Retirement was like experiencing a death of someone who was extremely close to me. I was not prepared for the grief process that was to follow. I thought I had prepared for retirement, but I was wrong. Finding God in the midst of the loneliness, loss of purpose, and the familiarity of routine became my deepest journey.
Why was this journey such a surprise?
With reflection I think that God had something he wanted me to learn as I searched for God’s light in the midst of the darkness that engulfed me. Like the other transitions of my almost seven- decade- life, this one involved the struggle of resistance and surrender.
My visual image of struggle is the flicker of a candle. As the flame dances from side to side, I picture the bouncing back and forth of my own willingness and willfulness. My ego does not want to give up what control it so arrogantly thought it had.
This transition contained other elements left over from previous ones. Left-over losses combined with the loss of “work” to form the perfect storm. Again, I asked, “Why, Lord. Why me? Why now?” God’s answer is still evolving. The clarity that has resulted is healing old life to new.
The specifics are still unfolding as my journey continues. But I see God’s light at the end of the tunnel.
When I am aware, I find God’s light in feeling quiet, gentle breezes, conversing with friends, reading God’s Word. God’s light is in the flicker of the candle symbolizing conflict of surrender and resistance.
God’s light is also the glow of hope at the end of the fog tunnel. God is in it all. God’s light whether a flicker, a glow or a bright noon sun sustains, heals and transforms. Perhaps the joy of transitions is the reality that God is with me.
Jeremiah 33:3 NRS
Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.