the first semester


I have had one semester of physical therapy school (unless you count cadaver anatomy which…don’t. That was a completely different animal).

I would tell you, if you were to ask me, that I’m not really sure that I like it. That I’m not really sure I want to keep doing it. That some (most) days I dream about walking out of the building and doing something real. That I’m so tired of living in this theoretical world.

On the other hand, I would also tell you about my ridiculously great job and the lovely ladies I work for who do nothing but encourage me and love me and look out for me. About the kids I’m slowly but steadily falling in love with. I would probably show you the music video I made with one of them, and then we could both laugh in that hopeful kind of way, because you would understand that the people in the clinic are my people, and I’m so glad I found them (and by found, I mean I’m so glad my mom hired them strategically so that she could work in a clinic full of awesome)

So I would tell you I’m confused.

If you asked about my life, I would also mention the church I’ve started going to. I would tell you, talking with my hands because I’m excited, about Hope House OKC, which is a family shelter the church runs literally two blocks from my house. I would tell you about praying for my neighborhood, and how this sort of just happened and now I’m getting to help them with childcare and how we are buying playground balls for the spring and putting up a basketball hoop and…I would spin in little circles trying to explain to you that this is what I want my life to be. I would tell you about the program I’m doing in the spring to teach me how to become the person God is making me. About all the opportunities He has suddenly brought to me.

But it would be a little stressed. I would think about school again, inevitably, and wonder why I keep going. I would tell you about failing as a friend. And about making a lot of really big mistakes. And if you pried a little deeper, I would tell you that in the midst of the blessings there is a palpable silence. That the advent songs ring with an emptiness I never really understood before. That I am begging Jesus to come not because of the season or the liturgy, but because I would sacrifice all the gifts for another moment with the Giver. I would tell you about the thesis my best friend wrote about the silence of God.

Maybe I wouldn’t tell you any of it. Maybe I would just tell you about the difference between a licensed therapist and a tech. I would tell you that the difference between them is that therapists have to have a reason for every touch, every exercise, every stretch. If a tech is hurting you, it’s because they are confused, or maybe doing something wrong. But therapy hurts sometimes. I would tell you that it matters who is holding you.

I used to think that believing in God was important because it saved me, or something like that. Because it was an essential item on the checklist. Because it was the status quo. I’m starting to realize that it’s different than that. That believing in God isn’t a rush of emotions or a sweet calm or a feeling of purpose. That maybe it’s waking up and going to school, going to work, visiting a neighbor…and not being afraid of the silence. I think I realized today that I still believe in God. Maybe more than I ever did. That I never stopped. That feeling the lonely silence from the sky was something different entirely. And I think I realize what the song means…”in the seeking. in the doubt”. 

If a man wishes to be sure of the road he’s traveling on, then he must close his eyes and travel in the dark. -St. John of the Cross


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