A man’s heart plans his way,
But the Lord directs his steps. – Proverbs 16:9

In my first-year of pharmacy school, I realized that I wanted to be a pediatric pharmacist. I heard about an internship in the pediatric department of a prestigious university and purposed in my heart to apply in the Fall of my second year of pharmacy school. I would stay up till 5 AM revising my letter of intent (LOI), and I contacted people who were interns in the past to review my LOI. After two months, I received a phone interview and interviewed a month later. The interview did not go well—at all. However, I “felt” that the Lord would make a way for me to be there anyway. On March 1st, I was not extended an offer to be a part of the internship class. I was sad; I cried, I was uncertain. I plan everything in my life, and I never have a plan B. Additionally, as a pharmacy student, it is expected that one does research or an internship to secure a residency so I “felt” pressure. Nonetheless, I sought the Lord, and He led me to go on this trip.

I hesitated because I had no idea how I was going to pay, but I took a leap of faith, and the money was raised in 14 days. On the trip, I was able to grow in my walk in the Lord through the daily devotionals and working through the short mission book. It allowed me to ask questions that dug deeper into why I was on this trip. Every night, we shared our reflections, and in each reflection, I could see how much God loves the Haitians, how He loves me, and how He loves the team. I was challenged to be self-less. There was a day I packed snacks for myself, and a physician came in and asked if anyone had crackers because there is a woman outside who hasn’t eaten in a month. I hesitated to give my crackers, and immediately I thought, I have complete access to crackers at home, why hold onto to the ones in my bag? I gave my crackers, and I asked God to search my heart. I prayed that the Lord would lead me in the path of everlasting and help me to not hold onto anything you require me to give. Going back to the scripture I posted above, I originally made my summer plans, but God had greater planned out for me. I was able to show the love of God through my actions, use the Spanish I learned in my Spring semester to counsel patients, and encountered and prepared medication for pediatric patients whom I hope to serve as a pharmacist.

I wrote these exact words in my LOI, “The clinical expertise this internship will provide will fuel the knowledge I need in order to make a difference in future medical mission trips in underserved communities.” God showed me I do not need an internship to prepare me for a medical mission. I need only Him. God re-shifted my focus from performance to relationship, from works to grace, from selfish living to selflessness. God directed my every step and every humble encounter with the people of Haiti within the Dominican Republic, and I am forever grateful. God showed Himself to be a provider, healer, protector, and more throughout this trip, and I pray I never forget the mighty works I witnessed & experienced on the trip. I definitely have more growing to do and will not let this Summer pass me by in doing just that with the Lord. The end of a mission trip is truly the beginning, and I am ready for this journey of trusting God, allowing Him to work in my heart, and direct my steps.

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