Not what I expected. At all. This is the first writing of the first day of retirement. Writing that you would think would be about retirement. Because writing is pretty much the primary reason I ventured out and left the security of full-time and relatively permanent employment. Because I truly, truly, with all my heart, down deep to the core, believe that this new season will bring not only time for writing, but also new purpose to it. And someday, somewhere, that new path will be revealed. But just not now.
Not what I expected. Because as I drove away with my last cartful of school supplies and memorabilia, a few sweet little gifts, and no ID or school keys, I was sure I would sit right down and spill profound ink about bittersweet retrospectives and a new journey into the great unknown. I had visions of inexplicable bursts of writing energy and wisdom.
But, no. I continually hear one simple word: presence. I sang it loud just the other night: “… my heart becomes free and my shame is undone by Your presence, Lord” and “My faith will be made stronger in the presence of my Savior.” And, I feel it calling me to a peace I can’t explain. Presence.
So, I will not be waxing poetic about the oddly flat last day nor about my hopes for the future. I think I just need to be present. I need to take in the reality of my new reality and recognize that this change is big and important, any yet profoundly more personal than any I’ve ever experienced. Despite all previous claims of what I believed to be missions, callings, or leadings, this … THIS is the first one that has been truly led by God (and not cleverly choreographed by me*) in clear messages that have required stepping out blindfolded, in pure faith. So far, there have been very few directions or answers provided. But the “It’s time, Nancy” was unmistakable.
Don’t get me wrong. The absence of answers, targets or landing strips has been extremely difficult, especially for Tim, a professional engineer and Thinker. He was caught way off guard … I mean WAY off guard … last fall when I told him that I felt it was time for me to leave teaching, and, by the way, I had no real plan beyond that. I mean, for Pete’s sake, the man organizes, plans and prepares for a living. And he’s really good at it. But then, God spoke, and continues to speak to both of us in gracious, but different, languages. He gave us transforming reassurance and continued to bless our decisions with regular, small, but unmistakable messages. The decision wasn’t simple, but it wasn’t hard. It was right.
I don’t know how long He will continue to say, “Be present and feel my presence.” But, it feels good. Finally, for once in my life, that is enough for me.
* If you are wondering about the “clever choreography,” see “Dancing” posted 1/15/15.