After many years of diverse career experience, I was excitedly counting down the days until my retirement. I eagerly anticipated being in control of my schedule and time while enjoying a slower pace of life. I envisioned more days devoted to serving in ministry at my church and deepening relationships with family and friends, and I prayed for the Lord to prepare me for these opportune times. And while he did answer that prayer, the opportunities he provided were not the ones for which I had hoped. Instead, the Lord thrust me into a very painful and difficult “wilderness” season…