I Thought You Were Retiring
Retirement is defined as “the action or fact of leaving one’s job and ceasing to work.” Hardly a Sunday goes by without someone saying, “I thought you were retiring last year” and to be honest, I thought I was too. Somewhere in my forties I I had dreamed of the day I could wake up when I wanted to, do what I wanted to and travel where I wanted without a job to tie me down. I could see it clearly, wake up at 10, stay in my pjs until 1, read or do a craft, go shopping or even traveling everywhere. In my fifties I thought of retirement as a time of no worries, happy-go-lucky while living a life of leisure. I definitely was not thinking of doing housework or cooking. Then my sixties arrived and it started looking different. I became unsure how fulfilling retirement would be. Some days I felt like “Bring it on” and other days like “slow everything down.” In 2016, I verbally gave my notice for Feb. 2017 with understanding I would stay until church found someone. I will admit the first month, thoughts of “.if I were retired I could….” Then month after month I realized that I was really enjoying working in a way I had never before. When I thought of what would happen when the church found someone, I was real conflicted. Thinking of what I would do when that happened, I prayed constantly, “God what am I going to do?” I kept asking God if I was too old to continue working with children. Parenting styles and children’s behaviors have changed so much in 20 years, would I be able to relate and keep up.
God reminded me of three things: One, that Noah was between 500 and 600 years old when he built the ark. Moses was 80 when he lead the Israelites out of Egypt. Abraham was 100 years old when Isaac was born. I can still do crafts and lead the children, but I do hope that God does not have a baby in mind for me! (Maybe Taylor counts) Two, the fact that parents and children still needed Jesus! While methods had changed, the message was still the same. Three, in Jeremiah 29:11 God says “I know the plans I have for you.” So I knew it was left in His hands. A year has passed and I have discovered that while I loved my job before, I REALLY love my job now. What I thought was going to make me happy, has now lost its appeal. It is such a joy to teach children about God’s plans for them, how they can have a relationship with Christ and grow in that relationship. I love getting the smiles, hugs, and little notes.
So to answer the question of when I am retiring: Only God knows! He will provide someone to replace me in His own timing.
Psalm 16:11 ESV You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.