Before I knew it, I was retiring from teaching, but once again, I knew the point: suffocating bureaucracy was killing the joy of teaching I'd once had. And I had something more that I was to do. As soon as I turned in my retirement paperwork it was like a huge boulder had rolled off my back.
Less than two years after retiring from publication, I find myself asking "What's the point?" way too often. Maybe I'm going through the stages of grief that can be associated with a life change. But, I don't think that's it.
For the last year and a half, I've been hip-deep in publishing, promoting, marketing, and using Life with Bobby and Bonnie to minister to at risk kids. I've gone to schools and apartment complexes to read stories and give kids books. Kids, like Mareba, have given me more joy than I can describe.
Dear Reader, I've truly believed I was doing what the Lord wanted me to do. And then last October I started hitting a wall. I couldn't get into schools, attempts connecting with churches were unsuccessful, and books weren't selling. That's when I began askng, "What's the point?" I'm not a business person. What do I know about promotion, marketing, or social media? Is loving kids and loving to write enough?
Have you ever put everything you had into what you were sure was the Lord's will, and then nada! One day you're moving along, maybe not burning up any tracks, but still making progress. Seemingly the next day, nothing seems to be going right. How did you handle it?
I'm not going to lie to you. God hasn't come through with a razzle-dazzle miracle. What He had already blessed me with is an extraordinarily supportive husband and kids. He also put some resources in my path to help me to focus and to affirm.
In the last two weeks I've been blessed to visit three classrooms to read stories and give books to kids. My friend, Kim, a school social worker, set up the first two visits. Afterwards, I told Kim that sharing with the kids "restoreth my soul".
A long overdue lunch with my friend, Pam, later in the week, also helped to affirm my "point". When she asked about Life with Bobby and Bonnie, and our ministry, I was forced to articulate my vision. In other words, I had to defend why I'm doing what I do. And you know what? It was easy and I don't think I even hesitated when I told her.
And guess what else? The most encouraging thing during the months of doubt has been YOU! Yep, you! You've kept showing up at David's Daughter, and a few folks have also been leaving comments. Sharing even five minutes of our time can make a more positive impact on someone than we'll ever know.
If I haven't completely stopped asking, "What's the point?", that's okay. It's okay, because I don't have to know all the answers, or try to do the Lord's will alone. The prophet Jeremiah was trying to be obedient but may have felt alone while the Israelites were doing and going through some crazier stuff than most of us ever experience.
God gave Jeremiah a promise that He also shares with us: "11 I alone know the plans I have for you, plans to bring you prosperity and not disaster, plans to bring about the future you hope for.[a] 12 Then you will call to me. You will come and pray to me, and I will answer you." (Jeremiah 29:11-12, GNT)
Dear Reader, if you're asking, "What's the point?", hang on. God hasn't forgotten you. In fact, sometimes He seems to like surprising us so we know He's paying attention. He's got a plan and a purpose, and it's tailor-made just for you!
I hope you'll join me at Crystal's and Kelly's this week.