When I think of new beginnings I think about second chances- the opportunity to start afresh. I love that God is a God of second chances. Think about it; we make mistakes over and over but He never gives up on us. Instead, He helps us get back on our feet and start again. A few year ago, I had to leave a job I had just started due to visa issues. I was devastated but amazingly they kept my job and when I returned almost a year later, I felt like I had been given a fresh start- a second chance. I was determined not to let my bosses down and to give the job my all.
When I think of new beginnings I also think about newness of life. I see beautiful flowers beginning to bud in spring and this reminds me that a new season is about to start. It’s the same feeling I get when I see friends who are expecting a baby. The arrival of the new born heralds a new chapter in the life of the family.
Sometimes we have the opportunity to prepare for a new season, and sometimes we don’t- they sneak up on us. But over the years I’ve learnt that it’s important to know what season you’re in, and when you’re entering into a new season in life. Understanding this can help you to know when to let go of something, perhaps a job, or someone, in the case of a relationship. It can also help you to prepare for that new season.
The Bible talks about times and seasons:
Genesis 8 verse 22 says that ‘as long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease’.
Ecclesiastes 3 verse 1 says ‘there is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.’
You see, we were never meant to stay in one season for the rest of our lives. It is part of nature and God’s plan that we move from season to season.
So why do we resist change when we sense it coming?
Sometimes it is due to a fear of the unknown. When I left my job to go back to Nigeria all those years ago, I didn’t understand that I was moving into a new season in my life. I couldn’t grasp why a job I felt was God-sent would be taken away from me just as I was starting it. But that signaled the beginning of a new chapter in my life, in which I learnt a lot. I learnt to seek God in prayer like never before, and I discovered my penchant for writing.
We also resist entering new seasons because of what I term ‘the familiarity syndrome’. This is when we’re so used to where we are, and what we know, that we don’t want to change, or move. I’ve seen this in job situations where someone is reluctant to leave a job that they find unfulfilling or very stressful, because ‘at least it pays the bills’ and they’ve been doing it for the past ten years. They fear that this is all they know and they don’t have much else to offer anyone. Another example is someone who is in a toxic relationship but keeps making excuses like ‘we’ve been together for so long and I can’t imagine my life without him’.
The truth is that if we don’t step out of our comfort zone, we will never fully enter into the fullness of what God has in store for us. You may stay in that job for another ten years and it will pay the bills, yes, but you will not have any sense of fulfillment or personal development. You may remain in that unhealthy relationship for another few years and eventually he / she will decide you’re not the one for them and you’re forced to start over. Except by this time the circumstances could be a lot more complicated than it was, say, five years ago.
Let’s not be afraid of changes and seasons in our lives. Let’s embrace them as new beginnings and an opportunity to go on an exciting journey with God.
Isaiah 43 verse 19:
‘See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.’