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WIMD Pulse - March 2013

He is Jealous for Me
By Jessica Ruff, MD/MA Candidate 2013

“I think we should just be friends” aren't words a girl wants to hear after just a few dates. It's a punch in the stomach. What suddenly happened over the past few hours that took the relationship from romantic to the friend zone? At 27 and having just recently had my first kiss, it seems likely that I'll hear those words at least a few more times. But the hardest part about hearing those words just a few days ago is that my life has been full of rejection during the last several months. You see, I'm currently going through the match process with an application that will only be successful by the grace of God. My inbox has been filled with rejection letters these days. I like to think that I'm a pretty confident woman, but 80 seems like a lot for anyone to handle. So this guy, whom I met at church, put icing on top of the cake when he said, "You're really a good girl. I didn't even think people like you existed. I don't want to de-purify you." (Are you in shock yet? Or maybe laughing? I think I've made it through all five stages of grief at this point.)

I'm sure you're wondering why I'm sharing this story with you. But my mom, as only moms can do, made a really astute comment when I shared my fears about not matching into a residency position. I haven't quite brought myself to tell her about this guy. Somehow it's easier to tell a bunch of strangers.

"Know that God did not bring you this far to leave you. There is still something He wants you to learn in this process. Ask Him and He will surely let you know! Ask if you are following His will in all aspects of your life. He will make it clear where you need to improve. Be careful - this might hurt a bit!"

And like a light bulb, I found at least one thing that I am supposed to be learning throughout my time of rejection. It's not that everyone fails sometimes, or that singing the "nobody likes me" song isn't going to help.

The message that God has been trying to tell me is that HE is jealous for me. Instead of the “nobody likes me” song, I'm choosing to replace that song with lyrics from David Crowder's "How He Loves,”

“And He is jealous for me, loves like a hurricane, I am a tree
Bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy
When all of a sudden I am unaware of these afflictions
Eclipsed by glory and I realize just how beautiful You are
And how great Your affections are for me.”

It is an amazing thought that the God of the universe, the One who created all things, is jealous for ME. He wants my heart, head and hands. ALL of me. This realization makes it obvious that His hurt is great when I don't put Him first. I realized that although He may want to give me the desires of my heart, if just a glimpse of these desires becoming a reality sends me head over heels for my desires instead of Him, He gets angry. I wonder if He experiences the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. The father-like picture I have of God certainly does. Denial that He finally started to give me what I asked for, and instead of thanking Him, I can't shut up about how great this thing (i.e. this guy) was. Anger because He wants to be THE guy in my life. I think He probably skips the bargaining step...I don't see God bargaining with Himself, but I certainly try my luck with it at times. Depression: I can feel the immense sadness He must have when I once again fail to put Him first, to let Him take away my fears and to let Him love me like no other human can. Finally, acceptance that I still haven't learned my lesson yet, but there is still room to grow.

This opportunity for growth is the most amazing part. No matter what I do, He still loves me. He will forgive me and welcome me back into fellowship with Him.

At this point, I'm trying to arm myself with Scriptures that will remind me of His love for me. Deuteronomy 5:9 says, “You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me” (NIV 1984). YIKES! Also applicable to my current situation is 2 Corinthians 11:2, “I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him” (NIV 1984). Ezekiel 23:25 and Zechariah 8:2 are a few other verses that speak of the Lord's jealousy for His people.

So for now, I'm focusing on my relationship with Christ. I hope that if the desires of my heart are also His plans for me, I might recognize and continue to put Him first when they arrive.

Jessica was matched at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. Please PRAY for God's clear direction for PGY-2 and beyond.