Who Am I Going To Be After?

What happens after you’re no longer who you’ve been your whole life?

I’ve always thought of myself as a Christian first, a daughter of the King, then a wife and mother, and after that a worker bee, a secretary, an assistant to an appellate court justice who works to help pay the bills.

Now I am on the brink of retirement.  Hooray, you say.  Hooray.  I can get more involved at church.  I can write full time.  I can do all those things that I haven’t had time to do all these 40 years that I’ve been working that pesky “other” job.

But I find myself so often full of sadness at this looming prospect of leaving, of life after work.  Because I am good at this job.  I am good at assisting my justice, at making her job easier, at anticipating what she needs before she knows she needs it.  I am good at proofreading and editing appellate court opinions.  I am good at style and grammar.  I am the go-to girl for the other judicial assistants when they have questions.  I like the high level of intellectual conversation and debate with which I am surrounded every day.  I like that lawyers and justices ask my opinion and actually listen when I give it.

What am I going to be after that’s over?

I know I want to write, and I’m excited that I’ll have time to do more of it.  But … what if I don’t have anything to say that anyone wants to hear? In my small little world now I count.  In that big old world of writers out there, chances are I won’t.

And I like counting.  There’s the ugly truth of it all.  In the very small pond in which I swim, I’m a relatively big fish.  And I’m about to jump into an ocean where I will be less than a minnow.

This all sounds very dramatic, I know.  In the end, it won’t be.  I’m really not a drama queen.  I will still be safe and secure in God’s hands and will find my way.  I will still be His child.  All will be well.

But right now, for this little moment, I wonder: Who am I going to be after I’m not who I’ve always been?

Written for Five Minute Friday.  For more, see http://lisajobaker.com

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16 Responses to Who Am I Going To Be After?

  1. There’s no doubt you will be even more than you ever thought. With God’s hands to guide you, the world awaits your new arrival. Congratulations!!

  2. Nancy says:

    Big life changes have a way of making us think about all of that, don’t they? Not sure why, but the first thing I thought of when I read your post was that you’d make a great volunteer for a non-profit legal advocacy group . . . Just throwing that out there! 🙂

    • Susan says:

      That’s a great idea, actually, although along with retiring I’m also moving to the middle of nowhere so I’m not sure it’s feasible. But I know there will be some way I can use the knowledge I’ve accumulated through these years; I’ll just have to look for it! Thanks for the encouragement.

  3. Rebekah says:

    Keep writing with this level of honesty, and people will listen! 🙂 Love it!

  4. Chris Morris says:

    Wow. All this in 300 seconds? Amazing! Thus was a very brave thing to share with us. Wish I had some sound bite to lift you past this moment. I’m all out of those. One thing I know is that the fear of change always outstrips the actual change in my own life. I hope it’s the same for you my friend

    • Susan says:

      Thank you, Chris. And I know you’re right about the fear. I have every confidence in God and I’m actually really looking forward to the next chapter in life. If I just hadn’t enjoyed this last one quite so much, it would be a little easier, that’s all. 🙂
      Oh, and as for writing it in 300 seconds….I think I cheated, because I sort of composed it in my head before I actually started writing it. Plus I went over 5 minutes just a tiny eensy little bit. But shhhhh, don’t tell on me, okay? It’s my first time; cut me a little slack.

  5. Melissa says:

    Beautiful post! I did not retire but I felt that way last year. I had been a teacher for 17 years but I felt God telling me to leave, that he had other plans for me. It was scary and I struggled for a little while but now I couldn’t be happier. He has put a new dream in my heart and is leading me to new things. Blessings to you!

    • Susan says:

      Blessings back,and thanks for stopping by. I know I’ll settle in once the transition is complete. It’s just getting there … 🙂

  6. Beth says:

    I can identify with your wondering. I remember being so scared of what my life would be like after my children were no longer around every day. But God replaced that emptiness with wonderful new adventures! I also love the new relationship I have with my boys. Beautiful post!

    • Susan says:

      OMGosh, yes, I remember that time in life too. I thought I would be completely lost when the kids were grown and gone. And yet strangely … God had it all figured out. So wouldn’t you think now when I’m facing another change I’d remember that and just rest in the assurance that He’s got it figured out this time too? Nooooooooooo……

  7. This is a great post and something I think we all struggle with at some point in our lives: how to move to the next thing. Stand in confidence that God will guide you as you step out in faith to what comes next. You can do it!! Thank you for sharing today.

    • Susan says:

      Thanks for stopping by. This is my first FMF, and I loved it. I’m sure God has a great plan for me. I just need to remember to breathe.

  8. You wrote to my own heart. I too, like being a big fish in a small pond. I like the attention, I like the flattery. I too, have no idea who I’ll be after, after my babes are raised and out of the house, after I’ve retired from my job, after I’ve forgotten all the insignificant details I cling to in my daily life. Beautifully written. You’ve given me so much to think about.

  9. Susan says:

    Thanks, Megan; glad I’m not swimming around in here all alone! In all seriousness, it is a huge transition, and to top off retiring I’m also moving half way across the country, so … whew. Big changes. But it’ll be exciting and I’ve got my writing, right? Thanks for popping in! And for your very encouraging words.

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