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A Letter to Spouses

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coupleAs my husband approached the end of his first year of medical school, he was trying to discern what God wanted him to do for the summer. A second year medical student spoke to his class about the Medical Strategic Network’s whole person care preceptorship. After praying over this opportunity and seeking counsel from others, we decided as a couple that this would be an awesome opportunity for him to learn how he could use his future practice as a doctor and even his current position as a medical student to influence others for Christ and share the good news of the Gospel.

This was an exciting yet difficult decision. Since I am an elementary school teacher and not involved in the medical field, we discussed and prayed about this opportunity with the assumption that my husband would take part in the month long mission project in California and I would stay at our home in Nebraska. I was excited for my husband, yet I wasn’t looking forward to being separated from him for a month.

After my husband had applied for the preceptorship, we received a phone call from Bob Mason, the director. Bob asked my husband if I would be coming as well. My husband explained that I wasn’t in the medical field, but Bob told him that wasn’t a concern, and that he felt this was an opportunity that would benefit us as a couple and as individuals.

I don’t know which scared me more: being away from my husband for a month or committing myself to being the only person on the preceptorship not involved in medicine. I had it in my head that I would be some sort of outcast, where talks and discussions would all involve medical terminology and none of the topics would apply to me. As much as I wanted to be with my husband over the summer, surely God wouldn’t be calling me to this kind of atmosphere!

We prayed over this decision, and it appeared that this was something the Lord was leading us to do together. I still had concerns in my head: how were we going to raise twice the money, who would take care of our house, how would I be able to contribute to this preceptorhsip, could I handle the homesickness I was sure I would experience so many worldly questions. I finally had to give it all up to God and say, “Lord, if this is your will, you have already taken care of the details. I need you to help me trust and follow.”

How the Lord answered our prayers! From the first day we arrived, God’s work was evident. Nearly everything we learned I could take back to my own work place and to every other area of my life. I had a wonderful mentor who poured her heart and time into me. I wrote a mission statement for my life and explored how God would have me to serve him based on the way he designed me. I had a small group of six women with whom I was able to be completely open and vulnerable, sharing my life story, good parts and bad parts, with them. I learned the power of the Holy Spirit, and how to rely on Him in sharing the Gospel, or even planting seeds for someone down the road to share. I learned about my identity as a child of God, and for the first time, realized how I am a new creation in him. I was even able to put my skills as a teacher to use by volunteering at an after school program for at-risk youth.

Looking back on it, I can’t imagine having not gone to the preceptorship. There is no way that my husband could have explained the experience to me in a way that I could have fully understood the impact of the preceptorship. It brought us closer to God in our individual walks with him. It also brought us closer to God in our marriage through many things he taught us while we were on the project. I am incredibly thankful for the opportunity the Lord gave us through this experience. I would highly encourage others to prayerfully consider attending the summer mission project with their spouse. God so greatly blessed us through our summer with the Medical Strategic Network. My desire is for others to have the same experience.

Jessica Reade
Omaha, Nebraska