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Trusting Our ‘Appointments’

| May 28, 2014 | Reply

To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

A few months ago, I wrote about how labels can weigh us down. Once we are free from the labels, our unique talents emerge even more fully ~ we can just be who we were born to be. Sometimes, though, we don’t even know who that is…as many young girls do, in my freshmen year of college, I went through some stuff with self-esteem. By my sophomore year, I was pretty lost. I didn’t think I was lost at the time of course, but looking back now I know my decisions were being made in an effort to find myself, although I didn’t even know what I was looking for. I had a teacher, though, who knowing much of what I was going through, asked me to audition for the school play. I had done theater in high school, but never had a leading role, so I could hardly believe when I saw my name on the sheet.

The play was called Lucia Mad, and I was assigned the role of Lucia. Dr. McGhee believed in me, and he said to my parents the last night of the show, “Jennifer connected with the audience. She drew them into Lucia’s story. She didn’t think she could pull off the show, but I knew she could.” His words were short but powerful. They stuck in my heart. I didn’t feel worthy at all, but he saw a person who connected with people. He also saw me struggling. But he used my personal struggle in a way that lifted me up rather than pulled me down. Because of the nature of the role, {Lucia was struggling in her own ways, too}, Dr. McGhee knew I could share Lucia’s journey on stage, even when I thought there was no way in the world I could.

Dr. McGhee was a scholar, a writer, a philosopher. Sometimes I would overhear him talking about his aspirations, doing other work, publishing a book, or moving on to use his talents in other capacities. I was so glad he didn’t make that choice before I left the school. I believe he was exactly where he was supposed to be at that time, divinely appointed to lift me up when I really needed it. I will never forget him.

The thing is, I believe we are all divinely appointed things, even if we have no clue about it. Our life, even just a moment of it, can so greatly impact another human being. Even just a few kind words can literally change and shift the course of a person’s entire life. Poof. Just like that. God amazes me with how He uses all of us. And, we don’t need to be perfect. Sometimes he uses our imperfections to soothe another human being so they don’t feel alone. We connect deeper with each other when we realize our vulnerabilities together. Sometimes, he uses people to show us something or teach us a lesson, to help us stretch or grow. What seems like a dire situation, may actually have much deeper meaning. We are on the surface of it, looking at the junk and thinking, “What is going on?!” or “Why me?!” But, below the surface, there it is, the young, lost girl who couldn’t have made it through the year without you.

Think about it – we are assigned jobs, or put in situations like traffic jams or long lines at the food store, and He is up there making all things work together for our good. Unaware, we may be beeping the horn at the car in front of us, and He is saving our lives or someone else’s. We may be miserable at work, hating our job, but in the break room we provide a listening ear or open heart for a co-worker going through a tough time, and that is our appointment. That is our purpose. We don’t need to search and struggle and find a purpose, knowing we are a magnificently made human being is enough to know we have one. Now, the tough part is to just let go of the search and appreciate where we are planted, and who we are planted there with. And, what if the hand we are dealt is just plain awful – dealing with loss, illness? Even tougher, realizing that there can be joy in our pain. And there are some things that happen that we simply can not comprehend.

I guess if we leave it up to our human ambition, it may be easy to continue striving and searching, steamrolling through life as if it were an obstacle course to be conquered rather than a wondrous journey that includes it all – from joy to pain and everything in between. Feeling those emotions makes us alive, and the sheer power of our humanity can be a bit scary or maybe what’s beyond is what frightens us. It may be easier to just cut anything that doesn’t immediately make us happy out. Clearly not a good solution because before you know it, you can snip it all away down to nothing. On the flip side, we can also easily slide into stagnant thinking and allow ourselves to be repressed, held down, and dumped on and dragged around by the other people’s stuff and our own self-limiting beliefs. It’s a delicate balance – when or how do we appreciate our divine appointments and know when we are to be moved into the next?

I know the importance of being in tune, listening within, self-discovery, knowing your anchors, and using your anchors both to center yourself and as a compass to guide and direct your steps ~ I go into this in great detail in my book and classes. To me, since my anchor is my faith, the only real answer is love and service. And to that end, there are more questions…Am I looking at this person or situation through the lens of love, understanding, and compassion? Where I don’t understand, can I find comfort in His word or even from another human being appointed to me? How can my life imperfections help or comfort another person? Am I serving humanity in some way?

Mother Teresa once said, “We can all do small things with great love.” Sometimes when we do small things with great love, God entrusts us with more. When He gives us more, and we mess up, He appoints us less. It is not anger, but a lesson. We often learn from the assignment, and then He gives us more again. And, He promises to never leave us or forsake us. By knowing He is ultimately the provider and appointer, it takes the worry and burden off of us off of searching and trying to figure out the “what” and “how”. The only thing we have to do is show up and light up, and rest easy knowing we are each exactly where we should be.

Enjoy this beautiful day.

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Category: BELLA Blog, Home

About the Author ()

Jennifer Tuma-Young is a writer, speaker, dreamer, foodie, believer, wife, mother, and inspired girl. She is also the Founder & CEO of INSPIRISTA life design company* and author of the 288 Page Balance Book, “Balance Your Life, Balance the Scale”… Check out her personal blog at

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