2021 in short — Our faith grew, what a year!

2021 has been a year like no other!

Personally, I have not ever experienced a year which has produced such a wide range of emotions through the events that have occurred this year.

For both good and bad, we as a family have truly lived this year.

4 comments
Photo by OC Gonzalez on Unsplash

2021 has been a year like no other. 

Personally, I have not ever experienced a year that has produced such a wide range of emotions through the events that have occurred this year.

For both good and bad, we as a family have truly lived this year.

From the depths of pain and grief that we felt after leaving our Church which we had been members for nearly ten years, to the joy and hope of finding a new place to worship and call our new spiritual home — the rich simplicity of the Gospel made real in our lives again.

To the dread and doom that I experienced after making a significant clinical mistake at work, my first, to the elation we felt as a team after we made history in our region and Health Service by bringing an extremely sick patient home to die on Menang soil. 

From struggling with my conscience and calling and teetering on the edge of quitting due to Voluntary Assisted Dying becoming legal in Western Australia, to the giddy heights and accolades I received for winning a national award for the work I love.

From feeling crushed and excluded by people I trusted and called friends, to realising my specialness, growing up and understanding my value in this world.

And finally committing myself to be a writer and then having my next article about Palliative Care go viral, be translated into Spanish and having my doctor-writer-idol from afar comment on it! 

Surreal.

This year has been a truly stunning and special year, one filled with significant experiences of pain, joy, fear, disgust, sadness, anticipation and surprise!

But isn’t that what living fully is? 

Experiencing the full range of human emotion through being tested, tried and tickled by the events in our lives.

I’d rather have a handful of incredible stories to tell than 365 of the same boring day repeated over and over again.

Despite the pain and the lows, all of which were necessary, 2021 has been a year in which our faith grew and we experienced the love and grace of God.

This is a short poetic reflection of 2021.

Also, I bought a red electric car.

Photo by frank mckenna on Unsplash

In 2021 our faith grew.

Church, was challenging. 

I stood in wisdom and I stood for accountability and transparency. We then stood up and left.

Our faith grew.

Voluntary assisted dying became part of medicine, a confronting aspect of end of life care.

It tested my faith and I questioned my calling. 

But God, he never let me go. His grace was sufficient, his love palpable.

I knew that I needed to stay.

My faith grew.

We experienced the bareness of no spiritual home. 

Sundays of listless wandering, pervasive sadness and grief from leaving our Church.

But one Saturday out of the blue we were invited to a play at a new Church and that day we found a new place of worship.

It was the start of the healing, letting go and a new level of life.

Our faith grew.

I made a significant mistake at work that caught me off-guard. I was human after all.

The wisest decision to make is always the honest one.  And I made one.

Integrity is everything and God was with me. I was okay. It was all okay.

My faith grew.

I left a sure thing, a stable speciality four a half years ago for calling God had placed on my heart. 

There was no money at first, but then there was. 

There was no job after the funding, but then there was. And now my job stands as a model for all positions in Palliative Care in Western Australia Country Health Service.

My faith grew.

I grieved the loss of my church and anger and sadness was never far.

But each morning God stilled my heart and slowly it got better. 

Until early one morning running along Cable Beach, I let it all go. 

I am an honoured failure and a forgiven sinner.

Who am I to judge others to live in perfection when I am forgiven a million times over?

The power of the Gospel. The excitement of the Good News! We are saved by faith, nothing more and nothing less!

My faith grew.

We did something that had never been done before in our health system.

It happened because we asked and we acted because we could. 

Three agencies working together to pioneer in medicine.

Immediate action has twice the impact

Bis dat qui cito dat

“he gives twice who gives promptly”

“Never walk away from someone who deserves help;
 your hand is God’s hand for that person

Don’t tell your neighbour “Maybe some other time” 
 or “Try me tomorrow”
 when the money’s right there in your pocket. 
 
Proverbs 3:27 (Message)

I learnt that the pinnacle of medicine is practised anywhere passion, talent and immediate action are taken for the greater good.

“I prayed for twenty years but received no answer until I prayed with my legs”

Frederick Douglass (Abolitionist, author, & runaway slave on taking action – James Clear Newsletter)

My faith grew.

The day that I decided to stay and not leave Palliative Care, I found out that I won an award. 

A national award. It was a big deal.

I’d been struggling under the weight of working with Voluntary Assisted Dying, more than I thought I would. 

But I made a decision to stay because this was where God wanted me.

He’d opened impossible doors and blessed me with opporunity.

I am Dr Jonathan Ramachenderan, a Christian Palliative Care doctor.

I live and work to show Christ in all that I say, do and am.

My faith grew.

As I ran 10km along Cable Beach each day on holiday, God said to me — “write, and I will care of the rest”.

I stopped worrying about writing a book and made a commitment to publish my best ideas and be a writer.

My next post was read by many and translated into Spanish!

My faith grew.

I learnt what it meant to lose something and someone whom you loved.

I learnt what it meant to grieve.

My suffering threatened to destabilise me.

I clung on to God with dear life. 

There was hope.

My faith grew and yours will too.

Photo by Ferdinand Stöhr on Unsplash

An encouragement for 2022

The story that God is writing is not over, it never is.

And yours is not over too.

God prepares and shapes us by uses the twists and turmoil, the ups and downs, our failures and sin to become his vessels of grace.

Place God at the centre of all that you do.

Live in the gospel moment — in the grace that is freely given by faith.

For the gospel is power. It is living for God’s eyes only.

Run along the straight and narrow road and walk if you need to.

Give thanks each day for your shelter, provision, family, protection & health.

Be beautiful boring and elegantly simple.

Embrace your specialness because you are a uniquely created masterpiece.

Have faith in life’s possible impossibilities.

Suffering brings clarity and hope lies next to every challenge.

Faith grows. But only when you recline and dive into it.

God bless you in 2022 and may your faith grow.

Thank you. 

Dr. Jonathan Ramachenderan
@thehealthygp

Live intentionally.
Love relentlessly.
Enjoy you health.

4 comments on “2021 in short — Our faith grew, what a year!”

  1. I wish you peace and good will for the New Year thank you for sharing all your inspirational writings. God bless you and your family and team in 2022.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Robyn! So good to hear from you! I do hope you are doing well. I am going to be sharing more inspirational writings in 2022 too!

      Like

  2. 2021 has definitely been a challenging but blessed year! So much of what you wrote resonated with me personally. Thank you Jonathon for putting it so beautifully and putting it into the right perspective! May God bless you, and all of us, as we give our patients and their families our best care in our small corner of the world in 2022. Heb 10:23

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Ingrid! You know how I love to think about things (a little bit too much) and write about them! But thank you. I’m learning that as I write, people do see their stories in mine too. I’ve got a few things planned for the blog in 2022 to help it hopefully reach more people!

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s