Are you a possibility person? If so, you likely see a variety of options to consider in any context you find yourself and are considered by your friends to be creative as well. You enjoy catching a glimpse of something others may miss and are likely a lifelong learner. You could be someone who gets teased for the random facts you invariably mention when family gets together. Ideas often pop into your head like dandelions on a spring lawn.
When I retired 8 years ago next month almost anyone who knew me would have told you I was a possibility person. That may have been because it seemed I often saw some bud of an untapped skill or gift in someone else and the possibilities of what it could become. But despite that, I had little idea of what this new season of retirement would hold for me after spending fifteen years teaching special education students and another nearly twenty-five as a licensed professional clinical counselor. There were things I enjoyed (many) but no serious hobbies those who retire tend to pursue.
But then I sensed the Lord give me a clue about the new season, leading me as He had every other season of my life. From childhood I had always loved reading and writing and thought of ideas in my head I would jot on paper or tucked in diaries or notebooks. I confessed this desire to write to my high school English teachers and was surprised to find them encouraging, but then tucked it away not risking believing it was possible for me.
My path to become a teacher had already been set and writing was a dream I wasn’t sure I could risk in any area. And yet the nudge to write never totally disappeared and when our children were toddlers, I was given a chance to write for a local newspaper for a period of several years, covering local events and meetings and here and there writing feature stories armed with a black and white Polaroid camera. I loved it despite only being paid a pittance per inch. But that season opened into another and another and suddenly retirement lay ahead of me.
As we were planning a family vacation trip to Yellowstone National Park, I learned of a Writers Book Camp that would take place in Colorado that could fit in the timetable we would be in that part of the country. I had been given some monetary gifts at retirement that would cover the cost and with my husband’s encouragement and willingness to add those days to the trip, I registered to participate. I had no idea it would mean before even arriving I needed to develop a website and create a blog. What were those and how would I do it? But when God opens a door to a dream, He supplies the provision. A young couple I had done premarital counseling with had all the tools I lacked – he was an author, writer, and editor, and she was a graphic arts designer. The two of them helped me get that first assignment completed before arriving at the workshop and I could never have guessed how those possibilities would develop since then.
Little by little I discovered my voice and week-by-week sensed the direction God was leading me to write and somewhere in the middle of all that, He opened the door to the “big dream” of authoring a book. So today I am celebrating seven years of possibilities and sharing what I wrote on that first post.
Many if not most of you reading this didn’t know me then, but today I share it again to encourage you to consider the possibilities God may have for you no matter what season you find yourself or how far back on the shelf some dream or desire may be.
The commitment begins, a commitment to risk discovering if the spark within me that has never died is to be stirred into a flame to help others find their way, take their own risks.
Discovery is the name of the journey. I follow what seems like a reverberating whisper that I have heard since childhood and long ignored. Perhaps it is as Margaret Feinberg would describe a “sacred echo” to a destination I have yet to discover.
How foolish we are to perceive we truly know ourselves no matter what our age! The notion belies the reality of divine creation and our capacity to grasp the smallest nuances involved in the process. We are created in His likeness and how much can we truly comprehend of Him?
So, discovery begins by setting aside all that I think I know of myself and allowing the journey to reveal the truth. It requires humility and pushing past the fear that has halted every attempt to begin the journey. Today is but a step on this quest, but it is a step nonetheless and one my heart cannot fail to risk.
The length of the journey is uncertain, but at long last time is there to make it and there can be no more excuses, childish excuses must be set aside once and for all.
That was the first day of the journey of “A New Lens” and I am so glad to have you join me on it and I hope it will give you courage to discover your own new season. It is my joy to have you along with me and I wanted to share with you how my discovery began. And it continues because of that spark God created in me long ago.