I will be brief as I know most people’s attention span is about 3 paragraphs. Growing up I was always the smallest kid. It drove me crazy especially when I got into junior high, but before you start feeling sorry for me, don’t worry I held my own. Somewhere along the way, I found that people liked me better if I was good at something. Much a like a man finds identity in his occupation, I found my identity in performance whether it was school or sports.
As I moved on to college I found myself virtually “identity-less”. I needed something to identify with and that something was walking on to the LSU football team as a wide receiver. I could bore you with all the details about playing football at LSU but honestly you probably don’t care. I’ll sum it up by saying this – It was an extremely difficult time for me. It was both emotionally and physically exhausting. I missed a lot of events. I lost touch with friends and missed out on family events. I did not get the satisfaction that I thought I would and thus I still had no identity. On top of that I was applying to medical school and quite honestly I was not what you would consider a prime candidate. Football would take away from school and school from football. I felt like I was just “another guy” who was below average at a lot of different things but master of none.
At this time I began to really seek Christ because I had nothing that I felt gave me purpose. For the first time in my life I laid it all out there. I told God that I was tired of trying to work my way into what I thought I was called to do and that if He didn’t want me to be a doctor or to play football, I was okay with that. I HAD TO BE OKAY with whatever he had for me. That was an extremely hard thing for me to do.
Now here is the cool part. God showed me that I was exactly where He wanted me, and that he was trying to teach me something. Medical school and football were not bad things, but they did not define me. My identity was in Christ and as soon as I was able to understand that, God’s plan began to unfold.
Much like when the Israelites were taking the promised land, the Lord had already given it to them BUT they still had to go “take the land.” Playing football was like my training ground for teaching me what “taking the land” meant. The Lord put dreams and promises in my heart but I wasn’t seeing them work out like I planned. I had to go “take the land.” I wasn’t afraid of failing, because if I failed I would just get back up and keep trying. I began to love football again. I loved every part of it. I loved getting up early for practice, I loved staying late, I loved studying late for tests. My thinking and my approach shifted and I was able to enjoy where God had placed me.
God opened some incredible doors for me and I can honestly take credit for nothing. I was awarded a football scholarship my senior year in college and I was accepted into medical school that year as well.
Up to this point I can safely say that I have FAILED at every single thing at some point along the way that I have eventually had success in down the road. I failed my first test in undergrad (I was an idiot), I scored in the 22nd percentile on the MCAT the first time I took it, I failed practically every single day at football practice, I failed my first medical school test and I am sure I will fail dozens of more times in my life. Most people probably wouldn’t admit those things but I don’t care. Christ has brought me through every trial and obstacle in my way. Every time I felt I wasn’t good enough He was there. He is always faithful and he WILL walk with you through yours.
Whatever your journey remember your identity is in Christ and that he has promises and a plan for you but you must “take the land.”