Monday, February 23, 2015

A Series of New Beginnings

I realized recently that I look back on my life in its entirety and the times that I thought I faced change and adversity, it was in fact God stepping in and with His grace presenting me with a new beginning.  Actually, my whole life can be looked at as a series of new beginnings.

If you ask my mom, I don't deal well with change.  Really though, it's not the change I have a problem with, it is overanalyzing and overthinking HOW or WHY the change is happening.  It is stressing about the arrival or the inevitability of a change around the corner and THAT is what I don't handle well.  Now I know that this is a self-inflicted problem.

If I were to be honest I would say that my first new beginning happened when I decided to go to counseling, a change that was positive in my life but a change that I faced with severe anxiety.  Before admitting my need for counseling, I went through every different scenario and stigma in my head about depression and "needing help."  It wasn't until God stepped in and said, "you need this," that I admitted my weakness.

The next big thing for me was ending my relationship with my high school sweetheart.  It was not a toxic or bad relationship, it was actually quite the opposite.  We were madly in love but God stepped in and said, "he is not yours to marry.  I have someone else for him.  I have someone else for you." 

Then came college.  Deciding on a school was fairly easy when my parents said, "either you get a scholarship somewhere else or we will pay for you to go to Monmouth, those are your options."  I picked Monmouth begrudgingly after God told me, "I want you there."  

Once I got to college I decided to study abroad in Spain.  Before leaving I ended a relationship I knew I wasn't supposed to be in and while away God revealed to me that my heart truly belonged to another.  Before Spain The Lord told me, "I want this time with you, give me your attention."  

I came home and began to date Jake.  We were in a long distance relationship for two years after college and during year two of our post-college relationship I was very unhappy. I felt pulled away from the relationship and that God wanted us to go different directions.  We took a break when God said to me, "do you trust me with this?"  Two days later I was called for an interview out in Hennepin.  Six days later I knew I was moving and a month later I made the move to Princeton.  Nine months after that Jake and I were engaged.

Once we were married we decided to start a family and we all know where that road has taken us.  During that God said, "am I enough?"

Do you see a trend here?
"You need this."
"I have someone else for you."
"I want you there."
"Give me your attention."
"Do you trust me with this?"
"Am I enough?"  

Each time it took an impending change or big interruption in my life's direction for God to get my attention.  He has had to drastically make me move in order to get my attention and ask me or tell me very important things.  

While I won't say God has made me wander through the desert for 40 years, reading about the Hebrews journey in the Old Testament helped me recognize that I'm not the first person God has had to teach this way.  

I now realize that all of these changes were all gifts of many new beginnings.  God in His grace decided to press the reset button or change my life's direction in order to do what is best for me. And in each of those changes I was able to look back on questions I had already asked Him during a past change and know I can trust His will.

Maybe you feel like you are wandering in the desert or you are overanalyzing the unknown outcomes or stigmas from an impending change, either way, maybe it's time to look at the change as a new beginning and a gracious way of God saying, "my child, let's reset.  I have something better for you in store."

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