By Christiana Chambers
Science and faith. These are two concepts that many people assume to oppose each other. Evolutionism versus creationism, technologies versus miracles, the calculated versus the immeasurable. It does seem that the two are severely clashing, however, I have come to find that in healthcare, science, and faith fit together in perfect harmony. I am currently a Health Sciences major here at DePaul and will have completed three years of undergraduate study come this June. I can now confidently say that it was my love of science and desire to help those in need that first piqued my interest in the health field, but it is my faith that has kept me here.
From grade school throughout high school, I had always found science to be the most interesting of all the subjects. I loved learning about all the intricate workings of our world, especially through biology. Through the study of life on Earth, one is able to see the beauty of life itself and truly appreciate the brilliance of God’s creation. At the same time, I also found the most joy in caring for and helping others. I did everything from volunteering as a tutor and altar server to simply lend a listening ear or a warm smile. Sometimes, it is just the little things, like a smile, that can make someone’s day. Back then, I used to live by the saying, “if you are happy, then I am happy.” Upon graduating high school, I had prepared a step by step plan for my undergraduate years and beyond. I would go to DePaul, become apart of their science honors program, graduate in three years, and be on my way to graduate school and the rest of my successful working life. But, per usual, things never fully go according to plan.
My first quarter at DePaul was wonderful. I was finally enjoying the freedom of being away from home, had made new friends, and was doing well in my classes. However, winter quarter of 2017 was disastrous for me. I was taking the second sequence in the general chemistry course and was all but failing. This not only took a toll academically, but also mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I had never before experienced such strong feelings of stress, anxiety, and despair. I felt isolated from my fellow classmates and ashamed at the fact that I was doing so poorly. I began doubting myself and fearing for my future. I was questioning, “Could I really make it through seven-plus more years of this? Was I enough?” I wandered into my sophomore year both weary and lost.
I started praying, asking God to lead the way and to bless me with the courage to follow it. I remember two particular homilies that year that truly resonated with me. The main message of the first one was to “just say ‘yes.’” The second message said to “love the mystery.” It was after these two encounters that I felt the most clarity. I realized that everyone has times of doubt and is fearful of the unknown. However, it is through faith that one is able to overcome this and persevere with courage. My plans had not worked out the way I had wanted them to, but I realize now that God planned everything to work the way I needed it to. I learned to say yes to and embrace God’s plan rather than my own and found excitement in the mystery of my future. I was able to rediscover my love of science and was reminded of the joy that comes from serving others. I started volunteering again at a soup kitchen, at an elementary school, and at a hospital.
From my encounters at these places, I realized that people are not only in need of physical or emotional healing, but spiritual as well. Going forward, I hope to unite both science and faith in the medical field and exemplify how the wonders of science embody the miraculous workings of God. Lastly, to anyone that has any experience similar to mine, with a smile, I encourage you to keep the faith.