Part 3

Part three…this is the third of a three-part post about the last six months and what happens next. Part one was about something that happened six months ago…a suicide plan, hospitalization, self-care, a new job opportunity, a job loss, and some clarity. Part two was about my experience in the church. Part three…well, let’s just call it “Where Now?”

Here’s a summary of where I am:
• Less than three months from my 50th birthday
• Retired (well, kinda…)
• Part-time college student

But it’s not this easy.

I’ve always had a job. I’ve always had to balance everything else in my life with it. Now, a month into “retirement”, I don’t have to get up and go somewhere I really don’t want to go. Don’t get me wrong…I made many friendships during my 31 years in banking. My career had its rewarding moments, and going forward, I need to look back solely on those. Otherwise, I will drive myself totally crazy.

My career required me to be social, even when I really didn’t want to be. It taught me to find solutions to problems, even when they weren’t my problems. I learned to be open and honest with people, even though honesty isn’t what we always want to hear. But most of all, toward the end, even though it was very painful, my career taught me that what I do is not the definition of who I am.

So in parts one and two, I alluded to part three giving a look at what is next for me.

I have a one-word answer: JESUS

There is just one word because He is the Word.

It’s not Jesus + me
It’s not Jesus + the church
It’s not Jesus + the church + me

It is just Jesus.

You know why? I’ll give you just one example, Matthew 14:30 & 31:

but when he (Peter) saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”

This passage is me. My faith is small. I doubt God, day in and day out. But He shows me that He is real.

This might sound very silly to many, but John 13:34 and 35 is how God shows Himself to me:

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: “just as I have loved you, you are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

The people that I interact with online who have become real friends are the prime example. This is unexpected, but welcome, and life-giving. Discussing happiness, sadness, anger, depression, and many other things is not something I figured I would ever do. I had really hoped to be a recluse by now.

My life’s goal was to withdraw, not to get a Bachelor’s in Religion…but Jesus. After I am done with that, whatever doors open will be next. I’m certain it will probably be what I least expect. Again, Jesus. It may happen in my current denomination, or He may lead me elsewhere. Jesus.

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