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I read a really wonderful devotional this morning from She Reads Truth, and it was about the importance of friendship in our lives. The writer gives the example of Paul writing to the Thessalonians and how he shared with them, understood them, and motivated them to endure the trials they were going through. “Paul’s letter illustrates that being a family of faith involved knowing an being known.” The friends that God has placed in our lives are one of the best resources for encouragement and community in our lives. I think that some of us have a really hard time finding friends or small communities that we can join in veterinary school – mainly because we are so stressed out and busy and worried about passing. As I’ve progressed through vet school, I have found that I truly need friends in my life – for the moments we spend together chatting about how hard class is, to the silly moments where we are laughing so hard we can barely breathe. God gives us these moments, but He also wants us to move towards Him – keeping each other accountable.

So here is our challenge: Let us keep the community at the vet school a positive an encouraging one. Let us always turn away from talking down about those around us and remind each other that we are here to fulfill a purpose – God’s purpose for our lives, and it is a huge blessing to be here. And finally, let us love each other, reassure those around us that God’s love is never-ending, and continue to kindle the friendships He has placed in our lives by growing through Him.

– Faith

My Trip to Honduras

“And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.”
[Mark 16:15]

Going to another country to do the work of the Lord can be very intimidating to think about. Not only are you leaving behind everything you know as far as day to day life, but you are most likely going to the not-so-great parts of that country. I have known for a long time that I wanted to do missions work, but the right time never came, so when I was presented with an opportunity to join a couple of my U of I Vet Med friends to go to Honduras, I jumped to take it.

“Oh my goodness, it’s so dangerous there, be safe!”

“Why are you going there, don’t you know how dangerous it is?”

Questions from various friends and family about why I chose “such a place” to go and bring the word of God to. My only answer was the truth: This is where I was called, and I trust that God has wonderful things in store. I never once doubted my safety and knew that God would protect no matter what. Even when we missed our flight from Atlanta to Tegucigalpa. Even when we got off the plane and there were guards with huge guns standing all around and outside the airport. Even when our van drive didn’t speak much English and kept stopping to pick up more random men on the hours-long drive to the Ranch. We made it safely, and what an amazing couple of weeks were waiting for us.

Each day we drove to a different village in the area, where we set up a big tent to perform the small animal surgeries. During the day, we were split into four different groups: Prep team, Small Animal, Large Animal, and Kids team. Prep team helped give flea and tick prevention and de-wormer, administer vaccinations, and prep dogs and cats for spays and neuters. The Small Animal group performed the spays and neuters on dogs and cats. The Large Animal team did anything from horse and pig castrations to administering de-wormer to various farm species. And finally, the Kids team spent the day with the children in the area playing games, teaching them about Jesus, and doing crafts. Needless to say, every day was a great adventure.

One of the hardest things to deal with was the difference in how animals are treated in Honduras. Most of them are work animals, and those that are considered “pets” are still allowed free reign of the outdoors. They were not coddled or spoiled like many animals are here in the United States, and many were treated in manners that would be considered downright abuse in our society. They don’t have the same conception of their furry friends as we do, and laughing at an animal in pain or being abused is the norm. Part of what we were there to do, is to show them that there is a better way. You don’t have to drag the puppy by a chain around it’s neck and kick it to do what you want. There is a better, kinder, more loving way. We had the joy of trying to show some of those we interacted with such things.

One of the days, I had the amazing opportunity to go around the village we visited, with the Honduras International Pastor, to pray with families in their homes. We were able to pray for specific needs of various families, even if they were not believers. They allowed us in to love on them and their families through the name of Jesus, and it was so amazing to pray over them. This was a big part of what I was here to do.

Another reason I was called to Honduras was to grow in my own faith. Spending time every evening with the group in worship and study was a blessing above all else. One of the doctors brought her guitar, and a student her violin… I can’t even begin to describe the amazing worship and other musical experiences those two brought to us.

The last thing I want to touch on was the heartache that I went through in losing a patient while there. A little girl brought us her cat so that we could spay her. Now, the cats in Honduras are much like any angry stray cat here in the States – they don’t like to be touched. And a bite from them was a very bad thing. I was on Prep Team that day, and was not comfortable doing an “intra-cat” injection through the bag she was presented to us in so that we could sedate her for surgery. So, I asked one of my fellow missionaries to help hold the cat while I gave the injection. As predicted, the cat freaked out and everyone was yelling “LET GO” – so my friend let go and the cat ran off. My immediate thought was, “she’s going to get trampled by a horse or something.” The little girl hunted her down and brought her back. Well, as it turns out, she fell in a puddle and drowned because I did get the full injection administered and she couldn’t get out of the puddle. I was absolutely devastated and felt as though I had just killed this girl’s cat. I spent the rest of the day crying and wondering why this could have possibly happened? I was here to love, not kill people’s animals. I went to shower, and upon coming back I had a note from one of the doctors I was rooming with on my pillow. She reminded me that we all must deal with the consequences of circumstance sometimes – that this was not my fault.

This was a major teaching moment for me – to come to terms with something that has gone horribly wrong and know that I still made the best decisions that I could have made. We will all face this in various ways once we become veterinarians. We will always ask if we did everything we could, if we made the right choices. These are the times we must take courage and move forward, trusting God that He will never fail us – that everything is apart of His bigger plan.

Overall, this was part story, part encouragement for you as you move through today, as you move through tomorrow, and as you move through every day. I strongly encourage you to listen to were you are called, because some amazing things come from following God.

And a quick shout-out to everyone I met in Honduras – you are a wonderful family to have standing with me through any storm. I am ever blessed and thankful to have you in my life. <3


Have faith in the Lord

2 Chronicles 20:20

              “Early in the morning they left for the Desert of Tekoa. As they set out, Jehosaphat stood and said, ‘Listen to me, Judah and the people of Jerusalem! Have faith in the LORD your God and you will be upheld; have faith in his prophets and you will be successful.’”

This is from a time in the Old Testament when Jehosaphat had a vast army marching towards him from Edom, so he brought together everyone in Judah at the Temple so they could all worship the Lord. He is encouraging them to stay strong in the Lord and trust His plan, providing many instances that God overcame the enemies of His devout followers. As we go into this year, some of us excited and just starting our vet school adventure, some going into their second and third years, but all awaiting eagerly the path ahead. We will all come across struggles as we move through this year, and the best thing to do is to take it to God. We need to trust that we are here for a reason and that everything is working for His plan.

              We have truly been called to one of the best professions – we get to take care of the amazing creatures that God has placed on this planet! Being in veterinary school is hard and overwhelming, and it can be hard to see the light in the tunnel. Trust God and have faith that everything is going to turn out perfectly according to His plans for you. Also know that you have tons of us to turn to if you need some encouragement! 


Serving Like Mary

1Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him. Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.

But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.” He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.

“Leave her alone,” Jesus replied. “It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial. You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.”

 Reflecting on this picture of dinner in Lazarus’ home, there is a drastic difference in the characters that are present. First, there is Lazarus himself, whom was just recently raised from the dead by Jesus, along with his two sisters Martha and Mary. Martha is busy trying to prepare everything and make the house and dinner perfect for Jesus, worrying about everything, and Mary who is worshipping Jesus by cleaning his feet with expensive perfume and her own hair. Then, on the other end of the spectrum, is Judas, wanting to appear just and moral, even though he was to betray Jesus.

 Who do you most align with in this scene? Lazarus, simply happy to be alive? Martha, hustling and worrying about everything? Judas, wanting to appear to do the right thing? Or Mary, dutifully worshipping at the Lord’s feet? I find that I have a lot of similarities to many of the characters presented here. I’m a chronic worrier, so much so that I can completely miss the presence of Jesus by my side. I’m also just happy to be here, and I can get to the point of not moving forward on my faith walk. And sometimes, I get into situations where I just want to appear like I’m definitely doing the right thing in my life. Overall, I hope we all strive to be like Mary – obediently out there shining with the light of God and serving Him in everything we do.

 A short prayer: “Lord, please help us to have the humility of Mary as she washed your feet in perfume. Forgive us when we make everything about ourselves, and also encourage us to be fully present in the time we spend with you. Help us not to worry about tomorrow, or next week, but to focus on you and trust your plans for us. Amen.”

Hope you have a wonderful week and a fantastic Easter! ~Faith

(PS – this was adapted from my daily devotional)


Finding Joy

              As veterinary students, I’m sure we can all remember times when we have felt like all joy is gone. Worrying about tests, stressing about making decent grades, frustrated with not having motivation to study anymore, and on top of that dealing with the normal stresses that happen regardless of school. Moving past these times can often become a challenge that we don’t feel like facing. We have to face it anyway – with courage and with Jesus by our side in order to accept that, though things may be hard, we can do anything with Him.

              Whenever we are feeling down and out, we can focus on all that the Lord provides for us each and every day. He will help lift us up when we are low, and motivate us when we need to study, and give us peace with our grades. We will be provided with enough of anything we need in the moments we need most – we just have to ask for it. So, pray for the strength, acceptance, motivation, understanding, etc. that you need to get through the hard times, and know that God is right there with you. You got this!!



“Then the eyes of the blind will be opened, and the ears of the deaf will be cleared. Then the lame will leap like dear, and the tongue of the speechless will sing. Waters will spring up in the desert, and streams in the wilderness. The burning sand will become a pool, and the thirsty ground, fountains of water. The jackals’ habitat, a pasture; grass will become reeds and rushes.” – Isaiah 35:5-7

              This passage is an amazing reminder that God offers amazing blessings to us, which are very challenging for us to see and acknowledge, especially in the business of veterinary school. It’s easy to see the huge miracles like the blind gaining their site, cancer being cured, or the deaf hearing once again. It is much harder to see the smaller miracles of a friend or vet med sibling offering a small present in our mailbox at the exact moment we need some encouragement, or even an unexpected face smiling at you in the grocery store. God touches our lives in wonderful ways each day. So, in moments where we are feeling particularly overwhelmed with studying, let us refocus on God and remember that He has a plan that we can only see a small glimpse of. That we are made to be here, and we can do all things with Him leading our lives.

Image result for inspiring memes about blessings with animals

  • Faith


“Will you come and follow me if I but call your name?

Will you go where you don’t know and never be the same?

Will you let my love be shown? Will you let my name be known?

Will you let my life be grown in you and you in me?”

          “The Summons Song” John L. Bell and Graham Maule (1987)

     We have all been called by God to some aspect of veterinary medicine, and we have all answered that call. Some of us are new to vet school and still trying to figure out how everything works, while some have been on clinical rotations for months and are ready for the school year to end and hold that DVM in their hands, while others still are in whatever realm of practice they have been called to. But this is not where this calling ends. Every day God is asking us to follow Him, and to show His love in every aspect of our lives. God continues to call us to Him in every single moment – from listening to your least favorite teacher ramble about something you understand, to the stress of studying for the NAVLE or Boards, and even when that angry client or co-worker has chosen you to be the center of their anger today. These situations are hard, but they are times that God is calling out to you to show your trust in Him to guide you through it all and let His undying love show in the world.

     So, the question is this: How will you answer this call? Will you choose to say “yes”? (Okay, I know that’s two questions, but the second is a follow-up =)). Vet school is hard. Being a practicing veterinarian is hard. Working in the lab is hard. Friendships and working with others is hard. LIFE is hard. But We have the answer to get through it all if we just trust that He knows what he is doing. So, follow Him. Take that less-traveled path. Let His love shine through you and let the world know that it is because of Him. Trust Him. Doing these are how the Lord will grow in you, just as you grow in Him.

Much love. Faith