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Dear Gramps,

Getting divorce and being LDS is such an oxymoron. I have been facing my biggest fear…being divorced while having children. It’s been a growing trial. I find myself breaking down with fellings of failure and being unable to recieve inspiration or peace on any matter. I am so torn on the future. Forgive me if this sounds meladramatic but I still have feelings for my former spouse and I will not remarry feeling this way. It has been my dream to finish my degree and attend medical school to become a doctor(it’s not a vain ambition). But I have three girls that I love very much that I want to be a part of they’re lives(she has physical custody), yet if I don’t follow my dreams, my example will suffer. What is a father to do? I have so much I need to do with so little time & finances? Forgive me for sounding lost but I really feel that way when I want to be so strong and have the right answers.

Mike

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Dear Mike,

Divorce is tragic. Moreover, it’s a nasty, messy business. You have my condolences.

Your seeming inability to feel the Spirit is probably a result of the turmoil in your life. You need the Spirit to navigate the rough waters you find yourself in. Fast, pray, and go to the temple if you can. Lay your problems before your Father in heaven.

Pre med school mormonIf you list out your priorities and then follow them, you won’t go wrong. We as Priesthood holders are taught that our highest priority (after God) is our family. In your case, that now means your daughters. What course of action can you take that will be of most benefit to them? Will going to medical school help them most in the long run? If so, then your course is clear. If not, then you need to have the courage to recognize and acknowledge that fact, and then have the integrity to plan another course.

Be careful. I have known many people who justify doing whatever they want to do by saying, in effect, “If mamma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” Their justification is that they need to live their own dreams in order to help their children. This is patently false, but is a powerful deception for many. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that medical school is the only way you can be happy, and therefore you have to try for medical school regardless of the cost. Put the welfare of those beautiful daughters ahead of any ambitions you have, and work for their best benefit.

You mention that you still have feelings for your ex-wife. This is to be expected; she is the mother of your daughters and has been the most important person in your life for some time. But the relationship between you is gone. Mourn it as you need to, but move past it when the time is right. Don’t rush into getting involved with someone else. Give yourself time to heal from this shock.

If in the end you do decide to try for medical school, there are many resources available to help you in that quest. Gramps suggests that you start with OldPremeds (site for nontraditional premed hopefuls), MomMD (specifically for women, but lots of good info for everyone), and of course the (in)famous Student Doctor Network. God bless you in your efforts as a father and in moving forward in your life.

-Gramps

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