God has plans when ours don't work out
"Old men will dream dreams."
-- Joel 2:28 (NLT)
Sometimes life just doesn't always turn out the way we expect it to. We start out with faith and hope for the life of our dreams. Then, somehow along life's way, we encounter struggles, challenges and hardships we never thought we'd face.
And sometimes when we're expecting to live out our retirement years with great expectations, it doesn't always go quite as smooth as we expected.
A 70-year-old woman I know was thrust into a whirlwind of turmoil when her husband died. Besides her devastating grief over her loss, she had no skills to help her through her life transition. She had been a stay-at-home wife and mother most of her life, and her husband had taken care of all the finances.
All of a sudden, her life was turned upside down and she needed to learn how to handle some things, fast!
As she moved forward with the help of friends and a life coach, she was able to build her confidence and learn how to budget her money and pay her bills. But she still struggled with her loneliness and troubling health issues that were cropping up in her own life.
There was no quick fix or easy way out. Many widows in this position are forced to relocate and lose what they have called home. It can bring feelings of anxiety and fear, depending the type of support system of friends or family you have. My advice to women is make sure you don't lean too much on your spouse. Keep a network of friends and interests of your own.
A good friend of mine has struggled in her retirement years as caretaker for her disabled husband. She feels robbed of her dream of travel and enjoyment for her retirement.
I have listened to hardships of many of the seniors and the struggles they face, including health issues, loneliness, money issues and more. Some have it easier than others, but it's still a time of repositioning their life and striving to discover new hopes and dreams.
I find even when you are prepared, life throws curve balls. But I do know that when hardships take place, God says he still has plans and dreams for our lives. It may not be the ones we were planning on; new seasons, oftentimes, call for self-discovery, new resources, learning and attitudes to help find our way through the struggles.
• Annettee Budzban is an author, speaker, life coach and nurse. She will be speaking Sept. 28 at the Women's Fall Gathering at Holy Cross Church in Cary. Women interested in attending should contact firstname.lastname@example.org for details. She is available to speak to your church group, business, civic organization or be your personal life coach. She can be contacted at Annetteebudzban@aol.com or (847) 543-8413.