Feeling fulfilled and finding purpose significantly contributes to quality of life. Why are we here? How did we get here? What is it all for? Many people have specific yearnings or “callings” or a desire to achieve distinctive goals in life. In many cases these desires are God-given to fulfill the human part in the wholeness of creation.
Once purpose is discovered and the major long term goal is established, it is important to recognize the requirements for achieving the long term goal. Once requirements are learned, people can map out their journey toward the main goal with short term goals. These are plan steps that help highlight when milestones are achieved during the journey.
There will likely be difficult times during the journey, so it is very important not to take for granted people around who are life-giving and strengthening for other’s emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being. Everyone must also utilize their faith in God, who keeps everyone fortified to endure disheartening times.
Dr. Bruce shares pleasant surprise experiences that made her journey more fulfilling than she expected, on her road to one of her major life goals. She believes as life unfolds, beautiful things happen. People must not let themselves become distracted by the unpleasant occurrences in life that try to steal their joy away. They must absorb and keep their focus on the beauty, truth and light of life. This is what empowers them to eradicate darkness!
|Publisher:||Morgan James Publishing|
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.40(d)|
About the Author
Elizabeth Jean Bruce, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist in the state of California. Her previous writings include her dissertation, Relationships Between Ethnic Identity, Trauma Symptoms, and Juvenile Delinquency (2005). She co-authored two academic research articles, The Role of Ethnic Identity in the Relationship of Race-Related Stress to PTSD Symptoms among Young Adults (2007), and Relationships of Ethnicity, Ethnic Identity and Trauma Symptoms to Delinquency (2008).
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What in the World am I Doing?
Discovering and Beginning the Journey toward My Goal
Since I was a child, I could feel the presence of God. I was born into a family who loved God and raised me to know my Creator for myself. I developed a strong belief in and spiritual connection with God very early in life. I remember my first serious conviction regarding the destiny of my soul was around the age of five. I knew I wanted to be saved and make it into Heaven, but I was not absolutely sure about my present status with God. I was very concerned. I pleaded to God within myself, "Please save me and help me make it into Heaven." One day, while riding in the car with my parents, I asked them, "How can I know I'm going to Heaven?" I felt a great sense of relief when my parents responded to me. They said all I had to do was let God know that I wanted to go to Heaven and that if I asked the Lord to save me, He already had. I could be assured I was going to Heaven. That was a wonderful day for me. I felt much lighter and more carefree. I was very happy and knew from that day forward that I was saved and going to Heaven someday; I have been looking forward to it ever since. Eventually, during later years in elementary school, I did remind the Lord that I still wanted to go to Heaven. I asked Him to do whatever it takes to help me make it in to Heaven.
My relationship with God continued to flourish during my childhood and at age five, I experienced an awesome miracle. I had been born with an itchy round rash on the back of my neck. In hindsight, I suspect it may have been eczema. My parents made many attempts to make the rash go away, including ointments, creams, and doctor visits, but the rash was persistent and uncomfortable. One night, while sleeping alone in my room, I felt a hand on my neck touching the rash. The hand came from the direction of the wall that my bed was positioned against. It was a supernatural hand. It was a holy hand with a calm, gentle, and precise touch. I knew instantly that I was being healed. I was not afraid or startled. I looked around my room to see if anyone was present, but I didn't see anyone. I went right back to sleep. The next morning, I told my mother, "Someone touched my neck last night." I described the events of the previous evening. When my mother examined my neck, she said, "It's gone!" My rash was completely gone and the skin where it used to be was smooth and flawless! Our family was so happy and excited for that wonderful miracle that God gave me. I have never forgotten that healing touch. For years to come, whenever I had a chance, I would tell anyone who would listen about my healing touch from God. Each time I told the story, my eyes would well up with tears. I remember describing my experience to peers at school. I would often get blank stares, like they were not sure whether to believe me or not, but I continued to share my testimony. I would testify to people at church and extended family members as well. My mother still has a tape recording of me giving testimony to her and my aunt. After I shared my testimony, I said, "He touched me. He really did!" My aunt responded, "He did?" I replied, "He did!" My mother began singing, "He touched me, and made me whole."
Early School Years
My years in school were relatively pleasant. I was never famous or popular, but I always had a few close friends who helped make school enjoyable. Two friends were very close and both friends remained in contact years after elementary school. I was very happy for each of them when they got married and had children.
I was fortunate that the Lord blessed me to do well academically. My mother used to frequently tell a story about a time when she and my father visited my school for teacher-parent night. I was in the third or fourth grade at the time. My mother said that my teacher spent quite a bit of time focusing on my success in class and sharing it with the parent gathering while my father kept dosing off. I was glad to hear that my teacher thought so well of me and I thought it was funny that my father kept dosing off during parent-teacher night.
My first school years, kindergarten through second grade, were at Russ School, in Hayward, California, and Murray School, in Dublin, California. During these first years of school, my favorite part of the day was eating breakfast at home. I always felt warm and cozy while enjoying my first meal before going out into the big wide world. I had a very nice kindergarten teacher who was very supportive of me and communicated with my family frequently. She also was my brother's teacher when he started school. I had begun telling peers at recess about my miracle touch. Issues became a bit more debatable as they related to my witnessing. One day, I shared my testimony to my peers, as usual. Later, during the end of recess as we were all lined up to go inside, the line was near a square sand box. A girl came up to me, rolling her eyes, and made the statement, "There is no God." Then she pushed me to the ground into the sand box. My teacher talked to my parents, explaining what had happened. When my parents learned that I was witnessing at school, they were proud of me. They would say that I was a true witness, even at school.
We moved to Dublin, California when I was in the first grade. At this time, my peers were slightly ahead of me because I transferred schools mid-semester. The class was learning how to count from 0 through 100. I remember feeling really lost, because I could not do what the other kids in class were able to do. I came home and told my mother what was going on. My mother began teaching me to count to 100 at home. I enjoyed learning from my mother at home. Learning to count with my mother felt easy and comfortable. Eventually, I was able to count and do everything my peers could do in class. I felt so much better!
God continued to reveal his love and presence with me throughout my academic endeavors. Our family moved to Phoenix, Arizona, where I began the third grade at Cordova Elementary School. As time went by, I adjusted to my new environment, did well in my school work, and made really good friends. Our neighbors were very friendly and, one Christmas season, our family was showered with love when several families in our neighborhood gave us nice furniture, a Christmas tree, food, and gifts for Christmas. This beautiful gesture came at a time when we needed it, because our furniture was still in storage and we did not have furniture for our home. That was a really nice Christmas!
During the third and fourth grades, I was a member of the Brownies and the Girl Scouts. We met weekly and participated in fun recreational activities. One of my favorite elementary school experiences was writing a play for a class assignment. The play had to be a twist on an already popular children's story. I wrote my play based on the three little pigs. Our class was divided into sections to memorize each other's scripts and to act them out in front of the class. When my group performed the play that I wrote, the class enjoyed it. My teacher later pulled me aside and told me I had a talent for writing plays. The response I received from my teacher and peers was very pleasant and unexpected.
I started to enjoy school more when I began to make close friends. This was around the fourth grade. At that time, I made honor roll for the first time. I still have that honor roll award. I saved it with all of the awards I have earned over the years. My awards are reminders for me of how far God has brought me. He continues to bless me with manifestations of his presence with me and his favor of me.
The Benefit of a Remedial Math Class
There was a brief moment, during my elementary school years, when I felt embarrassed of my academic ability. During the fifth grade, the school gave an academic assessment placement exam to students to see where we stood in several academic domains. The teacher announced there was a special math class for students who did not achieve a high score on the math portion of the exam. The special math class was called "Title I." The teacher announced my name among those who would have to take the Title I class. I was taken off guard to hear that I needed a remedial course. I remember trying to hold back my tears. Someone asked, "Are you crying?" I responded, "Something's in my eye."
Once I got settled into the Title I math class, I began to enjoy it. I think it was one of the best things that happened to me during elementary school. I became a whiz at multiplication! Learning my multiplication tables made it easier for me to do well in other areas of math, like Algebra. I continued earning honor roll awards, which over the years included iron-on patches, pens, plaques, and trophies. In the sixth grade, I must have been known to do well in my work, because a few male classmates talked me into doing their homework. Our teacher at that time caught on and let us all know she was aware of what had transpired. After that, I did not receive further requests to complete my peers' homework assignments.
When I was to start the seventh grade, our family moved to a new home outside of the school district where we were students. My parents did not want to take me and my siblings out of our current school, so they received permission for us to continue at our present school. I continued at Cordova through the eighth grade and my siblings continued at Cordova until they started junior high school. They eventually attended stand-alone junior high schools in our home school district.
Once I graduated from Cordova, I attended West High School. This school had an ethnically diverse population and I knew quite a few students there who attended the same church as my family. My experience at West High was quite an adventure. I especially enjoyed taking a Spanish class with friendly peers and a nice teacher with a sense of humor.
A Class for the Gifted
At West High, I took a placement exam and tested as gifted in English. I was given the opportunity to join an after-school class for gifted students. We conducted our own research projects, went on field trips, and discussed interesting topics. I enjoyed it. One memory that stands out for me is our field trip to see the movie, "Gandhi." I didn't know the story before and I became more aware of another important issue in the world. I learned about the caste system in India and how a peaceful man protested it. The subject "Gandhi" inspired me.
During my gifted class, I designed a research project. I received input from many students at my high school who completed a survey that I developed about television-watching habits. I was very excited about my work and interested in my peers' input. Unfortunately, at this time, I learned that our family would be moving to a different city. I became despondent. I did not know what to do and I did not really know how to say goodbye to my teachers and classmates. I regret that one day I threw all of the surveys that my peers had completed into a trash bin in the school hallway. I still feel bad when I think about that. I wish I had kept my surveys and been able to review the responses later.
An Unexpected Turn of Events
I enjoyed friendship and fun while I attended West High, but not without a few occasions of danger. One specific incident was a day I was wearing a pair of my mother's boots that my father brought her from a business trip in New York. When I decided to wear my Mom's boots, I had no idea that later in the day I would be sinking the heels of my mother's brand new boots into 2-inch-deep mud, running away from a stranger. The boots were mid-height with three inch heels. It had been rainy for a few days prior, so some areas of the ground were deep with mud. On this day, a friend and I decided to walk off-campus for lunch. My friend told me about recent run-ins she had with a pimp and that he continued to bother her. We were walking behind the school through an alley to a street where other students were walking. Suddenly, at the end of the alley, someone pulled up in a long vintage maroon car and says, "Hey!" Immediately my friend exclaims, "That's him!" She grabbed my arm, and we turned back around to run as fast as we could toward our school. I was trying to run fast in my mother's high heel boots through a muddy alley. I could not believe this was happening! I remember hiding in a corner by a wooden fence, hoping the man in the car had decided to leave us alone. Finally, when we saw the man was gone, we ran the rest of the way back to our school campus. My friend and I had made it safely back to school. I thought to myself, "I will never go off campus for lunch again!" I eventually resumed occasional walks to lunch off campus, but I always used the main side walk with the rest of the pedestrian traffic.
A Change in High School
When I was a sophomore in high school, our family moved to Tucson, Arizona where I attended Saguaro High. Life in Tucson was interesting. In school I was able to make really close friends with whom I ate lunch and enjoyed free time. My first acquaintances were from the Black Culture Club. A group of girls from the club introduced themselves to me and welcomed me to join them. During lunch, we would watch boys play basketball. I enjoyed meeting the girls, but I was pretty shy and did not quite know what to say, so I was quiet much of the time. Eventually, the girls did not come around anymore.
I met another friend with whom I became very close. She introduced me to her group of friends who were also very nice. At lunch time they enjoyed following boys that they liked around campus. My friend invited us to party celebrations and family gatherings at her home. Everyone was very friendly and enjoyed these times together in celebration. It was always fun to be around them. My friend's family heritage was Irish and Spanish. One time, she invited me to a St. Patrick's Day celebration. The adults were looking through the glass doors and pointing to Leprechauns in the back yard and telling the children, "See there's a Leprechaun." We stayed in touch for years after high school, and when she got married, she sent me family pictures before our communication ended.
During my sophomore year at Saguaro High, I worked in the administration office as part of my school schedule. In debate class, we were given assignments to prepare debates for or against specific topics. I remember a debate I participated in, during which I argued for gun control. This experience helped me understand how there could be valid arguments for multiple perspectives of political issues. I found classes at Saguaro to be interesting as well as educational.
From Arizona to California
Our family moved to Vallejo, California when I was a junior in high school. The high school I attended in Vallejo was ethnically diverse and many students who attended went to the same church as our family. When we first moved to Vallejo, friends of my parents picked us up from the San Francisco Airport. The Democratic National Convention was in session and the airport and city were bustling with energy. We spent the evening at our family friends' home and later reserved a room at a local motel, where we stayed until we found our own place to live. We eventually rented a home from our friends. We would stay there during our three years in Vallejo.
There were two major high schools in Vallejo: Vallejo High and Hogan High. These schools were friendly rivals. Homecoming and other football games were big events. Even though I never attended homecoming or a football game, I enjoyed the excitement and feeling of anticipation in the environment during these times. I attended Hogan High. I found my classes at Hogan to be interesting and I did well in them. I remember two classes in particular: social studies and health class. I remember once in my social studies class, the instructor had asked a question in class and I had completed the class reading assignment the night before. There was a quiet pause in the class and no one would answer the question. I slowly raised my hand, and when the instructor called on me, I gave my answer. The instructor confirmed that my answer was correct. I felt really scholarly that day, having read and remembered pertinent information and demonstrated knowledge of my homework topic.
In my social studies class, I gained more experience considering various perspectives on political issues. We were instructed to write a one page summary of the good qualities of Ronald Reagan, President of the United States, and leave it on our desks at the end of class on the due date. The instruction seemed to come out of nowhere. I was not yet old enough to vote, but in most cases, I would have voted Democrat. Since being old enough to vote, I have always been a registered Democrat. There have been a very few times when I voted Republican, like when I was disappointed that Jesse Jackson was not chosen as the 1988 running mate for the Democratic presidential candidate. I was determined to complete my homework assignment with objective accuracy and competency. I did some serious research and gathered factual information and looked at positive qualities that I could notice in the President. I was pleasantly surprised to find several positive attributes of the current President. One attribute that I included in my paper was the establishment of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday as a national federal holiday. I remember completing my paper and being happy that I was able to complete my assignment as instructed, with no reservations about anything that I had written.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "The Undeniable Favor Of God"
Copyright © 2017 Elizabeth Jean Bruce, Ph.D..
Excerpted by permission of Morgan James Publishing.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 What in the World am I Doing?,
Chapter 2 My Life During Graduate School,
Chapter 3 All This for Me?,
Chapter 4 God is Holding my Hand,
Chapter 5 The Blessings Continue to Flow,