What can I say but, wow?
I have mentioned a couple times now I was reading Dr. David Jeremiah’s book; Forward Discovering God’s Presence and Purpose in Your Tomorrow. I just moments ago turned the final page and closed the book. It isn’t often that books, other than the Bible, speak to me. When they do, I pay attention. I do foresee myself reading this one again.
Since I lost my job, and yes, I have retained a bitterness about that. Let’s take a moment to be honest here. I felt betrayed and tossed aside. What is the saying? I had given them the best years of my life, for what? To be thrown out like yesterday’s waste. Everything I thought that defined me, stolen. Everything I thought valued, gone. I felt that I had been lied to, well, I was often but that is a different issue. I had been told I was essential and my job safe. The very next day, only hours later, I no longer was essential nor employed. I was angry, I was hurt, I was feeling lost and betrayed and very much the loser.
Its been just a few weeks shy of a year since I held a paid position. I’ve thought about seeking employment, even came close a time or two. Something prevented it every time. The last being my mother’s concerns over what she and dad would do if I were no longer available.
So, I took early retirement. Most people are excited over the prospect. They look forward to and anticipate all the things they will get to do once retired. I, on the other hand resented this position. Oh, I’ve gotten accustomed to not working. I’ve adapted to sleeping past that 4A.M. hour which I had awakened to for so long. I absolutely adore the fact I don’t have to go out in the cold in the early morning dark. Yet, I wasn’t happy.
I had plans of working until full retirement age at least if not longer. I kind of, liked my job. I definitely knew it well. There is also the fact that retirement means a lot less money. Which often has me pondering the ways to monetize my blog but that is not my driving factor at the moment.
But, back to the book. I ordered this book weeks ago. When it arrived, I took it from the packaging, glanced at it, and promptly set it aside. A couple of days ago I felt prompted to pick it up and finally start reading. Immediately it got my attention. Immediately it spoke to me.
I had to choose a chair. That can be defined in many ways.
I can retain that bitterness, or I can let it go and free my emotions for better things.
I can wallow in the self pity of things I can’t do, or I can look with the excitement toward the things I am able.
I can sit here, staring out the window at feral cats playing, or I can turn my eyes toward more important things.
I can ignore the gifts I have been given, or I can make use of them.
Reading this book, I constantly felt as if I were being poked. I constantly felt as if I were being asked, “Are you listening yet?” Were my ears, heart and mind, hearing what I was being told? Was I paying attention to the message?
Was I believing, all the times I had been told that God, the Almighty, Omnipotent, God, not only was love, but loved me? Me? Was I speaking positively to myself about myself? Believing that I had purpose? Or was I allowing my fears, doubts and hurt, drive me to neglect that purpose. What excuse did I offer up now as to why I wasn’t doing what I knew I could?
In the book, there is a chapter titled Finish. Within the chapter is ‘Staying Resilient About Retirement. The very first sentence reads, “The second key to finishing well is to approach the topic of retirement with resilience-and with some sanctified resistance.” At which I mentally screamed, but it wasn’t my idea! I resisted but that did no good. Rather that get disgusted and toss the book aside, I kept reading. Then I came to this line, “But if you do leave your job, remember- retirement is simply God’s way of freeing you up for further service.”
I love to write. I enjoy it when the words flow freely and I feel as if my heart has taken wings along with the imagination, beating joyfully with each word. Whether they are the words to a fiction story, a poem or an inspirational, hopefully encouraging thought. I will admit that while I was working, that was in the very least difficult to do as I was exhausted after a ten hour work day. My mind numb and my body moving on auto pilot to take care of the responsibilities of home.
I think that this last year, has given me time to rest and reset. I have been given a few lessons along the way. I have learned more of my capabilities and strengths. I have adopted a much better mindset. And yes, even understanding the need of letting go of that bitterness.
This book has been and is a notice of, its time to get busy and use the gifts I’ve been given, by a God who loves me just as I am.