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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.
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(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.

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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:

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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.

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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!

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18 comments on “When You Do What You Were Made To Do”

    • THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! At 42 I’m STILL trying to find my “Sweet Spot” . As my eye sight makes many tbings harder to see w/o my readers, my age makes the rapidly falling sand in the hourglass hard not to see. This was beyond ENCOURAGING

  1. You’re just the most beautiful thing!!! Maryville is a showboat of a name! So often your words are like a hug and chin lift and wash relief right over me but no good mama only gives just the lovin’s sometimes we need a loving kick in the pants!! My Hiney thanks you for this one!

  2. Oh Edie…what a JOY it is to find your sweet spot. For me that sweet spot feels like coming “home” to that place where God wants me to use the gifts He gave me. I love, love, love being a wife, Mama and Nana and pour my heart out there as a cheerleader and advocate for all my dear ones.

    Besides that, my true sweet spot is in a college classroom as a teacher. I come alive in there and after 49 years still love very minute with my students. I’m in the communication field so I teach from my passion about connection… interpersonal and intercultural communication, conflict management, effective listening, gender communication…all life-givers and life-changers.

    My classroom is eclectic with music playing, art on the walls, circles for discussion, coffee and food by the door. That’s the door I
    put my hand on each morning as I pray for my students and that the words of my mouth would be acceptable in His sight. I love on those students with honest discussions, sharing from my heart, hugs, advice, kindness and loving kicks in the rear. I have contact with hundreds of former students as I have had more than 10,000 over all these years. I am blessed every day to do His work and be where He has ordained me to be.How grateful I am that God gave me these gifts to share, this love to share, His love to share! I knew I wanted to be a teacher in 1st grade. As I always say, this is the best job ever.

    Thanks for asking the question and wanting to hear about our passions as well.

    Thank you, too, for your wonderful and insightful and transparent posts. I eagerly await your book.
    Blessings always!
    Love,
    Linda Seppa Salisbury
    Spokane ,Wa.

  3. Thank you for encouraging words. I am 54 and sometimes feel I have yet to find the fullness of my sweet spot. Yet, for the first time, I feel like I am finally willing to “allow” myself the time to figure out what that place is. I think for many women it’s a process to work through the years of mothering before they do find what that is. I think a sweet gift we can give each other is to speak life into each other as they find the thing that makes their heart sing.

  4. Hi Edie! I came to your blog today because I watched your interview on hope writers and was so inspired and THEN this–your blog post is exactly where my soul seems to be. A loving of where I have been and yet a longing to not hide from dreams that live in the shadow parts of my soul. It is inspiring to hear and see others step out in faith and I look forward to reading more!

  5. It’s so fascinating how God can put something in your path at the very moment you need it most. But as Pressfield said, you have to take action. I go to BCC and I will be at the Night of Grace on Friday. I’m very much looking forward to hearing you speak and possibly meeting with you. God is doing some big stuff in my life right now and I believe you have been placed in my path.

  6. “epiphanies can be painful, whether you finally see yourself differently or the world around you” Well said….I never really thought of it like that or heard epiphanies being described in that way. When we do what we were called to do….it is true what you said God will take care of the rest. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this post….I have so many take aways that will potentially stay with me forever. Thank you again for sharing.

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