Happy Endings and Happy Beginnings

“Wow, God.” That thought has been on repeat in my brain.
 
After eight years of widowhood, I am about to become a bride again.
 
Tomorrow, Rob and I will join our lives in the sacred covenant of marriage.
 
“Wow, God,” indeed.
 
Being the reflective type, I’ve thought a lot about the last eight years of my life, of the countless ways I’ve seen God’s faithfulness.
 
What are the headlines from those last eight years?

People. I have experienced the love, support and encouragement of countless people. Old friends and new; God has poured His love and courage into me through people. Thank you to each one of you who has touched my life. You have helped me to heal and grow and thrive. Thank you.
 
Change. It’s something we naturally resist. Yet it’s part of the cycle of life. Sometimes, change is thrust upon us. And sometimes, we have to take a big risk and step outside our comfort zone to grow. Accepting, even embracing, change is key to thriving.
 
Fear. Have you ever heard fear described as “false evidence appearing real?” When I think back about my greatest fears over the last seven years, I’ve realized how the majority of them never came to pass. Way too much energy was wasted on going down mental rabbit trails of fear.
 
Laughter. In almost every situation, there is humor to be found. Being able to laugh, especially at oneself, is key to enduring life’s hardest seasons.
 
Prayer. Often, we don’t pray big prayers because we are afraid of disappointment if God says “no” or “not yet.” I realized how often my prayers reflected things I could accomplish in my own power. A few years ago, I was challenged to begin to pray “big, hairy, audacious prayers.” And oh, has He answered.
 
Dreams. We are NEVER too old to dream a new dream. Ever. If we are still breathing, there is purpose for our lives.

Being Real. For much of my life, I thought I had to hide behind a false front. I was convinced that if people knew the real story of my struggles and mistakes, they wouldn't accept me. I've learned that by being "real" and transparent, we give others the freedom to do the same.

Trust. As important as it is to have dreams and hopes and prayers, it’s most important to trust that “Father Knows Best.” As a counselor once told me, “God wastes nothing.” Especially our deepest pain and our greatest mistakes. I’ve learned the importance of holding loosely to the things and people I love and to trust God with the future. Surrender.
 
Yes, it’s the end of one beautiful, challenging, season of my life. But a new season is beginning. And this season will bring love, beauty and growth in new ways.
 
Leave Nothing Unsaid isn’t ending. God continues to refuel those dreams with fresh ideas of how to spread this message. My writing will resume. As God continues to pour love and encouragement into me, I want to continue to pour love and encouragement into you.
 
Thank you for journeying with me throughout this season of life.
 
 
 
 

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