Wednesday, August 1, 2012

"For I know the plans I have for you...

In my last post, I mentioned my March 31 retirement and promised a bit more on that. Four months isn't too long to wait to fulfill a promise, is it? Both retirement and this summer's 40-year high school reunion offered me opportunity for reflection. How in the world did I get from leaving Texas City High School in 1972 to retiring in Utah in 2012?

When I graduated high school, I knew I wanted to attend college. But, I really didn't have a particular field of study in mind. Business? Education? Nursing? I'd like to say that I spent much time in prayer over what to do. However, I don't remember doing that. Just sort of filled out college applications and decided on business as a major. Then I changed schools and majors. Still not much prayer involved. This time it was journalism. That decision was driven primarily by Tommy, my then boyfriend and now husband. He was attending the University of Texas, so I transferred there. And he thought business wasn't the best major, so I switched to journalism. I was editor of my high school newspaper, so this wasn't completely ridiculous. I graduated with a Bachelor of Journalism degree in 1975, two weeks before I married Tommy and we reported for his first Air Force assignment to Del Rio, Texas. And the journalism degree got put on the back burner. No newspaper or TV station there.

We moved to Utah in 1980, and I went to work as a secretary in a local college. The Air Force took us to Germany for three years and back to Utah in 1988, where I returned to the same college as a secretary in a different department. I loved both those jobs and was content. Then, out of the blue, I was offered a job with the Utah-Idaho Southern Baptist Convention in September of 1990. My pastor and good friend had taken a job there earlier in the year, and he mentioned my journalism degree to the Executive Director of the convention. Turns out, the convention was in need of someone to edit the newspaper. I agonized over what to do. Made a pros and cons list. And turned down the job. I loved the job at the college and the people I worked for. But, the minute I hung up the phone, I knew saying no was a mistake. So, I called back and accepted the position.

For 19 years, I was blessed to work in Christian ministry, 12 years full-time with the state convention; and; after a short break, 7 years part-time with the Salt Lake Baptist Association. I did the same job in both places, Business Services Director and Editor of the paper. Fancy titles for paying the bills and putting together a newsletter.  All because of a journalism degree I thought I'd never use.

UISBC and SLBA coworkers

God knew how to get me from high school to retirement. Even when I was too self-absorbed to ask, God directed every step to bring me to exactly where He wanted me to be. Jeremiah 29:11 tells us that God has a plan for us. I am so thankful that He guided me to mine. And grew my faith. And blessed me beyond measure.

I can't wait to see what He has in store for me in retirement!