WHEN DEVIATIONS LEAD TO DESTINY
There is not a specific moment Rachel can look back to and pinpoint the moment she came to know Jesus. Her faith was simply there, an ever present anchor that she could turn to from even her earliest days. She grew up in a Christian home, and as a little girl she thought she’d wind up on the mission field or as a teacher like her parents, and set out to work towards those goals. She learned that the best opportunity for missions is to be a doctor of some kind so Rachel began planning her life accordingly - going pre-med at Milligan College.
During those years of college, a mentor challenged Rachel to spend the time before she went overseas to begin working with marginalized people where she was now. She took the challenge and immersed herself in the community around her, teaching ESL classes and serving to meet local needs. She began to realize that her mission field didn’t have to be overseas, her mission field was al around her. It was also during this time that things began to shift and change in her personal life.
Rachel and Joe, her high school sweetheart, had been together for several years. When she chose to pursue her degree at Milligan in East Tennessee, she wants to to it alone. She wanted to be untied. Joe chose to pursue ministry at Johnson Bible College, and while they tried to make things work at first, they ultimately decided to take some time apart the Spring semester of their Freshman year. It was a difficult but growing time, and after lots of prayer and consideration, they decided that their ministry was better together than it was apart, so they decided to jump and be all-in. They were married their Senior year of college, and by making that choice, they were able to minister to people in a way that would not have been possible otherwise. They became the safe place to spend time among friends.
After college, Rachel began Medical school, and shortly into her first semester found out that her and Joe were expecting their first child. While it was not the plan, they made it work and found their groove. They made the choice during this time that Joe would stay home so that Rachel could continue to pursue her dream. It wound up being the most fruitful choice they could have made. That doesn’t mean it was without difficulties, though. During the trying times, a mentor of Rachel’s who was a Pediatrician and a mom told her that she may not get all the time she wants with her kids with this job, BUT that she has the opportunity to make the pockets of time the sweetest she can.
Things only got more difficult during her Residency when they got pregnant with their second child. It was during this season that Rachel experienced what looking back was the darkest time in her life. She was working more hours than humanly possible, with 2 babies at home and just reached the point of physical and mental exhaustion. She had these fleeting moments where she felt it would be easier just to end it, and in those times she came to her husband, her rock, and shared her burden. He enlisted the prayers and the love of the church they had established, and they truly saved her life during that time.
After her Residency it was time to choose a field to go into, Rachel chose OB-GYN. She tried not to love it at first, but she just did. When she sat down and thought through the other options, there was nothing else that brought her that spirit-filled joy, that was it. Through this choice she gets to sit with people during their best and sometimes their hardest moments. She gets to counsel people and hear different thoughts and ideas and witness different cultures every day. Her job requires her to feel so many things - highs and lows and joy and pain. Rachel believes though, that this life isn’t worth living if we aren’t really feelings things. So feel it all, the biggest laughs and the deepest hurts. All of it.