An obstetrician turned writer and spiritual director
MY STORY - HEARING HEARTBEATS
For ten years, I listened daily to heartbeats. Heartbeats of babies as they were formed in the darkness. Heartbeats of their mothers, too, dreams and fears and longings. I was on holy ground, witness to the quiet creation of new life.
Ten more years have passed since illness began to keep me out of the clinic. I no longer use a stethoscope or an ultrasound machine. But still I listen. Sometimes I hear only the whisper of my own heart, the urgent longing to be fully alive. I hear that cry deep in the groans and prayers and laughter of others too.
But when I’m given the grace to be still, when the noise without and within is quieted, I hear the heartbeat of the One who knit me together and placed in me this longing for Life and Freedom. He whispers “come,” “rest,” “be whole.” He reminds me who He is and who I am. Again I find myself on holy ground, witness to the growing of new life within.
The school and work details
Six months after I finished my training as an obstetrician/gynaecologist, I moved to Pakistan, then on to Afghanistan where I lived for over four years, working in a little mud-brick hospital and clinic high up in the mountains (picture no running water, no xray machine, but lines and lines of beautiful and courageous – and needy – people to serve).
Then I got sick. Hardly-able-to-get-out-of-bed sick. I was diagnosed (in a way only God could have orchestrated) with a chronic illness that had gone undiagnosed since my teens. Months of rest and good treatment didn’t solve the problem and, three years after returning home from Afghanistan, I gave up my licence to practice medicine.
In the years since I returned from Afghanistan, I’ve completed a Master of Arts in Theological Studies with a concentration in Christianity and the Arts at Regent College and have trained as a spiritual director through SoulStream. I write, and I listen one-on-one with folk who are wanting to hear God’s heartbeat in the midst of their own daily realities.
God is good and though this journey hasn’t been easy, I wouldn’t have wanted to miss it.
People tell me they stop by this website for many reasons.
They come for a few minutes’ pause in a busy day, a chance to breathe and to remember that reality is bigger than the world in front of our eyes. Or to find a moment’s peace in the storm, and remember that we’re always held.
They come for a gentle reminder that our weaknesses can’t separate us from God’s love, and might even be the place we experience God’s love most deeply. (If that’s something you wonder about, here are a couple of posts I wrote that might help.)
And to encounter our God who loves and cares for us as much as for those we serve.
Some come looking for peace in anxiety, comfort in grief, and hope in despair as we listen together to the heartbeat of the One who walks with us through the shadowed valleys.
Others come to be reminded that God doesn’t ask of us what we can’t give. He calls us to come as we are and offers rest to the weary and food to the hungry. He receives our small gifts and turns the water we bring him to wine and our small, crumbly loaves into food for thousands. He wants us, not the self we’re desperately trying to be. (If that reminder is what you need right now, here are a couple of posts for you.)
Together we’re learning to trust God again or for the first time, and finding the courage to step out, discovering that what we see as limitations, God sees as opportunities for His strength to be made perfect in our weakness.
- Ten reasons you can dare to put your heart out there
- Three more reasons you can dare to put your heart out there
Whatever has brought you, I pray you’ll find here a gentle, grace-filled space in which to listen together to God’s heartbeat and settle a little more deeply into God’s love.
Now you know a little about me. You know that this place is about listening for God’s heartbeat. It’s about longing and life and the joy that seeps into places of brokenness. It’s about reaching and seeking and discovering that the One we seek is seeking us.
Will you join me in listening for God’s heartbeat? And if you have a moment, will you drop me a line and tell me a little of your story? I’d love to hear from you!
May you know yourself tenderly accompanied in whatever this day holds for you.