Last October, I found that unbeknownst to me, I was in the running for a free trip to Hawaii with Young Living. At the time, I didn’t even know what the rules to the contest were. I was just doing my thing—teaching people about more natural, safer options for their health related issues. By day, when I wasn’t working on my book, I studied a lot—relearning much of what I had been taught in medical school about health—retraining myself that there was much more to this life than sickness and pharmaceuticals. It was one of the most eye opening seasons of my life and I think I learned more in those months than I learned in any stretch of months in medical school. Epiphanies can be painful, whether your finally see yourself differently or the world around you.
(After you read about what this amazing sister and I have been through together, you’ll understand how precious it was to be able to take her to Hawaii with me.)
By night, I taught sometimes 10-12 classes a month, watching people find help and healing almost right before my eyes—without drugs or hospitals and often in the simplest ways. I was mostly listening a lot and offering suggestions when I felt like I had answers. Without doing very much to grow my business, my business grew, a lot. When I found out about the contest, I didn’t do anything different. I just kept my nose to the grind, offering my gifts and expertise where I could. And I found out in January that I won a free trip the big island. It was amazing and I am so thankful. I took my sister and our oldest daughters and the whole thing was dreamy.
But the best gift has been this—I’m doing exactly what I was made to do.
I wondered several years ago when I gave up my medical practice if I’d ever be able to use those gifts again, in the way that I wanted to, in a way that made sense to me and was congruent with my beliefs and passions. And now I can. Plus, along the way I’ve been able to submit to the fact that God made me a writer and no matter how hard it is sometimes to tell the truth—to NOT write is to squander the gifts He’s given.
Now, you might be tempted to say that those years of writing in journals or those endless hours of medical training were wasted, but I don’t think they were. What might be disheartening to some (and me if I’m honest) is that it took me 45 years and a lot of twists and turns along the road to find my sweet spot, my calling—the place where my passion meets the world’s need. But nothing has been wasted in getting me here. I made a million mistakes, sure. But I wouldn’t change a thing, not even the awful and devastating parts.
The point is this—when you do your work, when you submit to what you were placed here to do, giving away those gifts that only you can give, God will take care of the rest. Sometimes that looks like a wonderful trip to Hawaii and sometimes it looks like giving up your dream job. Either way, he’ll use it all to mold you into the servant He wants you to be.
Your best offerings come from a place of humility and growth and more often than not, pain.
I reread The War of Art while I was gone and I’ll leave you with this amazing passage:
Are you a born writer? Were you put on earth to be a painter, a scientist, an apostle of peace? In the end, the question can only be answered by action.
Do it or don’t do it.
It may help to think of this way. If you were meant to cure cancer or write a symphony or crack cold fusion and you don’t do it, you not only hurt yourself. You hurt your children. You hurt me. You hurt the planet.
You shame the angels who watch over you and you spite the Almighty, who created you and only you with your unique gifts, for the sole purpose of nudging the human race one millimeter farther along its path back to God.
Creative work is not a selfish act or a bid for attention on the part of the actor. It’s a gift to the world and every being in it. Don’t cheat of your contribution. Give us what you’ve got. (Steven Pressfield)
What were you put here to do and what has gotten in the way of you doing it? I’d love to know and I’d love to encourage you to take the smallest steps toward starting.
On that note, I’ll be speaking next Friday, May 20st at my sister’s church in Maryville, my home town. I’ll be sharing parts of my story and the one sentence that will make every relationship in your life better. I’d love to see you there! Text a girlfriend and make a date for a night of food and fun and fellowship! I’m trying to convince the powers that be that they should have some lip syncing too, because, well, I’ve pretty much mastered NO! by Meghan Trainor.
You can get tickets here!