I tried to keep a diary when I was a little girl.
On January 1st I had the best of intentions, to write daily, to keep a record of the days of my young life. But by mid February or so, I’d skipped too many days and lost the desire to keep at it. My perfectionist personality (even at this tender age) made me feel like I’d failed if every day was not filled in to my satisfaction. Yes, I set high standards for myself.
Years later I took up journaling which was more to my liking. I could write one day and skip several or even a week and it was OK. Because journaling is a record of a life not just a daily record.
Sometimes I read old journals just to remember what was going on. Today, I found myself back at January of this year. I was preparing to leave my position as Academy of Arts Director at Little Flock Baptist Church, where I worked almost seven years. They were really good years but that season of my life was coming to an end.
My last day was January 17th and I had planned to finish a few more details of the job with my successor, say good-bye to co-workers who were friends now, and then Sweet William and I were going to celebrate at Olive Garden with a dear couple whose wife had recently retired.
But then the weather changed and the snow fell and my plans took a detour.
My successor could not get out of her driveway. The co-worker/friends were not at there desks for me to say good-bye. The anticipated dinner at Olive Garden was canceled. And I was a little let down that my retirement celebration was crumbling.
Then I heard a gentle whisper from the Holy Spirit. “Expect a change of plans.” That is what I recorded in my journal.
When such a message comes to me, I tend to pay attention. My plans for retirement are subject to change so I had better be ready for it.
As I think about my first year of “being retired,” it has certainly been different than what I anticipated. Things I’d wanted to do had to be let go. A trip to Tulsa to see three precious grandchildren was canceled. Sweet William had another surgery. Projects I hoped to complete never even got started.
It has most certainly been a year of changed plans. Sometimes change can lay me low as I try to adjust and regroup. But what remains unchanged is ultimately what is really important, what lifts up my weak hands and strengthens my feeble knees.
I am still loved. Prayers never vanish or waste away but are before the throne of the Almighty. Our needs are met daily. My sins are forever forgiven. Grace is still enough.
God is ever faithful in His extravagant love for us. His plan for my salvation and an eternal home with Him is set in stone, the chief cornerstone of Christ’s death and resurrection.
And with a heart of thanksgiving, I can rest in His unchangeableness.