One of the most difficult decisions of my life was the decision to retire from a job I loved. I walked away from the healthy challenges and deep satisfaction of meaningful work. There were several good reasons to do so, which you may discover some day in my manuscript on retirement, but in the end it was a leap of faith. Trusting in a loving God I mustered the courage to step away from my comfort zone and embrace the unknown. But would I get bored? Would I miss my students and colleagues? Would my mind deteriorate? Would I be financially secure? Even as questions continued, I had faith that opportunities were on the horizon and retirement would unfold into a refreshing new life. I reminded myself that faith is believing in the unseen and trusting it to be good.
Now enters the fig story. My dear grandmother, a charming southern lady, made the best ever fig preserves. On those special occasions when we visited her home in North Carolina, kinfolk young and old gathered around the large round table in her breakfast room. There was plenty of good food, including grits, but most of all I remember the toasted homemade wheat bread served with butter and her scrumptious fig preserves.
During my career I rarely had time to bake homemade bread and never tried making fig preserves. It was only after retiring that I discovered fresh figs at a nearby market and made my first attempt. And yes, I used my grandmother’s recipe. Every bite was sweet, delicious, and healthy! While exploring names for this blog the fig project came to mind. The tough decision to walk away from meaningful work resulted in amazing freedom. I had time to do whatever I wanted to do. My mind was relaxed and uncluttered, and I began to see the world in a fresh way. The fig preserves became a symbol for new opportunities to be creative and the joys to be discovered when we step out in faith. And so I welcome you to my blog, faithtofigs, once again. If you have a faith story, a fig story, or a retirement story I would be delighted to read it here. Just click reply and write away.