It is rare that I just “blog” and write what is on my heart, but today I feel the need to just express some of the warring emotions going on inside — mostly fueled by events of yesterday.
I did not learn of the CT shooting until after 5 pm CDT yesterday. You see, yesterday was my retirement day from a large healthcare facility’s IT department. In about 6 weeks I would have completed 36 years there. Since I basically grew up there after beginning as a secretary in 1977 at age 25 and ending as an IT Director, I spent most of the day reflecting on the 100s, maybe 1,000s, of people whose lives had touched mine during those years — the leaders that I worked for, the peers who encouraged me, and the employees who were loyal members of my staff.
It was a wild ride of ups and downs, but a ride that God blessed in so many ways – always through other people — either a boss who recognized my skills and opened a door for me or an employee who needed an encouraging word or was in need of mentorship. There is no way to thank everyone for the positive contributions they made to my life. The negative people and their negative contributions are long forgotten and are unworthy of time spent thinking on them.
Kind words, a lovely reception, lots of hugs and memories, and unexpected, thoughtful and meaningful gifts filled my afternoon. I was so blessed.
The decision to retire had been a difficult one – one that I had prayed over for months. Back in early September I asked God to help me know if and when I was to retire. I asked that it be in His perfect time and that I would have NO DOUBTS. This prayer was lifted up at 6:00 pm on a Tuesday night while I was in the prayer chapel for my weekly hour of prayer there. I also left a prayer request asking others to pray for me as I wrestled with this decision.
Between 1-2 pm the following day, while in a meeting, I KNEW that this time was now for me to retire. By 4:00 pm that same day I knew the day to give my letter of resignation and I knew that my last day was to be 12/14/2012. I have NEVER had a single doubt about these decisions. I KNEW I was in God’s timing.
Immediately following my reception as we were cleaning up, one of our leaders returned from a Press Conference with our organizations leadership where a merger of our healthcare facility had just been announced. Immediately, I KNEW that God had known I would hear this announcement on this particularly day and He KNEW that it was the BIG CORPORATE culture that I was struggling with and that was why I was so stressed each day. I now knew His perfect timing was complete, at least for now.
It was only after my husband, Richard, and I got home and were reflecting on the day, that I learned about the loss of precious lives in CT. Suddenly the events of my day became less important, less significant as I thought on these hurting families, this hurting town, and the sickness that seems to be filling our nation — and my own grandchildren.
The heartache, the sorrow — these children will never finish school, have a job or retire. They will not have Christmas, birthday parties, fall in love. The heartache, the despair their families must be feeling. I cannot imagine.
Although I know without a doubt, God is still in control and in the end God wins, it is still difficult to see the state of our world. Evil, sick people take the lives of innocent people, even children; even locked schools cannot protect our children; the economy is failing and all that I have worked for these 36 years could all slip away in a blink of the eye, family owned or close-knit smaller businesses, relationship-oriented, caring businesses are being forced to become huge, multi-corporate organizations that must focus on the bottom-line and government mandated reimbursements, regulations and penalties instead of the patients they care for and the employees who work there, and my grandchildren’s future seems so uncertain.
1,000s of personal memories, thoughts of the future – not only mine, but that of my peers and my daughter who will be a part of this merger process have filled my mind, competing for attention in my head. But, these thoughts pale in comparison and are also competing with the thoughts of sadness and numbness I feel for those families in CT, knowing that only by the Grace of God this did not happen yesterday in one of the communities close by here or to my grandchildren or children. There is no guarantees that this type of evil tragedy will not occur here… in fact it did when Nidal Hasan shot so many in the Ft. Hood massacre only a few miles down the road. Yet even the devastation of that massacre did not leave me with the depth of sadness that I feel over these innocent children many states away.
Although, Satan reigns in our world, the fallen state of the world since Adam and Eve ate the apple, and the sinful flesh of humanity are often the reason for these tragic events. Although, Satan is real, he often can sit back and watch as the sinfulness of man takes over and destroys life, destroys home, destroys dreams. Why is it so difficult for troubled people to seek the help they need? Why is it so difficult for people to believe that Jesus is real. That He came to earth in the form of a wee baby so that we — everyone — can have life, an abundant life.
The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. John 10:10 NKJV
Only God really knows why Adam Lanza did what he did.
I wonder how different things would be today, if as a small child, Adam Lanza had been taught to read The Bible, had been taught about this man named Jesus, had learned to pray to Jesus and most of all had accepted and experienced the unconditional love of Jesus. I wonder if instead of being a loner, a troubled young man, whether he would have been a youth serving others, going on mission trips, or teaching children the love of Christ Jesus instead of being dead after savagely taking the lives of so many innocent ones. I wonder if these 28 people, especially the children, would be alive today.
9 And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; 10 for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Luke 19:9 NKJV
My work of the last 36 years may be over, but my wish to do the Lord’s work is only increasing as the thoughts war for attention in my soul. These past 36 years of work are of little value — hopefully as I have shared and prayed with members of my teams, Jesus has made a difference — but the work itself has little eternal value. If just one child, one person’s life can be changed because I shared the gospel message or because I let Jesus’ love shine through me to touch their lives, then I will feel that my life has had purpose and meaning.
I believe that my true work is just now beginning…
Lord, help me to make a difference in the lives of others. Help me to share your gospel message of salvation. So many in this world are troubled, lost and hurting. So many need to know that unconditional love is real. That they are loved with a love unlike any that they could imagine — a love that no human can give them — but a love that God has freely made available to them through the blood of His Son, Jesus Christ, and through the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Comfort these hurting families in CT in ways that only you can do.
In Jesus’ Holy and Precious Name,
Postscript — I do not oppose the merger mentioned above — it is right for the organization and the community; just not the right work environment for me personally.