I argued with myself for months, gnawing on the decision like a dog worrying over a bone. Deanne and I talked it over again and again, as if we were working a complicated math problem that kept giving us the same answer that didn't make sense. Personal goals, family needs, personal health, professional relationships, finances: so many factors are involved. And you really can't talk it over with everybody, can't ask for advice beyond the most intimate of circles.
Finally, I resolved to pull the trigger. That said, writing the powers that be of my intent was one of the hardest things I've ever done. Immediately after that came a great peace. I felt like the girl in The Departure of Dindrane,
who after long anguish trying to make up her mind over an opportunity given her, has come to a decision:
'. . . write
that now I am quits with those two jangling bits.
They only can do it with my lord who can do it without him,
and I know he will have about him only those.'
But then came the grief. And the telling. And the second-guessing: What have I done? And once again, as so often before, you work the problem over: personal goals, family needs, personal health, professional relationships, finances. And still the answer is the same. You just aren't guaranteed to always be happy with it. But I believe that when you do the right thing, the decision will re-confirm itself in the living out of the decision.
And so, I stood up before God and everybody yesterday and announced that I will retire from the full-time ministry this summer.