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Reflecting Christ in the Match

Adrien Charles-Marcel


Applying for a residency position through the Match is a daunting task. So many voices urge you to make the best decisions for yourself to make sure you "get in" to a program. But could a random process like the Match be an opportunity to reflect Christ? Come hear about how God used a challenging residency application season to glorify His name, through the Match.


Adrien Charles-Marcel is grateful to be a Loma Linda trained dentist. His burning desire is that one day soon, all his training will make him a more effective missionary in the place where God sends him.



  • November 2, 2019
    9:30 AM


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Father in heaven thank you so much for your goodness and for your grace and for giving us the opportunity to be called Neighbors with you we don't deserve this and we are insufficient for the task but I pray Lord that through your Holy Spirit you would empower us to be reflective of you to be the people you've called us to be and to faithfully carry out your work and help to hasten your coming I pray this morning as I share this story that you would speak through me and that is being encouraged meant to somebody and that you would help us too. Be more committed to your work and we pray. So all in Knoxville facial surgery is a specialty of dentistry that is a little bit more like medicine especially when you're in residency. We admit patients to the hospital we take them to the operating room take care of them as they recover as well as run in patient consulting service for the hospital both covering Adama genic infections which is any type of infection that arises from the teeth which can include small abscesses inside the mouth large absence in the neck and face in the head as well as covering maxillofacial trauma which is basically any trauma that occurs to the face all the way up to the scalp so it's a wide departure from general dentistry and nobody in Gent and dental school will teach you how to put in an energy to plead electrolytes how to stitch somebodies ear back on or anything like that so needless to say it's it's a huge jump to go from being a dental student to being an office as it is known for short in turn. However there's something that stands in the way between most would be applicants who are a mix of facial surgery and actually getting into a specialty and that thing is known as the c.b.s. the it's called the Comprehensive basic science examination it's basically a shortened version of step one for medicine covering all the same topics and it would be pretty accurate to say that it strikes fear in the hearts of most people that think of applying to the facial surgery because you have to study and master many topics that you don't learn in dental school. And. Despite the fact that that stands in the way even if you do take the exam many people who don't get the score that they want on that exam and repeating multiple years after dental school of non categorical internships which is basically one your programs where you're doing or a mix of facial surgery as a resident but you're not in a track that leads to a certification to search if it and so many people will end up doing one or 2 or 3 of these years before they finally match. So this is the world that I stepped into 2 years ago as a slightly naive 4th year dental student I took to c.b.s. the for the 1st time only with only 3 months of preparation during a very busy time of dental school where it didn't make sense to study for and take that exam and then my my score reflected that fact. Then and even the story of how I ended up deciding on x. officials or that's that's the story for another day but needless to say I didn't see that as something that I thought God would be calling me into until late in the game so half way through or partway through my 4th year dental school. Then about a week before graduation I ended up getting accepted into one of these one year non categorical internships which was a wonderful blessing but it was also not the best time either because that didn't make for a very smooth transition from dental school straight into into internship and so when I started my internship in July of 28 teen I had a plan in mind I had graduate from the university I had a mission minded outside and I wanted to go back to that institution for my training but I was also open to open to applying to multiple different residencies there's about 60 something of them across the country so I was open to find a different place and seeing what might be out there but I was so intent on wanted to go back to my alma mater that before I even started my internship I scheduled a week long of shadowing back in California in the department as a way of increasing my chances of matching there and for those who aren't familiar I assume most people in this room are familiar with how a match works but basically a match is when you're applying for a position you interview in multiple different places if they give you an interview and then at the end of that season of interviews you have to submit a list. Of your ranking of where you'd like to go 1st and then each program that you've interviewed out also submit their own list of who they want to possibly match into their program and then a computer puts those 2 things together and if there's a match then you go to that program. It's a little bit nerve racking to say the least so when I say so when I started back to July of 2018 I started my internship my plan was to stay for the c.v.s. the again bump up my score get a more competitive score applied to I was thinking about 4 or 5 well selected programs that fit my interests and then see what happens now most people were saying you should apply to 30 or 40 programs so my my perspective was a little bit different from most so I started the internship it was very demanding I was living about 30 minutes away from there so I was commuting back and forth every day and the work days were at least 12 hours or more so I didn't leave too much time for studying and I realized quickly that this was not going to be as easy as I had hoped. Well c.b.s. is offered only twice a year and so that year was offered in August so I did the best that I could save for the exam took the exam and when I got married salt was exactly the same score that I got in the 1st time. Which was discouraging. Pretty discouraging because that score was not a competitive score it was not. Anywhere close to what you would want if you were trying to match into a. Competitive program especially one that there's 2 different types of programs there's 4 year program 6 year programs and at the time Melinda was only offering the 6 year program and those tend to be a little bit more competitive to get into so when I got my score I didn't quite know what to think and I was pretty discouraged I remember texting one of my mentors sitting right here in the front Carlos and I said hey I got this score and it's exactly the same score that I got the 1st time and every told me don't let that get you down keep working hard and if you match you match if you don't match then you just have a decision to make at the end of the year and I like that perspective and so I kept working hard. When my 4 to 5. Idea of a find 4 or 5 different programs got whittled down to 2 and I realized that my chances of matching anywhere were pretty slim and so I didn't want to spend a lot of money on going to interview places where 1st I may not even get an interview and 2nd of all I didn't have a good chance of matching and I so I applied to these 2 programs and waited. And waited and it turns out that I found out that the my 2nd choice they offered me an interview which was great but it was going to be the exact same week that I was going to be gone shadowing out in California and that was a little bit unexpected because that means that if I forgo that interview then I only have one potential interview and at that point I didn't even have an interview. So I had to decide do I go with what is sure that I'll always have an interview here at this place that was not my 1st choice or the potential of getting an interview. At this other place I decided to go with the potential and. They graciously said they would reschedule my interview at my 2nd choice and that was nice of them and I continued to wait hoping all this time that I would get an interview invitation because you can't match into a program you don't interview. Well as it turns out time went on and it was the week before I was going to be going out to California for shadowing everyone else that I knew of that head of Clyde to that program had already gotten an interview invitation and so at that point I realized I'm probably not going to get an interview. But I'm still going to go and what does this all mean. Interestingly at that same time I was also preparing a sermon to preach that weekend and it was in the middle of October and so it was a fitting time to be thinking about the great disappointment and the topic that I felt led to. And I thought I didn't mean it that way. But it was a good time to think about what had happened in 844. And to reflect on. On what the believers went through at that time as they were preparing for this coming and how they had to sacrifice everything that they wanted and they all their plans for the prospect of Christ's return. And as I was preparing the sermon it was challenging me deeply because I realized that I was also being called to think about why am I doing what I'm doing why do I feel led to do or last official surgery anyway it was because of the call of the mission field and the needs to exist in the world that I felt God might be giving me the opportunity to help fill. And I had to put in perspective what's the most important thing is Christ and His coming the most important thing or my getting to do exactly what I want to do. While I got to California I preach the sermon it was the hardest sermon I've read or I have ever preached. And started the week and I didn't know what was going to come out of that week a I was there I found out the interviews were going to be exactly the week after my being there and that was totally unplanned by me and. I just put it in God's hands. As the week progressed through more convoluted ways than would be able for me to explain right now. Person after person. Found out about my situation and went behind the scenes and did things so that I got an opportunity to be considered for an interview and this was Thursday of that week and interviews were Monday and. There was one thing that was standing in the way that my my as I found out my score on this exam had been one point lower than the minimum required so it was and this is one point lower than the minimum not than the recommended so this was not a situation where it was even high chances that I would add that I have a chance. But they were willing to consider my application so they forwarded on to the people who had to make the final decision as to whether that apply to whether they would accept my application or not and lo and behold that Friday morning I got a call saying you have flirtation was accepted you'll get an interview which was amazing but that was not the end of the story. Interviews happened 6 interviews in total. For that one spot and there were 12 of us that interview that day or those 2 days and I was fully cognizant of the fact that I was the least qualified to be there because I was the one that was at on the last. But again it was hard to deny the fact that God had worked in in an unexplainable way that I was even there interviewing. Interviews went well thank the Lord and then began the 3 month wait I returned back to to work on the other side of the country and of course people had questions and people had their own recommendations I remember somebody told me that if I only applied to where I had applied to that I was crazy because the chances of my matching were very slim and it didn't make any logical sense to do what I was doing. Many people said you know it's better to match into anywhere than not to match but that's not quite how I felt I I felt convicted and and just led to to do what I had done and to approach of the way out approached it and so 3 months went by. A difficult 3 months but yet also a and expectant 3 months as I was waiting to see what God would do and during that time. I would love to say that I was full of faith and confident that God was going to work out things for His glory and in the best way but there were many times that I doubted and worried about what was going to happen. But on the outside I tried to show that I was that I was trusting God and I was working in a secular setting that year. Not many actually almost no other practicing Christians around me in my work and. People saw what was going on they obviously could see that I wasn't going to many interviews like everyone else was and. Of course like I said people people had their opinions one person in a position of authority told me it would take a miracle for you to match this year. And I agreed it would take a miracle. Well matched they came around. January I think it was John or 28 this year and that morning went to work early like usual and. There were 4 of us that were there were applying to residency positions that year and I remember I texted my colleagues and said hey would you guys be open to having a pretty good this morning again this is a secular setting everyone was willing and so we met that morning in the hospital chapel and the air was tense of course there was the expectancy that within one to 2 hours we would be finding out either Wonderful news or devastating news. And I remember everyone kind of turned to me since I was the one who had suggested that we pray and we prayed and I prayed that morning that God would be with us despite whatever happened. And left it in his hands. Well when an hour later. Something popped up in my e-mail and I was almost afraid to open it and. All the anticipation of what was going to happen. When I opened it it said Congratulations you have matched and the the miracle of that was not only. That I had matched I had matched into a program that was way beyond what I thought it was capable of happening and during that day because everybody had known that I shouldn't have matched I had full license to give glory to God Whenever people say congratulations I could say this is a miracle thank God this happened and I remember a couple of people one person who who had. Told me in no uncertain terms that I was not with it before when I told them rather when they saw me they say congratulations I heard you match so I said well I believe God did Americal for me to match and their response was somewhat surprising because this was not somebody that I would thought would have had faith they said I believe in miracles. And it was an opportunity to show the power of God through a difficult time and I don't even know all that has has come out of that and will continue to come out of that in the lives of those people that were watching but I know that in my life it was a reminder that God has a point and even when I might not see that plan. And this morning as we think about what it means for Christ to be and I want to appeal to you term member that Christ being a nice is not always just for our benefit but that it's for the benefit of those around us and sometimes when we're going through circumstances that we don't understand God has a reason beyond it I reminded of what it says in the Book of Job Chapter 1000 verse 23 job was going through the worst time of his life and he said all of that my words were now written oh that they were printed in a book he had no idea that his words were going to be an inspiration for millions of the unfallen world and of us human beings who go through similar situations so this morning I just want to encourage you that as we think about what it means for Christ to be honest let's remember the broad perspective that God has a plan for us despite whatever it is May that we may be going through and that his plan includes not only blessing us but also blessing those around us and inspiring them to have faith in him is law this media was brought to you by audio verse a website dedicated to spreading God's word through sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse if you would like this more service. 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