It’s been one year since I quit my job—my job as a doctor that is.
Anyone familiar with the pathway to becoming a physician will tell you it is no easy one. College was a blur of science classes, medical school followed with hours of endless study, and then there was residency where I spent long days on my feet, hustling and bustling around the hospital. And for me, the journey began even before college because I was always academically-inclined. I regularly tried to skip recess in elementary school just so I could get ahead on my work for the upcoming weeks.
So, after all this getting ahead, why did I decide to give it all up? The answer: my family.
A Little of My Story
During residency, the time of a physician’s career where one trains for his or her specific specialty, my husband and I received a special surprise. We were pregnant! It was one of the most exciting yet fearful times of our lives. For me, I questioned what life would look like, raising a child while working such extensive hours. How would we make things work?
We had always been convicted about the importance of family, and when our son came into our lives, I knew I had to make a decision about what I always said I believed in. During those quiet moments of Micah’s first few weeks of life, God led me to verse after verse, reminding me of His providence and care.
I used that time during maternity leave to seek God and pray over His will. I often wondered, “How can I know God’s will for my life?” 2 Peter 3:8-10 showed me:
“The Lord is . . . not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” If this was true for me, surely the same was true for my son and my husband, and anyone else for that matter! I then asked myself, “How can I ensure that God’s will for our family’s lives are fulfilled?”
Being Led By God’s Word
I was led to the example of Hannah and Samuel. Hannah spent the first three years of Samuel’s life training him during those early nursing years. The impact that time made laid the foundation for the rest of his life, setting him on the path for salvation. You might ask like I did, “How could Hannah’s influence in just those few short years have made such a lasting impact?
Surely something or someone else in Samuel’s upbringing must have contributed.”
That might be true, but the actions of Eli’s sons Hophni and Phinehas, who were also raised by Eli, stood in stark contrast to those of Samuel’s (Read the full story in 1 Samuel). The evidence, for me, was clear and convincing.
Being convinced about my newfound calling was one thing; acting on it was another. I feared the thought of resigning and leaving my colleagues with a position to fill. I dragged my feet for almost two months. And then, one day, without warning, I felt a huge burden on my heart that it was time.
Before heading into work, I said to my husband, “I’m going to quit today.”
He replied, “Are you sure you don’t want to spend a few more days in prayer about it (We had been praying for weeks)?”
“No,” I responded. “I’m doing it today.”
I Quit My Dream Job
That morning as I made my way to my superior’s office, I had what felt like an out-of-body experience. I was walking, but I didn’t know how. I was talking, but I didn’t really know what I was saying. I do, however, remember one part of the conversation.
Sitting there in his office, he said, “Maybe you could wait until you’re finished with residency. I know of many mothers who work part-time once they’re finished, giving them more time with their family.”
I thought about what he said, and replied: “My son will only be this age once, and ultimately waiting until I’m finished will not allow me to be a part of his life in the way that I want.” I knew that attaining what you want in life requires intentional decisions. That’s true of everyday life choices and the less often life-changing ones.
For me, I knew what was most important. I wanted those daily morning cuddles. I wanted to be there for those first steps. Most importantly, I wanted to be there to teach Micah about Jesus’ love throughout every day. And because I made that decision, I’ve been able to experience all these things and more! Joy doesn’t even begin to describe what I feel daily.
In addition to these things, I’ve learned a bit along the way. Firstly, is that God’s will for everyone, not just my family, is that we will one day have the joy of experiencing beautiful moments with Him for all of eternity. So, our job is to ask ourselves, “How can I ensure the decisions I make today, will bring me closer to the fulfillment of His will?”
The second thing I’ve learned is that walking in your purpose can only be accomplished by intentionally choosing to do so. It won’t happen by chance.
So, pray this prayer with me today.
Help me today to seek Your kingdom first. Show me Your will and help me to walk in it.
In Jesus’ Name,
Sheree Brown, MD is a physician turned stay-at-home mom to Micah and wife to DJ. She lives in the suburbs of Chicago and loves chocolate, spending time with her family, and real estate investing. For more about her story visit her blog Mrs. Mom Dr. Wife. Follow her on Instagram here.