The Ride of My Life

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Woosh! Whoa! Slow down. Then we creep along the track straight up in the air. Prepare… Creep… Prepare… creep… tension builds. The last day, we teeter at the top of the track with nothing but clear blue skies in every direction. Ah, Beautiful. It feels like we are floating on air. We can’t see the tracks. Only “blue skies ahead.”

GULP. AAAAhhhhhh! The plummet into retired life begins. I climb out of the car on shaky legs into a new world. This describes the last three months of my journey into ‘retirement.’ As much as I am glad I took the plunge, I will warn you retiring is like walking the tightrope without a net. And I don’t know how to walk a tightrope!

4 Show me Your ways, O Lord;

Teach me Your paths.

5 Lead me in Your truth and teach me,

For You are the God of my salvation;

On You I wait all the day. [Psalm 25:4-5*]

Once we decided to retire, the wild ride began. Whipping around the track at work, there were projects and tasks to finish and reassign, retirement and separation decisions and clean-up. It consumed my thoughts and time for six weeks. There was that one momentary pause at the top of the track to breathe for several days. Then…

A quick home purchase and even quicker sale in the family sent us racing down the hill faster than we could fly. We had to finish some legal paperwork, and my husband had to be in North Carolina for a week. Then there was a car accident (nobody seriously injured, Thank God!) but the van is still in the shop in North Carolina. He was there for ten days with very sketchy cell service, Hey it’s the mountains! What are ya gonna do! Back home he dove into the family stuff with me. Whew! The ride slowed to an end, and we got off on those shaky legs high-fiving each other and praising God for his grace!

There is no way I could have gotten through the last several weeks if I had not retired at the beginning of June. God blessed us to be available to help with packing, yard sales, donations and final clean-up. The entire time-frame from the end of April until now has God’s fingerprints all over it. We just followed Him step by step.

He guided us through each day like the Shepherd He is. He guided us through the things we could do. Then God handled the things we had no control over. And His timing was perfect. Many times we tried to pull back control and got ourselves into a lather. Then one of us would say, “let’s pray.” We halted our busyness, took a breath, linked hands and prayed for help, guidance, information, whatever we needed.

The best part of pausing to pray was the peace that settled over us. If an answer didn’t come right away, and most of the time it didn’t, we put our focus on the next task in front of us. If we had thought about all the projects and tasks, we would have been beyond overwhelmed. Then we would have given up. Saying it’s too hard. With limited time-frames, we had no choice but to step up and take each step one at a time. Even if we started with a walk and ended with a flat-out gallop. Without the horse! {Giggle} We can now say God blessed us with the strength1 to do what we thought we could not do. He proved to us again that if we depend on Him, He will order our steps.

22 For those blessed by Him shall inherit the earth,

But those cursed by Him shall be cut off.

23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord,

And He delights in his way.

24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down;

For the Lord upholds him with His hand. [Psalm 37:22-24*]

Now I rest and wait for new instructions in this new life. Together, my husband and I are figuring out a new schedule and downsizing our lives to fit the new means we have chosen. So far I am establishing writing habits (again). With God’s leading, my husband and I are preparing for the promise God gave us so many years ago through Jeremiah 29:11:

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

I am as excited as a kid at their birthday party to know what God has planned for our futures, hopes, and maybe dreams. He is the great King, but He is an even greater Father. Let’s pray:

Oh, my Father! Thank you for riding along on this roller-coaster. We hold on tight to your hand as you ride along on the scary rides we face. Our losses are great but we know You are the King who will win in the end. We hold fast to your promises of a future and a hope. Order our steps that we may never falter even when the path is a steep downhill run. Though we fall in our journeys, thank you for upholding us with Your Hand, like a father who picks up his child, sets him on his feet to run some more. Glory to You O Lord! We thank you for all you do for us. Big things and little things that move us toward the Future and Hope You have planned for us. In Jesus’ name, amen. In the name of the Father and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, amen.

May the Lord God bless you today,

Milly

*All scriptures are from the New King James Version

Footnotes:

1 Philippians 4:12-14 [New King James Version]

12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. 14 Nevertheless you have done well that you shared in my distress.

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