.  Then just minutes later, received an email that he did not receive the position in Phoenix.  The practice in the East has so much more to offer Jonathan, and for that we are grateful.  It is an accredited Sports Medicine Fellowship which is such a prestigious award for a practice to have.  The practice itself is amazing, with so many wonderful features.  It has so much to offer Jonathan,  including time spent as the team physician for the minor league baseball team.  Which is a dream in itself.   None of the Phoenix fellowships could offer that to him.  It is also a very hard fellowship to come by.  This practice interviewed close to 50 applicants, and reviewed over 70 applications.  They offered it to 3 people.  See how Heavenly Father can make all your dreams come true?

I am so thankful that Jonathan saw it there in BOLD.  I am thankful that regardless of what we think is best, Heavenly Father always knows better.  I am grateful that he took the time to nudge our family in the right direction with subtle and sometimes not so subtle promptings.  I am also thankful that Heavenly Father rewarded Jonathan for all he has done right, by blessing him with something he felt he deserved.  This is one of those moments that we really felt God’s love.

…and I think I have kept you waiting long enough.  The practice that is East of Arkansas is located in:

York, Pennsylvania.  Start date: July 2012

For more information about the practice you can visit it here:

Orthopaedic and Spine Specialists 

…and just because I can’t post with out a few pictures, here are a few of my sweet babies that are still at home during the day.  The rugrats that I spend every minute with.  This  is one morning spent outside with their shades on.

Lightroom edit

Don’t they look cool?


Katie said...

CONGRATS!!! I was just laughing reading your post because of all the similarities to our family. :) Randy is in his 1st of 3 years of his gasteroenterology fellowship and it fell into place for us as well. I fought SO hard and made MANY deals with Heavenly Father if he would let us have a residency spot in radiology in Phoenix. He was ranked #3 by their program and they just happened to get their #1 & #2 choices in the match that year, which they were NOT expecting. Who knows where we'll end up when he's done with his fellowship but I've learned not to fight it so hard and have faith so I can truely be led by the Lord. I'm so happy for your family and can't wait to see where you guys are led in the next phase after fellowship. :)

Krysta said...

I am so excited for your family and I am REALLY excited to come visit you!! You are truly blessed and Jonathan is very deserving. It has been a crazy road but one that has actually defined you and your family and made you as strong as you are.

That hymn was the answer to my prayer when we moved here. :)

Beth Curtis said...

yay!! I am so jealous! Brandon and I have always wanted an excuse to live on the East coast for a while. I bet it will be a fun adventure!

Roxanne said...

Congrats!! I am so happy for you guys!!

Jenny said...

Our congratulations to you! I know your perspective will be such a blessing in years to come. So exciting - can't wait to hear about new adventures coming your way.

Karin said...

I'm so excited for you guys. Thanks for sharing that experience with all of us. I love hearing how people are directed by the spirit. It always strengthens my testimony, so thanks for that and congratulations!

Elise said...

Wow! That is exciting and scary all at the same time. Can't wait to come visit ;)

katie@tulsadetails said...

What a great and inspirational post. Actually, this is something I needed to hear about my own path and not really understanding it and where it is taking me.

Congratulations to your husband and I wish you very little stress and lots of peace with your new endeavor!!!

KW said...

This is very exciting. Penn. should be a great place to explore for awhile. Sad you won't be closer to us, but I have learn we don't always get to choose our paths even though we try to.

Danielle Spangler said...

So exciting!! Great profession too. I was the Interventional Spine and Sports Medicine Fellowship Coordinator at Stanford (CA) and loved everything about it. I loved seeing all of the applications come in, sorting, reading and helping to set up interviews. Grueling process:) I wish you all best of luck!! Pennsylvania just broke ground on a temple too!! I couldn't read this post without crying. This is our theme song for our marriage! 12 moves in 13 years:) All of the three large moves have been because we were led by the hand of the Lord! Loved hearing your testimony come through in the post. Awesome!!

Alison said...

We went through similar experiences when interviewing for residencies. It's so nice to have prayer and inspiration to help guide your family. You will look back later and see even more the amazing hand of the Lord guide your through this time. Such wonderful memories will be built and you will cherish them for the rest of the life. I cried when I read your post because it so mirrored our lives. Congrats!

Kathy@mishmashmom said...

What faith you have! I know from personal experience that learning the "I'll go where you want me to go..." lesson can be rough {for me it was more like "I'll stay where you want me to stay"}, Although it's a bummer that you won't be closer, I'm so excited for you and your family! Pennsylvania has so much history and beauty. Congratulations!

Tara said...

WOW! Congratulations! I am sure you will love love love PA - it is so beautiful up there. I'm impressed with your very faith-filled point of view - I have not really liked going where I didn't want to go, but I always learn that Heavenly Father's plans for me are always better than my plans for me. :) PA is lucky to get you!

Stella said...

I am blown away by this post....Wow wow wow. I am speechless and so happy for you! Cobgrats. Gorgeous post; a wonderful testimony......love it!

Brunson's said...

Congrats! You guys will do great wherever you go. You guys touch many lives every place you go and the people in Pennsylvania are lucky to have you. Thanks for your testimony.

Becky said...

AHHH!! How exciting. You're right - Jonathan totally deserves to get this. I can't wait to hear how you touch the lives of people in Pennsylvania (and how they touch yours!). Congratulations!!

Michelle said...

Wow, that is great, Andrea! I love PA so much-- my family lived in Allentown for 2 years, and one of my best friends lives in Philly. And yes, they just broke ground for the temple there, so you may at least get to be there for some of that excitement.
I love that you are so close to Lancaster. You'll be able to see the Amish community there -- they are such a beautiful people. Our chapel was in the middle of a Mennonite area, and we always saw horse-drawn buggies on our way home from church.
As you know I have also spent lots of time in warm AZ, and you know what? If it weren't for my family in AZ, I would rather be in PA. It is an awesome place. Yes, cold. But so much history, and a delightful proximity to Washington DC and NYC. You will have a blast. I will be dying to come visit you. :)

Darlene said...

Oh wow, Andrea!! I'm so very happy for you! I am originally from PA and I know you will love it. It's a great place to raise a family and all of my family still lives there. Of course you'll be missed but I have been preparing for your departure for a while now :). Good luck in your adventure!

Jessi said...

Andrea, I've been a blog stalker for a while now and after reading your post decided it was time to come out of hiding (haha). ;-) My husband just finished up Residency (Family Med) last year and WE are now 3 months into a Sports Med Fellowship. My husband LOVES it. Really amazing how the Lord has provided for us these loooong 7 years (funny how we're continuously amazed when we know He will not let us down). As you mentioned, these fellowships are hard to come by...we were so blessed to receive our #1 choice (via match process) and move near family in OK. We've been able to take our kiddos to minor league baseball games (our son LOVES these) as well as HS and college football games (and stand on the sidelines)...definitely not an opportunity we'd be able to do as a non-fellowship family. :-) Congratulations on the exciting news! Praying for a smooth move and transition EAST! :-)

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