How Do You Archive Part of Your Life?

How Do You Archive Part of Your Life? -christyfitzwater.comFriday was my last day to teach high school Spanish, after eight years in a job that has challenged me at every turn but has offered some of the most rewarding work I’ve ever done. Next Wednesday I’ll walk in to the school, administer the final exam, enter grades, and walk away.

This morning I opened my laptop and walked through my school Google drive folders. (Pausing for your applause that this old brain learned how to use “the Google” on this job.) Quite a few folders went into the trash.


Other folders I shared to my personal email and archived those under a new folder marked “Spanish.” Maybe I should have titled it “maybe someday again?” There they sit, and I suspect that work in my life is over.

Five little folders represent hundreds of hours’ worth of work.

Valuable hours.

Hours of praying, thinking, studying, writing and re-writing, creating and deleting and creating again. Hours of improving my craft. Hours spent asking myself what would stick in brains and influence hearts and challenge minds without discouraging souls. Hours of chewing on things in the night, my brain putting in more overtime hours than my school could ever afford to pay.

All of that work tucked into the corner of a virtual attic.

I grieve. It’s hard to follow the Lord “to the land I will show you” (Genesis 12:1) but with no address to enter into Google Maps. A long time ago, though, I heard an older woman say that she always determined never to get so attached to a place that she was unwilling to follow God’s leading to some place new. I reminded myself of that over the last eight years, as my love for teaching grew. Don’t get so attached that you get too stubborn to move, I would say to myself on occasion.

At the beginning of this school year, I found out that I wouldn’t have a classroom. So, I loaded up seven years of classroom-building into my truck and brought it home. I filled a dumpster with parts of it and put the most valuable supplies into my crawlspace, taking back to school only what would fit onto a traveling cart. Lord, are you paring me down, getting ready to move me? I prayed. It was a passing thought.

But sure enough. He was loosening my grip on my job. It was a kindness, really–helping me let go of the things ahead of time.

Letting go of an old season and moving forward into a new one is painful and disorienting.

And good.

It’s good to follow God, even into the scary unknown. It was good that I followed him into teaching eight years ago, even though I was green and terrified. I have grown, and God has used me to impact students’ lives.

It’s time to grow again. Time to grow into something new and uncomfortable.

Time to serve God’s kingdom purposes in a new way.

If you’re in a season of great change, please know that I feel how shaky your knees are. I know how many Kleenexes you need. I understand the pendulum of emotions, ranging from deep sorrow to flickers of hope and even excitement. We can do this. We can move forward in faith. God is with us, and he has good works out there waiting for us to do. I’ll step forward if you will.


  1. Sharon Beach says:

    Dear Christy,
    Thank you for your encouraging and helpful blog. I too am in the process of archiving years of my life in a small town in Virginia. Forty one years of raising two children, college, marriage, five grandchildren. Now in preparation for our older years we are moving to Georgia to be with our daughter. So I am feeling the deep sorrow of leaving so much and the flickers if excitement.
    I have prayed for God’s control, wisdom and guidance and He has given the study of Genesis with Abraham, Jacob and Joseph who were moved around like marbles to accomplish God’s will. Genisis 28:15 God tells us He will move us but always with His presence going along. So, yes, we are moving to an unknown future the same as you but we are not going without our good, good God. I pray for you that He will bless you and keep you and be gracious to you. That He will make His face to shine upon you and give you peace.
    God has used you to give me peace. Thank you,

    1. That’s a lot of change! I too have been thinking a lot about finding joy in the presence of God. Thank you for the sweet prayer, and may it be returned to you as well.

  2. Wow! You must have written this for me! I began a season like this two years ago and it is so hard to do. But God has better bigger plans, even if they are unknown and I am still waiting for the reveal. We can trust him! Thanks so much for this word today! I sure needed it!

    1. I’m sorry you’ve been walking through something like this, too. We’ll have to compare notes, when we see what God has waiting for us on the other side. Love you!

  3. Wow, Christy! This sounds just like what I’ve been going through this past few {or so?} months! The Lord has been paring things down, and I’ve been preparing to Go! and I’m *still* in a state of upheaval in my life, just following one dimly lit step at a time, hoping and praying I’m not missing a turn! He’s preparing us for something, Christy. He’s got a really cool Plan up His Royal Sleeve! I’m both intimidated by it and excited for it! What Grand Adventures has He got waiting for us “just around the riverbend”??? I know it’s tough, and rather scary, too, some moments! I’m right there with you! But let’s keep hoping, keep taking one tiny step at a time ~forward, ever forward~ and see what happens next, shall we? ??? I’m praying for you today! You’re a very precious daughter of God, and my sister! I can’t wait to meet you when it’s all said and done! ?

    1. I’ve been wondering what God has around the corner, but I like “around the river bend” better. I find myself full of faith and then rolled up in a ball, alternately. May the Lord be glorified in our lives. And yes, I would love to meet you!

      1. I know that exact feeling! But the cool thing is, when we’re rolled up in a ball, faith is curled up in there with us! And it’s expanding! And eventually that ball’s gonna break out singing & dancing & full of fire! ? Have you done Priscilla Shirer’s study “ELIJAH”? That’s what I’ve been going through this past couple months and it’s so relevant! Keep stepping forward in faith, even when it’s against the grain, and God is going to show Himself in His glory & might! Yes, Lord!!! ☺

  4. Corene Finley says:

    Oh my you have described exactly where I am now right now! Thank you for listening to God who obviously had you write this for me and others going through some big changes and season changes of our own. I’m in my 60’s and in a place where I’m just not sure where and how God can use me ??‍♀️Your words have brought not only encouragement but assurance that He will indeed make his will known at just the right time

  5. Once the Lord closed the door with the loss of a job. We relocated for a temporary job while looking for a permanent one. It was scary. Where was God? This went on for two years. We were able to save for a down payment on our first home. We relocated again and were able to use that down payment money.

  6. Cheryl Cassin says:

    I was where you are, finding myself adrift…. unplanned, unexpected loss of a job after many many years. Packing up in minutes what took years to create and accumulate. All kinds of emotions and feelings of hurt, unbelief, sadness, loss….the whole unravelling bundle of the ‘bad stuff’.
    BUT GOD. How many times we read those 2 simple yet profound words throughout Scripture. BUT GOD.
    He always carries, always cares, always leads, always gives us those new shoes….maybe shiny polished ones that may hurt the toes for a while but become our new most comfortable fit.
    One foot in front of the other, dear Christy….stepping out in faith right alongside the One who is our perfect Fit.


    1. It’s easy to forget that God cares, when everything hurts for a while. Thanks for the cheer!

    2. I love this! The new shoes analogy is spot on! ♡

  7. Karen Atha says:

    And I hear a great cloud of witnesses, students, colleagues, family and friends say “Well done, good and faithful Spanish teacher”.

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