I’m done – officially unemployed! I spent my last working day half way between ridiculously happy and bawling my eyes out. I was overwhelmed on Thursday when most of the building turned out to wish me well and listen to my ‘friend’ Alex tell some silly stories about might time in the Environment Agency. I was wonderfully embarrassed, rendered speechless, and deeply touched.
A difficult part in the process of moving on, is recognising there are great colleagues, and a few very special friends I’m unlikely to spend as much time with again. I recognise seasons end, but I aim to go out of my way to stay in touch with those amazing, hardworking, dedicated friends who have an equally uncertain time ahead of them. The public sector is not a fun place to be at the moment.
I’m utterly unable to pinpoint, let alone start to describe, how I feel about this next stage so this instalment is shorter than anticipated. I’ve been busy since leaving work with a dinner party last night, Sue’s hen do on Friday and I picked up my new car yesterday. I’m very grateful for Ulri (my new Ka….see what we did there?) and thank God that I had the finances available to remain mobile.
This morning, a new friend gave me a sage piece of advice, almost in passing, but it was perfect for me. Have a plan and keep a routine. And part of the talk at Church this morning was about ensuring we do not wait until things are falling apart to pray about our troubles, but to pray about them first. Prayer will be first in my new routine and I know it will make a difference!
Helen, who spoke this morning, used an analogy, comparing our lives to a journey in a car. We were to identify where Jesus is in our vehicle. Is he locked in the boot, only coming out on Sundays? Is he in the passenger or back seat, while we drive? Or is he in the driver’s seat? And if he is in the driver’s position, are we being back seat drivers, thinking we know better. I know where I want him to be, and that I definitely need to shut up giving directions.
I still have to fight little panics about money, and about future plans that seem less clear than they did when I had a predictable income. But God is already showing me that I should continue to try to live generously, rather than becoming obsessed with preserving my savings and pursuing an income. I recently gave an amount of money to a friend for a charity event. It wasn’t a lot in the scheme of things, but a few days later when I was back at Mum’s cleaning out the last remnants of my belongings in my old room, I came across a very similar amount of money, albeit in Euros, that I am convinced were not there when I moved out. Whether the notes miraculously appeared, or I had just forgotten them, I have been encouraged by people wiser than me, to take this as a sign that God will provide, and that He does reward generosity.
And even with signs and wonders like these it is tough. Like practising repentance and forgiveness, it is going to be a daily challenge to keep letting God be in control.
Rob told me he had a picture of God rubbing His hands together with glee that I have offered God my life to do with as He wants. But that we need to be prepared that there may be attacks as we strive for obedience.
So I got on my knees this morning and asked Him to take control. And I sang in the presence of my Church family, He has my heart, now He can take my life.
And I find tonight, rather than be worried about tomorrow, I am excited.