The most common question recently has been:
“Why do you want to be a Naturopathic Doctor?”
If only a one sentence answer would suffice. Unfortunately, my life doesn’t work that way…no, no,no…it’s much more exciting. So if you too are interested, please take a seat & make a cup of tea before reading this lengthy (but exciting I promise) post:
3 years ago I transferred to Auburn University – a huge football school in Alabama. Despite the fried foods and sweet tea in the south, I was determined to become a dietitian. I began my nutrition classes and randomly took a hunger studies class. Oddly, the classes began overlapping when both of my professors talked about malnutrition. I found myself sitting in the back on my classes with tears rolling down my face as I stared dumbfounded at the pictures of malnourished people on the powerpoints.
“God,” I remember praying, “I have prayed for years that You would break my heart for what breaks Yours…how do I listen to something I don’t understand? Lead me.”
I walked around Auburn’s campus day after day thinking about people starving all over the world. A part of me was so frustrated at God because I had just transferred to Auburn and now suddenly He was telling me to go somewhere else. It just didn’t make sense. But I knew if He called me, I would go. But where? And How?!
Before I knew it, I found myself in my dorm-room overlapping two maps:
One world map highlighted Unreached People Groups (groups of people who have never heard of Jesus)
The other world map highlighted malnourished people groups.
Suddenly a tiny country popped out at me. “Nepal.” I had never heard of Nepal before, but I was anxious to find out more about it. So I watched video after video about the people of Nepal until I was too far to turn back.
I couldn’t stop thinking about the Nepali people. I started to a feel a bit crazy until one day my knees hit the floor in my dorm-room.
“God, I have a love for people halfway around the world that I have never met and may never meet. If this isn’t from you, please take it away because it’s more than I can bear. If it is from you, then please show me how to get to Nepal.”
Little did I know that 3 months later I would be awarded a research fellowship from Auburn that would pay my way to Nepal! As odd as it sounds, my first trip to Nepal left me disappointed in the best way possible: All the people I saw in Nepal were healthier than Americans…and I didn’t even see a single starving child!
Needless to say, I was content not to return to Nepal & I was a bit frustrated at God. “Why would You send me halfway around the world to people who don’t need me?”
However, 4 months later I felt a knock on my heart again…
“God, You want me to go back to Nepal? Why? They don’t need me! OK, OK…but if I go back, I’m going to the most remote and poorest part of Nepal. Yes, I need Your help.”
In the midst of planning my next trip to Nepal, life as I knew it seemed to crumble before me: I was a signature away from starting a nonprofit and that fell through, I suddenly realized I didn’t want to be a dietitian…so that fell through, and I was nearly engaged and that fell through.
There I was with 1 semester left of college and 2 empty hands.
“God, I have no idea what You’re doing. But if I’m going all the way back to Nepal, I simply ask that You would provide a little life guidance as to what to do after graduation.”
A few months later I was off for Nepal round two. I’ll spare the fun details and stories…but for those interested, they are on this blog (August – November 2014).
In short, I ended up in a remote village lacking running water, electricity, internet, and cell phone service. The 50,000 people of the district had a total of 2 medical doctors because not even the doctors from Nepal were willing to practice in Humla. Yet everywhere I went people complained to me about their backs, their sore throats, and any other ailment that a doctor may help. I felt beyond helpless. I yearned to help but had no knowledge of how to do so.
“This is why You sent me here.” I finally got it. “You’re calling me to be a Doctor! Wow.” But what would a doctor look like in a remote place like this? No pharmacies around the corner, no X-ray machines…the only medical tools available would be plants, water, prayer, and my own 2 hands.
Hello naturopathic medicine 🙂
“When Jesus heard this, he told them, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor–sick people do…”