Without the ability to end things, people stay stuck, never becoming who they are meant to be, never accomplishing all that their talents and abilities should afford them. Dr. Henry Cloud
We know that endings are as much a part of life as beginnings, yet somehow, we don’t always view endings from a positive perspective. Maybe that’s because we think of an ending as quitting. However, endings can be beautiful and something worth celebrating.
Endings make way for beginnings and that’s where growth happens.
I like to always look at what’s on the horizon or what new beginning is being birthed from the ending.
This spring has been a mixture of beautiful joyous endings for my family. I never realized how full my heart could become as I celebrated the endings, new beginnings and growth that occurred for each one of our children. It all started on a rainy day in May when I watched our oldest son wearing his cap and gown as he entered the crowded auditorium at Messiah College with his college roommates and classmates. His big smile was spread across his face for several days leading up to the day itself and has pretty much been there ever since. The shy 18-year old boy we had dropped off in the fall of 2014 had become a confident young man. He flourished socially, educationally and especially spiritually in college, which was beautiful to see.
Were his days in college easy? Of course not, but the day we dropped him off was a bright new beginning, and that beginning led to a necessary ending. In between was where the growth occurred.
In the midst of celebrating Tyler’s college graduation, we were also celebrating Justin’s 18th birthday and our 28th wedding anniversary. Fast forward two weeks and our fun and lively daughter, Lexi, celebrated her 21st birthday, which ended her “minor” years.
Last week Justin (who is our youngest) graduated from high school. As he walked into the stadium with his classmates, I noticed a confidence that hadn’t been there just a few short months ago. This happy ending is just the beginning for what God has in store for Justin. In between the beginning of his school years and his graduation was where tremendous growth occurred. Now between this ending and what’s next is where more growth will occur.
Life choices and paths all converge at different times in our lives. We encounter the “Y” in the road and wonder which way to take. We know Robert Frost chose The Road Not Taken.
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Jesus chose the narrow road and told us:
Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. Matthew 7:13-14
You may be at a crossroads in life and wondering what’s on the horizon. Maybe you’ve experienced an unhappy ending that has left your heart and/or life in shambles. It’s certainly not easy to always look at endings as new beginnings because sometimes they are final (like saying good bye to someone we love). What we can be certain of is that there is ONE who does care, and He is also the one who is carrying us through those endings.
In between endings and beginnings, we find ourselves in a transitional season, which is peppered with uncertainty. Transitions can be daunting and overwhelming or times of opportunity all at the same time. As we begin summer, it’s a great time to reevaluate the ebbs and flows of life and reconnect by committing to making quiet time with God. He will certainly lead you if you are willing to stop and listen.
One thing is certain, growth happens when we end what needs to end and open ourselves up to new beginnings. It’s never too late to start over. It’s never too late to learn something new.
Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:18-19
Take a new adventure.
Learn a new skill.
Do less busy and more rest.
End things that need to end and begin something new.
If you are ready to celebrate summer, be sure to grab the FREE downloadable Celebrate Summer Adventure Plans and enjoy the beginning of summer even more!