Betty J. Slade
Each year at this time, I write the same sentiment and make the same bold statement, “I might have another 10 years left.” I said it last year and I still feel like I have another 10 years. It doesn’t compute, but it settles something in me to keep going and doing.
In these last few years, we’ve seen things we can’t explain. Even though many want to speculate about the craziness going on around us, we are still on the same path we’ve been called to walk. God’s story hasn’t changed. We’re still reading the same book.
I’m not looking for an answer, but a settling in my spirit. Ending the year and starting another year is like beginning another chapter in God’s story.
Our path is so uniquely designed for each one of us, we can’t find footprints to follow. There are no trodden-down signs indicating someone walked on this road before us. Others can’t tell us where we belong. We need to listen to what our heart is saying and what our heart needs.
My life has been a pattern of choices and impulses, all of which have shaped me. With some of my choices, good and bad, I have found myself in the most uncomfortable places, yet they define who I am today.
In a recent Bible study, I was blown away and brought to my knees, humbled to be reminded how God has been moving me through my life. It’s always with purpose. He has never strayed from how He made me in my mother’s womb. I’ve strayed many times over the years, but He has always brought me back to His purpose in me.
This week I made a decision to step down from a position I’ve held for seven years. The position was gratifying, educating, and I thought it would always be mine. I made a choice to begin a writers’ group, now I’m letting go. I’m moving on and following my heart. God is nudging me and emptying my hands. He has another place for me to walk in this new year.
There is always speculation as to what is coming, but the heart of biblical prophecy is not to say, “Look what is coming,” but, “thus says the Lord.” Each choice brings us to an expected end, a place where we meet God and find a new us in a new year.
Life brings changes without our permission. How will we handle what life brings? Trust God and His plan. God’s been leading us along the way. Those moments of choice are defining us and bringing us to completion.
He tells us to step out onto that unknown path. The tugs and pulls that are moving in our hearts point to the path we need to be on. I told a friend this week, “It would be so easy to step back into what we know. My heart won’t let me, no matter how much I enjoyed where I’ve been.”
New level, new devil. How do we discern that path we haven’t walked? He tells us in the last days how false teachers and prophets will come. He tells us to discern the spirits. It’s the light of Jesus upon our path that will show us the way. Those moments of uncertainty have created moments of identity. We shift into those moments and find new and exciting things about us and what we are capable of doing.
I stepped down from where I found myself. The newfound calling wouldn’t leave me alone. The change scared me. I don’t want to live the end of my days with empty hands. I want to stay relevant. Moving forward will keep me relevant.
When I realized who I am and what the Lord expected of me, I settled down in the decision I made. I am coming to know my heart, instead of telling my heart what I should be or what I should do. God’s revelation is freeing. I don’t have to do what others expect of me. I need to wait on the Lord. He’s made plans for me. I just need to walk them out.
Final brushstroke: So, as we enter the new year, God’s story is still being written and has been written. Trust in His wisdom and His love for us. I’ll be here in the new year to meet with you on Thursdays. After all, I’m counting on another 10 years.