12:34 am, deniseytran
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thanksgiving has come early.

Amazing how this semester is almost over. I didn’t think I’d see the day where December would be just a few weeks away! nor did I think I’d ever have the time to blog until after December, but I thought I’d spend some time in reflection. 

God has been tremendously gracious. It was late August. I remember sharing a meal with Tammy (at our favorite dumpling place) - and telling her my agenda for the last trimester of 2011. With what started out as 4 community college classes (Anatomy/L, Physiology/L, Lifespan Psychology & Pharmacology), PT-job as a Front Office Assistant at a doctor’s office, PT-job as a Teaching/Research Assistant for my professor at UCI, internship at a hospital in LA, internship at UCI Med Center and applying to nursing schools - I am thankful that God took away 1 class and 1 internship. God has stretched me in various ways this past semester.

Over the months, God has been revealing to me the importance of perseverance in the faith. Transitioning into the young adult ministry has been a challenge since I’ve been limited in the time I have to meet new people (may I also add, even the brain capacity to remember new names, since I’m memorizing hundreds, maybe thousands of new anatomical terms). 

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But I look forward to when my iCal will have more free days to meet new people, and to catch up with those whom I haven’t seen in a long time. I’ve realized the importance of Hebrews 10:24-25 -

"And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near." 

As I purposefully withdrew myself from meeting up with people regularly, I found my heart becoming to harden; not desiring to be around people, constantly picking out people’s flaws rather than showing grace, being unwilling to forgive, becoming self-centered, complaining quite frequently and somehow, convincing myself that I am an awkward turtle and that no one likes me (I know…-_-), thereby hosting occasional pity parties for myself. But I am thankful for sisters who’ve kept me accountable, challenged and rebuked me when necessary and pointed me back to the love of Christ. 

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Through Evelyn, God reminds me that there is so much to learn about who He is, that our God is not exhaustible - He is infinite. Her passion and love for Christ overflows in her character and teachability. God has encouraged me to eagerly search and examine the Scriptures and to be saturated with His Word. Both of us have been learning so much as we’re reading through Knowing God and engage in deep conversations. & it’s amazing seeing how God is actively working in her life each week as we share weekly prayer requests, and to see these prayers be answered and being answered. :) 

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It has also been a blessing being able to meet with Diane every other week to go through Systematic Theology and to have memory verses too. Between our weeks, we send each other devotional emails of the verse and how we can apply it to our daily lives and struggles. I’m encouraged by the wisdom and discernment that she is able to impart, and for her honesty in telling me what I need to hear rather than what I want to hear. Going through Systematic has been challenging, but nonetheless, very thought-provoking as we learn more about God’s attributes (we’re on the doctrine of God).

After each discussion, I’m always in great awe of how majestic, how sovereign, how infinite God is in comparison to how minuscule I am. In response, all I can do is bring Him worship, praise & adoration, for this true and living God is not a distant god, but He is my Abba Father, whom I can approach because He has adopted me as His daughter in Christ.

"For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps." (1 Peter 2:21)

Thank you, for you are my example to follow, Jesus.  

My jobs and classes have been interesting too. God has blessed me with opportunities to share the Gospel with a classmate, and the class that I am TAing for knows that I am a Christian since my professor allowed me to share how my faith has shaped my views on various social and political issues. May God continue to provide abundant opportunities for me to share the Gospel with my students, whether it be inside or outside of the classroom setting. 

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& finally, after creating that chart of all the nursing schools I planned to apply to, and outlining all the requirements, etc etc. - at the end of these past few months, I’ve only been able to churn out and submit 2 applications: UCLA & Western University. There is a possibility I may apply to one more school once the application opens up in the spring, but as of now, due to various circumstances, I’ve only been able to apply to those 2 schools. Chances of getting in? Very slim; about 8-10% acceptance rate. There’s a HUGE possibility that I may not get into any of those schools. 

But that is one reality that God has been teaching me to accept. Sometime early next year, I will find out whether or not I’ll be accepted into either of these two schools. As much as I desire to go to UCLA (that being my top-choice), that may not be God’s plan for me.

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts"(Isaiah 55:8-9).

All things are in His hands and under His sovereign control. Therefore, I "do not [have to be] anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6).

"But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble." (Matthew 6:33-34).

Wherever God places me, may He be able to use me for His kingdom’s purpose and sanctify me to become more like Christ.

— 

Overall, I have been showered with abundant blessings that I do not deserve.
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I’m thankful for brothers and sisters in Christ whom I can fellowship and laugh with. 

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I’m thankful for answered prayers, His daily grace and strength to work heartily for Him, and perseverance in the faith.

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I’m thankful for His Word which continues to sharpen & test the thoughts and intentions of my heart (& yes, I decided to write in my Bible…).

I’m thankful for the work of the Spirit;

"Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is in the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose" (Romans 8:26-28). 

I’m thankful for the love, sacrifice and example set forth by Jesus Christ the Son,

"He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed" (1 Peter 2:24). 

& I am thankful to God the Father for adopting me as His daughter, by His grace -

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved" (Ephesians 1:3-6). 


  • Notes
  1. beautyunf0lds said: i want to hear about your life not through tumblr :( but i’m glad you’re doing well! :)
  2. ellomellojello said: PTL sister :) you are great, but God is greater! His work shows through you :) hooooooooray!
  3. deniseytran posted this