Life is changing-

an ending of a career,

a passion fulfilled for 30 years,

a sense of accomplishment all coming together into one word-retirement.

It is the end of 30 years of teaching but the beginning of a new normal with multiple possibilities.

Psalm 25

As I have begun the downhill slide to June 5, when my teaching career will be officially over, I have been asked multiple times “what’s next?”. Well meaning coworkers, friends and family feel obligated to ask the question, which feels like the obligatory elephant in the room to me. I mumble some coherent words and inside hope they don’t question me further. So far my plan has worked and the questioner has left satisfied or so I think!

“What’s next?” has felt like a sucker punch to my gut and sometimes has left me breathless and sweaty. Yes, I am exaggerating a little, but overall I feel pressured to have an answer – the answer! Let me assure you, I do not have any answers for “what’s next” in June and in the last several weeks, God has gently reminded me that I don’t need to have the answers because He does. He is calling me to allow Him to fill my uncertainty with His truths. God’s sweet whispers of promise speak to my unknowing and provide a peace in what the future will hold. All He asks is that I gift Him with my time – the time to be still, to listen and to be open to His possibilities. God is stepping in with His answers and giving me a choice in how to proceed. So the question becomes…

When God steps into our lives, do we step around or step into His arms laden with all the possibilities that He has planned for us?

I am in a season of busyness, of the last of many firsts, a race to finish well the work that was begun thirty years ago. In the middle of all of it, God beckons me to look within myself to better prepare for the future. Worldly busyness is not God’s concern-heart business is His specialty. The answer is intentional time set aside each day just for God. Time to lean in, listen and learn. Time for the reading of His word and embracing His truths. That is the answer to the question-“what’s next?”

So I turn to God in silence and prayer and find these words on my lips…

Show me the right path, O Lord;
point out the road for me to follow.
5 Lead me by your truth and teach me,
for you are the God who saves me.
All day long I put my hope in you. Psalm 25:4-5 NLT

Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness
while I am here in the land of the living.
14 Wait patiently for the Lord.
Be brave and courageous.
Yes, wait patiently for the Lord. Psalm 27:13-14 NLT

If you stop me and ask me now “what’s next?”, chances are you will get a smile and a knowing look along with “God’s working on it”.

Praying for all that we follow God’s lead and let Him decide in His time the plans for our future.

Blessings,

Mary

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