Being Retired, But Not Retiring

By: Grace Schiemann

I grew up in a Christian home regularly attending Sunday School and church. I knew who God was, but I didn’t have a personal relationship with Him. I knew Bible stories, but I didn’t understand their special meaning for me. I lived this way through adulthood always feeling blessed by so many doors of opportunity. I never doubted my servant’s heart. Life was good!

Until it wasn’t.

I lived through two divorces. Raised children on my own. I felt abandoned, rejected, unloved, grief, and anger (just to say a few). I pushed forward. Life wasn’t all bad. My children grew and I formed my own company in healthcare as a consulting dietitian.

Then things changed.

The youngest child from my second marriage had grown up spending a lot of time with us; he and I had grown close. He had a personal relationship with Jesus. Because of his faith and invitation to come to church, my life changed forever. That day when the Pastor gave an altar call as the choir sang “I’m Desperate for You,” I re-dedicated my life to Jesus and felt a personal relationship with Jesus!

As Jesus walked by my side, my faith grew stronger, and doors began to open. With a new church family, mentors, unconditional love, and encouragement to move forward, I realized Jesus was my husband now. He was taking care of me. He was giving me a new purpose!

I wanted more of Him. As I shifted my focus to serving others in hospitality and special events, my faith grew deeper. I lived alone but was not lonely.

With support from a loving church family, I was able to support myself.  I felt connected with my family, though I lived 700-800 miles from my children and 300-400 miles from my brothers and sister. I was exactly where I wanted to be. God had made all the arrangements for everything. His yoke was easy. His burden was light.

After my parent’s death, life changed again.

Now I am retired, enjoying another kind of peace – that which is possible only through a personal relationship with Jesus. This peace is hard to explain in words, but one that is deeply felt in the heart. Those feelings of abandonment, rejection, unloved, grief, and anger, no longer exist. I feel free and loved!

God continues to show up in my life in so many ways. I trust Him more each day. My love grows steadily.

Now, retired, I have much more to offer. Living closer to my children, I am called to be a more involved partner in my family. I am called to be a servant/helper to my children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. I am retired, but not retiring!

Jesus has not finished my story. His plan is for me to continue serving with a new community and church family. I am blessed to be live close to my family. He has blessed me to see my children grow in faith and trust Jesus. My prayer is to see the same for my grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

This prayer is already being answered. I’ve recently assisted in baptizing my great-grandson – who loves Jesus! We talk about Him often.

Loving and helping my family, through my love for Jesus, opens doors for them to see Jesus too!

Life can still be hard. Sometimes I feel like I’m in a desert, relocating from a place of familiarity and contentment to a place of unfamiliarity. I miss my neighborhood and friends.

But I am reminded of God’s promise to be with me. His presence is with me each day and His plan is to grow me in faith.  I believe He is who He says He is.

God is not finished writing my story. This is part of His plan for my life.

I am not retired; I am living for Jesus!