On a dreary Sunday in January 2006, I trudged through the trees repeatedly crying out, “God, what am I going to do? What am I going to do?” My heart was broken after the recent loss of my brother. Inside, I felt inconsolable. I was going through the motions of normal life for the sake of my husband who was similarly grieving for the only brother he had ever had.
At the time, I never stopped to think what I meant by that question. I needed to vent. I wasn’t mad at God; I just didn’t know how I was going to survive without Bud.
An hour later, feeling drained but comforted, I composed myself and went back inside. I never expected an answer. After all, I had never really considered the words I was saying.
But God knows our hearts. He knows all we need. He has a plan. The next morning, I awakened refreshed and renewed — almost light-hearted for the first time in weeks. Immediately a thought flooded my mind: “Go back to school. Renew your teaching certificate. Teach online.”
I felt stunned. Where did that come from? My husband and I were actively farming and had a home-based real estate appraisal business. Gary was a licensed appraiser; I typed the reports. I hadn’t taught English in a school system for 30 years! Since I had never wanted to teach again, I had purposely let my teaching certificate expire. What was this all about?
As I pondered what seemed like the strangest of plans, I remembered my walk through the woods the previous day. I remembered my repeated plea, “God, what am I going to do?” Here was his amazingly clear answer, surely not what I was looking for, but what he wanted me to do next.
I raced downstairs to share this idea — this directive — with my husband. We had been self-employed for decades and, although Gary loved farming, he was admittedly fed up with appraisal work. He thought it was a great idea!
Obviously not mine!!
And so at age 57, I began an online course of studies, renewed my teaching certificate, and applied for an online teaching position. During the first interview I’d had in decades, I felt so calm and confident. After all, I had insider information!
Not surprisingly, I was hired.
We dissolved our appraisal business so Gary could devote himself full time to farming, and through God’s grace and direction, we were well positioned for the soon-to-follow real estate crash.
What a humbling lesson this was for me! The God of the Universe heard my cries, lovingly wrapped me in his arms, and carried me to a different path.
By: Carolyn Liff