Monday, July 19, 2010
“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end.” – Seneca
Life is about endings and new beginnings, but I don’t always like it. Sure, some endings are necessary. You have to leave high school to get to college. You have to leave college to get a job. You may join the military, get married, move to another city, or start a new business. Things end and new things begin. I get it.
But the hard thing is when endings happen that you didn’t choose. You didn’t want it, and you sure don’t like it.
It could be disappointing—not a big deal, but something that annoys you—like being late for a meeting because of road construction, or finding out that the guy you met over the 4th of July forgot to tell you he has a girlfriend.
Or it could be big-time discouraging, like an unexpected bankruptcy or a miscarriage. Maybe you’ve had a messy relationship breakup, a death in the family, or a divorce. Or, your job suddenly ended because the economy tanked. Could it be that you’ve lost money in the stock market and your 401k now feels more like a 201k?
Whatever it is, you can choose how you deal with endings. I’ve heard that Chuck Swindoll says, “It’s not always what happens to you, it’s how you respond to it that makes a difference.”
You can choose to ignore your pain, numb out, or do nothing. Or, in the midst of your pain and darkness, you can look to the light of God’s truth for hope, healing and wholeness. Either way, it’s your choice. How you handle endings, or don’t, will determine how you move forward.
What will you choose?
To take things into your own hands,
or wait on God for His way, His will, and His timing?
To lean on what you can grasp with your human mind,
or believe that God really does know what He’s doing, even when you do not?
To believe the lies that say, “My life is over. It’s too late for me.
I’m too old, too broke, too far gone, too _____ (fill in the blank)”
or reject the lies and have hope?
Hope, that maybe one day things really could be different.
Hope, that the One who knows and loves you most could already be at work with good plans specifically for you, “plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jer. 29:11)
Whether you chose your ending, or it chose you, a new beginning is possible.
Consider the acorn—the little cup-shaped thing with a hat that falls from an oak tree. From one small seed grows an amazingly tall and strong tree. Beauty and purpose (like shade and wind protection) spring up from this small, hard piece of potential.
Your new beginning is like an acorn, it’s filled with possibilities. Dreams surrendered to God, like an acorn planted in the soil, will grow. Held solely in your hand nothing happens. Nothing.
As you surrender and release your desires and dreams to God, He grows in your life new things…new opportunities…a new life.
Small beginnings, big results.
It’s time to begin again.
Photo credit: Dave Frahm
Jackie M. Johnson is an author and freelance writer in Colorado. Her hope-filled and encouraging books include "Power Prayers for Women," "When Love Ends and the Ice Cream Carton Is Empty" and "Powerful Prayers for Challenging Times." Jackie also writes the Living Single blog on Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk website.