Mika Maeshiro is an aspiring doctor who recently took part in her first medical mission. This week, on Dreaming Made Simple, Mika shares about responding to the unexpected, dealing with doubts and the importance of encouragement in your dream pursuit.
Dreaming Made Simple: What’s your professional dream? How did your dream originate?
Mika Maeshiro: I realized at age 16 I wanted to be a doctor and do medical missions. I wanted to take medical skills into places where they don’t have a lot of access to medical care. I was looking for direction from God about what to do with my life. One of my leaders was talking about how missions are about meeting people’s practical needs before we try to meet their spiritual needs. Something about that really hit me. More than anything I want to serve people. God encouraged me about being a doctor and doing medical missions. That scared me because as a kid, I resolved in myself that I wasn’t going to be a doctor or a missionary because those things are too hard. When I got that idea, I was like, ‘What the heck?’ It’s been a pretty interesting journey since then.
It was something that grabbed my heart in a way that I wasn’t really expecting. At the time, I didn’t really like science, and being a doctor sounded so intense and daunting. I had one year of high school to do, so throughout that year, I was trying to figure out what it looks like to pursue being a doctor and doing missions. I started off not even liking science. Now I am the biggest biology nerd that anybody knows. It’s so much fun to see how God has molded and grown me in that.
Dreaming Made Simple: What has been the biggest challenge to realizing your dream?
Mika Maeshiro: For me, it’s the lie that I’m not good enough, that I’m not smart enough or don’t have what it takes or that I’m not going to live up to the standards of what it’s supposed to take to become a doctor. That one has gnawed at me since the get go.
God has reassured me that the reason why things seem so hard now is that I’m actually breaking through things that I need to be a champion in the future. I’m doing things now to set me up for later.
Dreaming Made Simple: What advice do you have for others in pursuit of their dreams?
I wouldn’t have even made it this far if I didn’t have people around me pushing me on, cheering me on, saying, ‘Go, you can do this...'
I just got back from my first medical mission to Africa. Coming home, it’s like, ‘OK, this is something I’ve been dreaming about since I was 16 years old. A small glimpse of it just happened. Now what do I do?’
I want to keep pursuing that, but also I need a new dream. I need something else to drive me forward. It’s not because my dream to do medical missions is fulfilled but because it needs to grow and get bigger. It’s really amazing but also important that we be able to expand our dreams and go after new dreams… Let your dream be fluid. Hold it with an open hand.