Colossians 1:16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.
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Dreaming of Retirement…So Far Behind
Imagine working in a career you don’t like for almost 30 years. For some of you, that’s probably not hard to imagine. Maybe you’ve spent the majority of your adult life working at something you never felt passion for. Or maybe you couldn’t find the purpose in what you do.
I don’t even mean the logical purpose such as managing financial accounts, selling goods, or in my case, teaching middle school students basic computer operations plus how to type. What I’m talking about is the deeper purpose of knowing that what we’re spending our lives doing fulfills the purpose God has planned for us.
Do you know what I’m saying?
As a child, I was a people-pleaser, and the people I wanted to please the most were my parents. While I had aspirations to become a writer or a broadcast journalist, they encouraged me to choose a career they considered safe and secure. As public school educators, that safe and secure career they chose for me was teaching.
I did it. I didn’t want to disappoint, right? Plus, following my dreams of writing would be too difficult. I was sure I wasn’t good enough to actually ‘become a writer’ or ‘appear on the nightly news’. And so I did the safe thing, but as I did, I felt a little bit of the hope and joy I’d held in my youth slip away.
I’ll spend other posts writing more about appreciating what I have and recognizing ALL the blessings in my life, including my job, so I don’t want you to think I’m complaining too much. Keeping perspective on what’s important helps me not to take my job for granted. I do have a steady paycheck, an incredible school district, and a potential strong retirement plan that can carry me throughout the rest of my life.
But if you’re like me, you may understand how desperate I am for a change in what I do each day. We get wrapped up in what we do and go through the motions of life. When does that stop?
There’s not much scarier to me than looking back at my life when I’m 80 or 90 and realizing I spent my whole life safe but numb.
That’s why now, at just over 50 years old, I’m finally putting together a plan to retire on time even though I’m so far behind, so that I can spend all of my day in union with the call God has placed on my heart. For me, that’s sharing how Christ’s love fuels our lives with purpose and passion.
See, I’ve learned that lesson over the last 15 years or so, but even when I knew it I was first too scared to follow my dreams and then, when I finally felt brave enough, I was too far in to my career and too far into debt to quit my job. Sigh.
If I had been strong enough in my faith to begin with, I wouldn’t be so far behind now. I’m sure of that. Through faith in Christ and who we are in Him, we can figure out our passions, our purpose, and the specifics to help us live a life honoring Him and honoring who we are in Him.
For example, had I understood that the passions He placed on my heart through what I loved and excelled in as a child were what I was designed to live and be, I would have followed my dreams of being a writer despite what others wanted me to do.
If I’d realized my worth because of Christ, I would have had the confidence to stand up for myself and follow the path I felt led to follow.
Because I didn’t know or understand those things, I spent my career going through the motions, doing what I was supposed to…like a good girl. My professional life has been successful if you count success as a steady income and positive evaluations. However, if success means feeling fulfilled and sure you’re doing what God is calling you to do, then it hasn’t been successful at all.
Have you felt this way before or is it just me?
Are you ready to retire from your current job or situation so that you can devote yourself to the things you feel passionate about? The things you KNOW God is calling you to do?
Can you retire now or are you like me and find yourself too far behind on savings goals?
If you are, let’s talk about what we can do to put ourselves in position to go ahead and retire as quickly as possible without putting ourselves into the stressful position of not having enough to live on.
Being able to spend your days doing what you love and are passionate about is so important to your overall well-being. My prayer is that you’ve been able to do that all along. If not, if you’ve been going through the motions of your job in order to simply earn a paycheck, then I want you to know that it’s not too late to still follow your dreams, retire on your terms, and live a life full of passion.
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Prayer for today:
Dear Lord, we come to you with earnest hearts. We come to you so sincerely to know who we are, to know You, the source of our life, and to be in Your light, and to be ignited in Your light within us. May we see the brilliance You bring to our souls. May we be warmed by that glow and in that glow have clarity regarding the lies the enemy would have us believe. Take our unworthiness from us. Take away any perception or lie we have believed that we do not deserve peace or grace, and please replace that with knowing that we have been loved since the beginning of time. Fill us with the understanding that we will be loved for eternity, that what we want for our lives is designed and motivated through you. Give us grace, courage and the blessing for all our dreams in You and through You. Thank you for what has been, what is, and what will be. Amen.