I have been reflecting recently on “what’s next?”. The reality is that in a few short months my life will change when I retire from teaching. It has been a time to reflect on all that I have been blessed to do for the last thirty years and a time of looking forward to my sequel. These moments fill my time with flashes of former students’ faces, amazing parents who supported me along the way and the dedicated colleagues that it has been my honor to work side by side. It literally makes my heart beat wildly to think that I have been given the gift of time to move onto something even better in this next step. It is an awakening of my soul – stretched wide to embrace a sequel from God like no other.

leap before look

The prospects are unclear but one thing that has been made perfectly clear is that “what’s next?” could very well be more challenging than teaching. The future is uncertain but full of rich possibilities. I was sharing with friends recently my deep fears for the next steps because there is not going to be anything easy about it. God has promised me a bright future, but with it comes a willingness to leap straight into God’s arms with no safety net to catch me if I fall.

I read a quote from Tony Evans recently and it reminded me that there are times we need to leap before we look. With God there is a piece called faith that is integral to all our next steps. Stretching my wings to reach farther will require a faith that only God can provide.

God will often not show you what He plans to do until you do what He’s asked you to do. That’s called faith.                                Tony Evans

I believe what we are seeking is the faith to let God work out His plan for us even when the world demands answers. The blessing is God’s got this every step of the way. We just need to spread our wings and leap!

As I have been reading God’s word recently, I am reminded in John 15 that we cannot produce fruit without remaining in God and He remaining in us. This sounds to me like my future will include some moments of leaping before looking as I faithfully follow God’s calling.

“I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. 3 You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. 4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me. John 15:1-5 NLT

Last week as I reflected on What’s Next?, I learned that I don’t need to have the answer to that question. I just need to have time to lean in, listen and learn from God. This week I have added the layer of faith without sight. A scary venture until we realize that it’s okay to leap before looking when we are jumping into our Father’s arms.

I am always blessed when you join me here. Please know I pray for each of you as you walk through your week.

Mary

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