And in this I give advice: It is to your advantage not only to be doing what you began and were desiring to do a year ago; but now you also must complete the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to desire it, so there also may be a completion out of what you have. For if there is first a willing mind, it is accepted according to what one has, and not according to what he does not have.
~2 Corinthians 8:10-12 New King James Version (NKJV)~
I’ve been thinking about all of the beginnings and endings I’ve experienced in life and how lately, there seem to have been a lot more endings than I had anticipated. I’m not talking about loss; not in the sense that I usually am. I’m actually talking about the kind of endings that must happen in order for the new beginnings to take place. The kind of endings that find us standing at the crossroads of one season in our lives, looking toward another. It’s where I am today and where I seem to have been standing around for quite a while, reluctant to take a step away for fear that where I am going will be too different from where I’ve been to be bearable. After all, I’m a creature of habit. I’m someone who relies heavily on routine and having a sense of security. I hate to get rid of things…even when it is clear that I should. But there comes a time when we can no longer refuse to move. Sometimes we can feel as though we are tethered to a stake in the ground; walking around and around in a circle which inevitably becomes a trench that we cannot escape. When it starts to feel this way, it is a sure sign that somewhere along the way we must have missed a fork in the road. Thankfully, God will bring us back to that place again and again until we make the decision to move forward and do the next thing He has on His list for us.
For me, making the decision to move away from something is often a long, drawn-out process. I go back and forth with myself over why I should go or why I should stay. I make lists, I pray, I ask for opinions, I do all of the things that an insanely confused woman does when she is on the verge of making a life-changing choice. And then, when it is all said and done, I spend lots of time second-guessing myself. And finally, God will get tired of my waffling and slap me upside the head with His word during prayer time. When we get to that point, I figure I’d probably better get it in gear. For example, the other day, I had asked Him for closure in a matter that had been weighing on my heart for some time now. I asked Him to help me to know when something was over and done and when it was time to cut my losses. I then waited for a day or two and all at once, He hit me with three very solid confirmations that it was time for me to move on. And suddenly, where so much confusion and sadness had been, I finally had peace about the whole thing.
This is how He does it. He gives us the lesson. He throws a few tests at us. Maybe even a pop quiz here and there. And then, when He is sure we have learned enough, He presents us with a final exam. And finally, He allows us to move from one learning stage to another…graduating from one phase of our lives to the next…ready, hopefully, to do more of the things that He had in mind for us to do. And it doesn’t mean that we forget where we’ve been. It doesn’t mean that we despise where we once were. It simply means, we are ready for the next assignment.
Having completed this portion of my journey, I’m moving forward. I’m ready for the next season of life. I’m ready to see more of of His wonderful blessings. I’m ready for the next opportunity to learn more about my God and to help others learn more about Him whenever I can. After all He has done for me, I’ve not even begun to scratch the surface of all that I must do for Him. And although I know I’ll never be able to fully repay Him, I’m willing to spend the rest of this life trying.
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
Hebrews 12:1New King James Version (NKJV)