Surrender is only surrender when (1) you’d rather not and (2) when it’s complete.

I gave my life to Christ at age 19—in the thick of pre-med in undergrad. I’d dreamed of Pediatrics since age 6, and though college humbled me, nothing dissuaded me from the white coat in my future.

Trusting in Him, God gave me uncommon favor with faculty and foes. I heard, “We don’t normally do this, but…” often. And despite the odds and the disbelief of my parents, I graduated undergrad headed to medical school in the Midwest. Quite the change for this Bronx girl, but I was up for the challenge.

Was all the hard work and the struggle, so far from the comfort of friends and family worth it?

Yes! If it brought my dream to pass. The one I alone believed in, sitting across from my high school guidance counselor who seeing my A average and top 10% school rank suggested I join the military and stop entertaining such silly dreams as medical school.

4 years pre-med —
5 years to complete medical school (a real nail biter) —
well over $100,000 in school loans —
3 years in pediatric residency —

Then one year into my preventive medicine residency, walking through door after door only God could open—I was poised, excited, and on the verge of living the dream.

The Lord gave me the desires of my heart.*

But, after taking my husband’s hand in marriage, we found out I was pregnant a couple months later. And that rocked me since I thought Jesus and I were on the same page.

All that grace, all the favor, all the strength and wisdom.

Didn’t He hear our plan to enjoy a couple years as newlyweds while I built my career before we’d have children?

He did. But I mistook His silence for agreement and now I had to surrender the plan I held dear—so His would prevail.**

So, I busied myself with plan B. A family friend would look after our son while I finished my second residency. I’d stay home with him for two months and then he’d go to childcare at 6 mos old.

But God knew different, and He started speaking.