Happy New Year! Shamefully realizing that my last blog post was about 5 months ago. Despite the fact that my resolution was to be more consistent...the reality of life made that extremely difficult.
After July, I'll admit, balancing my business, my hobbies, and school work proved hard. I had been hearing about how difficult the first semester of the third year of dental school would be from my first day as a dental student. However, because I had been already been through so many trying semesters, I imagined handling clinic would be something that just came naturally.
The second half of the year really pushed me out of my comfort zone in both dentistry and photography. After my Cuba trip (the best vacation I've ever experienced) I came back to Birmingham to work in a summer program entitled SHPEP (Summer Health Professional Enrichment Program). I worked alongside 3 other health professional students to mentor college students (students from rural areas, underserved areas or minority students) and help them with the process of getting into the discipline of their choice.
Right after this, the first semester of clinic began. That's a post on its own, but again, I was pushed to my limits. If I told you I made it without help, that would definitely be a lie! Not only were we expected to juggle patients and requirements, but we also had quite the class load as well.
It's funny how stress and difficult times have the ability to make you feel that you are in it by yourself. Probably very similar to how David felt in the bible when he was being chased by Saul and his men. But despite that, David used his trials to write probably one of the most encouraging books of the bible.
"God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way..." - Psalm 46:1-2.
There were weeks where we had 2 to 3 exams and STILL had to find a way to study and do lab work. But I made it through the semester! There are definitely times I question my abilities, but remembering the source of my help is extremely encouraging and helps me remember that I am in this field for a reason.
While some nights I did feel like Dre (pictured above), I survived it. In the midst of the clinic craziness, my dental family and I were able to make a drive to Memphis and celebrate my inauguration as a National Officer in the Student National Dental Association. To be honest, my dental school career would be non-existent without them and the amazing support system I've built here in Birmingham. From the friends I've met in various small groups at Highlands Church, to my dental family that endures the same daily struggle that I do, all have proved to be essential thus far in my journey.
That pretty much brings me to the end of the year and into a new one. Towards the end of the year, I reflected on many things. Photography wise, the last few months of the year were excellent. Business was booming, and I was able to cover different types of shoots, helping me gain more of an understanding of what type of photography I want to zone in on.
I have been able to secure a few weddings in 2018 that I am VERY excited to shoot. Looking back at my work, I can easily see the hand of God and how He perfects everything concerning those He loves. I picked up photography with the intention of shooting weddings and engagements in the distant future. I committed it to Him, (acquiring the necessities, acquiring the clients, managing it and dental school) and as always, He has proved faithful with things that I put in His control.
With that being said, in all your goals, aspirations, endearments, and ventures in 2018, I encourage you to be very clear and intentional about what you want to achieve.
"Write down the vision and make it plain on tablets so that angels can run with it. For the revelation awaits an appointed time. It speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay" - Habakuk 2:2
It will certainly come! Do your part and let God handle the rest.