Saturday, April 11, 2015

What I Learned at TAP or EVEN THERE

After the first day I left home each morning PREPARED
I got up early every a.m. this week and attended the Transition Assistance Program (TAP) with Michael.  I was surprised to be the only spouse on all days until the last day (VA Benefits).  This is a GREAT program that the Department of Labor and Department of Defense host to prepare ALL who are separating or retiring from the military. I highly recommend the program. I can't imagine how generations of previous Veterans navigated the system without this program.

What did I learn?   We learned much about translating our experience to civilian speak. We learned about resources, benefits, and job hunting skills. Personally, I learned that I do not want to be out of my home 10 hours a day - full time work is not for me. Part time - I believe is manageable with the ages of our children. I could write a smoking resume from my years as a home school teacher and a women's ministry volunteer. Collecting references to back up my claims could be difficult - military life being what it is. ALWAYS collect references immediately and save them if need be.

We have much to research.  We have many forms and steps to complete in the next few months. We have been encouraged it is important we step back from NOW to prepare for THEN. I think we needed someone to give us permission as the retirement date is now 4 months and 3 days away.

Honestly, we have a Plan A, which our hearts long for and truly is our passion - being missionaries in Japan. However, we also have a Plan B, which would provide income greater than our current income. We are sitting in a good spot  - though nothing is firmly nailed down, we know our passions and have options.  It would have been impossible to sit in hours of discussion about the future and retirement plans without Plan C and Plan D hovering on the edges of our consciousness.  The realization of Plan C or Plan D would significantly impact Plan A and Plan B.

My soul screams, "NO! We want Plan A."  We wait - we do all we need to do to retire, and we seek answers to rule out Plan C or D. The thing is we can't seriously plan for our transition without considering the possibility of Plan C or  Plan D.

My conclusions: There are things far harder emotionally and financially than death - I would prefer not to walk any of these paths.   And here is the biggest thing I learned on a gut level at TAP:

The Spirit whispers to me, "EVEN THERE His strength will guide you and sustain you."

God knows! He knows our daily activities, our thoughts and plans, He scrutinizes our plans and is intimately acquainted with all the twists and turns in our lives. Even before we voice a word or thought, He knows it all. He encircles us, and walks hand in hand with us in the twists and turns.

It's beyond our understanding, so much more than we deserve.

There is nowhere we will go where we will be out of His presence or hidden from His Spirit. Heaven or the grave, East or West, Plan A or Plan D....

EVEN THERE His strength will guide us, His strength will support us and settles us in the place to which He leads. The uncertainty  won't overwhelmingly cover us - darkness is not dark to God!! The darkness  is as bright as a sunny CA afternoon because EVEN THERE- God shines. EVEN THERE - God resides.

We trust in God with all our being, we don't need a clear picture to trust. We'll obediently seek God in the twists and turns, and He will reveal the path we are to travel.

If we have to surrender Plan A or Plan B - EVEN THERE He will walk with us, lead us and sustain us.

We truly are in a good place.

We would appreciate your prayers as we eliminate Plan C or Plan D.  We'll share more info about Plans B - D should they become reality.

Yes, the words the Spirit whispered to me, my thoughts and our responses are based on passages of the word which are dear to me - Psalm 139:1-12; Proverbs 3:5-6


Anonymous said...

Amen. And praying for the Holy Spirit to lead you and make the path known.


Renee said...

Praying for y'all as you discern which path will be your reality --- at least immediately upon retirement

Anonymous said...

MIKE/DeEtta: Fully understand. Just know that Dad/I, have been, are, and will continue to pray for you all. l/p mom t.