“Would you still love me if I wasn’t a surgeon?”

I’m rewatching Grey’s Anatomy, and that is the question that has surfaced out of two different surgeons. Derek Shepherd asked Meredith after he botched a brain surgery that killed a new mother. Cristina Yang asked Owen after she repaired Derek’s heart when he was shot. Both asked after periods of trauma if it would be okay to be someone other than who they are.

My stint in seminary seems to only get longer. The papers are growing more in length and depth, but I cannot bring any motivation to care. The beginning of this semester has brought discomfort. I want so badly to say trauma, but I won’t. My mom has cancer. Her cancer has been out of remission until this year. I spent the weekend before school began in the hospital with her. She was getting her second surgery of the year. I could kill her doctor because when he came out, he said, “What we removed wasn’t malignant.” We’re just slicing folks up for fun these days, I guess. Weeks later, my mom told me that her cancer is in her voice box. I can’t imagine a world without my mom. I especially cannot imagine a world without her and her laugh.

The beginning of the semester was about mourning. It was about me processing this level of grief and comprehending my mom’s desire for treatment, which is not to have anymore surgery. I can’t do anything but respect that, so I grieve very privately while still finding the willpower to go to work and do homework and practice yoga.

Now, I’m at the end of the semester, and I am asking, “Would you still love me if I didn’t go to school? Would you still love me if I didn’t teach? Would you still love me if I took a break from becoming who I am supposed to be?” I’ve tried having this conversation with my therapist and close friends, but honestly, I’m not desiring their opinion. I’m desiring God’s.

Even in my grief and growth, I feel a drop of disappointment within my spirit. That drop is rippling out into frustration, which has led me to where I am now. Will the paper I’m writing about matter in three weeks? Three months? Three years? Is this academia for academia’s sake? Because if it is, I cannot exist like this any longer. So, I’m asking God, but I’m also asking me: “Would you still love me if I didn’t teach?”

One thought on ““Would you still love me if I wasn’t a surgeon?”

  1. I’ve been reading your blog for a couple of years now. Glad to see that you are producing more content again. Sorry about your momma. I want to pose a question for you now: wouldn’t you still become who you are called to be with or without the degree and the worldly accreditation??
    I’d like to advice you not to wrap your identity too tightly in the standards that the world says you must reach in order to be successful. Jesus chose 12 nobodies to go out and change the world! Mathew was a gated tax collector. The most of them had minimal education only an intense live for Christ and unstoppable FAITH. In Genesis 29- Joseph who was a slave at the time was still called a great success because God was with him. God’s presence and being in intimate relationship and communion with Him is far greater than any degree you will ever hold. Everything you need to fulfill Gods will is ALREADY INSIDE YOU! Dig deep into your internal gifts and talents. Further Develop the fruits of the spirit. Chase after the things that God truly cares about like helping the poor, the widows, and orphans. Take a mission trip pour your all into those injustices that really tug at the heart of God. You don’t need a degree to be Royalty in this Kingdom. You just have to start DOING what God has placed in your heart. Whatever you thought you needed the degree for start doing it now. Let the word of God lead you. (Habakkuk 2:2) Many blessings to you in whatever path you take!!! You have so much talent already and so much wisdom to share. Start the ministry. Start the prayer group. Start a bible study online. Start a charity to support women with cancer. Visit the sick, just sit and pray with them. Share hope. Laugh and let the worries of tomorrow take care of themselves. God wants us to live in the present as we focus on building his Kingdom. Create your own version of heaven here on earth. It will ALL be for God’s Glory!


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