Sunday, 08 November 2015 19:42

Matt Phillips, M.D., OB/GYN and Associates

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RRJ:  You were told the good news of the Scriptures all of your life by godly parents and teachers, but has God’s love and grace always been your primary motivation in life?

My relationship with Jesus began, as all relationships begin, with an introduction. God used so many people in my life to show me Jesus and to introduce me to the only One who can give meaning and purpose in life. Early in my relationship with God I spent my time checking off the boxes of do´s and don’ts of being a Christian, all the while trying to fit into the world.

In college I was faced with new temptations and struggles as I straddled the fence between being a real Christian and living for myself. After almost two years of failed attempts in my own power to live for Christ, God convicted me of my pride and love of the world. I think it was in that time of conviction that I first began to understand grace. For the first time I knew that I needed God’s grace to cover my sin. Now this relationship that began with an introduction has become an increasingly intimate relationship with a God who truly loves me, even in my continuing struggle with sin. The thing about grace is that we spend the rest of our lives realizing how amazing it really is!


RRJ:  As an OB/GYN doctor, you have a front row seat to seeing God’s miraculous work of creating a new life. What drew you to this field?

 

Matt:   Actually, my original plan was to be an Orthopedic surgeon. From age 13 when I watched my Dad perform an arthroscopy, it was my dream. Orthopedic surgery residency positions are highly competitive and I did not get in. That was, at that point in my life, my greatest disappointment. I went into a one year internship in trauma surgery after graduation from medical school, with plans to reapply to orthopedics. During this year my wife, Camille, and I had our first son. My wife’s doctor was a strong Christian and lived out his faith in a beautiful way in his practice. After praying about it, and at my wife’s recommendation, I decided to become an OB/GYN. Now, as I look back on the 20 years since I graduated from medical school, that “closed door” or failure was one of the great blessings of my life! In that trial I learned to trust God while waiting on Him. Finally, I learned that His plans are better than my plans and His ways are higher than my ways. I was encouraged with Jeremiah 29:11-13 which says, “I know the plans I have for you” declares the Lord. “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you call upon me and pray to me and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek for me with all your heart.”

 

RRJ:  As glorious an occasion that giving birth can be, in your position you also serve mothers in some hard situations. How does your faith give you strength and assist you in serving your patients in these times?

 

Matt:   One of the great privileges I have in my life is that couples invite me to both the happiest and saddest moments in their lives. I laugh and cry all day! Sometimes I am asked to deliver a healthy baby in Room 3 and then move to Room 4 where a couple is grieving over a stillborn. It is the most emotional of all medical specialities. For me personally, knowing that God is the author of life is one of my greatest comforts. He is sovereign. If I thought I was the “author of life” the weight would be too heavy to bear. My faith in Jesus and His work in me allows me to love people with His love. The first fruit of the spirit according to Galatians 5:22 is love. As long as I get out of God’s way, He is able to love and comfort patients through me, and I can point them to Christ in happy or sad circumstances.

 

RRJ:  Besides your work at OB/GYN Associates of Montgomery, you serve as the Medical Director for several area pregnancy centers and are on the cusp of bringing something new and unique to our area. Can you tell our readers about that?

 

Matt:   My job puts me in a unique position to stand up for life. For the past 11 years I have had the privilege of volunteering as a medical director for three crisis pregnancy centers where women can have a free ultrasound in a compassionate, gracious setting so they might make a truly informed choice. Over 90% of women planning to have an abortion will change their minds if they see their baby on ultrasound. These women are then presented with the gospel and many come to Christ and are discipled for the rest of the pregnancy.

Adoption services are offered. Post abortion counseling through “Forgiven and Set Free” classes are offered, and many finally receive forgiveness and healing. We are excited about a new ministry coming to the River Region called “Life on Wheels,” which will take an ultrasound and rolling clinic to abortion vulnerable women. It will be a 31-foot Class C RV that is OHHSA and HIPPA approved, equipped with a large screen ultrasound so women can see the truth. We will be able to take this rolling clinic near the abortion clinic and anywhere that might reach women in crisis. I have read that in cities where this is being done, 89.1% of women who already have an abortion planned that day will change their mind if they just board the RV! We will work in conjunction with the existing crisis pregnancy centers locally and refer these women who decide to parent back to the centers for discipleship and counseling. Our fundraising gala is planned for February 5, 2016 at Frazer United Methodist Church and an example of the RV will be at the church for viewing.

 

RRJ:  Living out one’s Christian beliefs beyond the church walls can be a struggle for many. What are some things you do to press on in the faith and make Christ known?

 

Matt:   When God saved me I became a soldier in the army of the Lord. It is most helpful for me to think in these military terms. In fact this is the language that Paul used over and over as he admonished us to stand firm with the full armor of God. My adversary is the Devil and he hates me, plain and simple. So, if I plan to be a decent soldier I must dress for battle, train with my weapons and persevere in battle. No soldier would ever run into the field of battle naked without his weapon! So many times that is what we do when we get up and run out of the house without getting prayed up and equipped in the word of God.

In medical school, when stress was at an all time high, I began memorizing Scripture. This dramatically changed everything! God has also used other men in my life to help me fight well. We have a men’s Bible study that has been meeting for over 15 years on Tuesday mornings. We pray for each other and hold each other accountable. We have locked arms that we might finish well. The word says, “As iron sharpens iron so one man sharpens another.” My hope is that the Holy Spirit will finish what he has started in me.

 

Dr. Matt Phillips is married to Camille and they have four children.

Last modified on Monday, 09 November 2015 16:53
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