Moving Beyond the Ending Brought Blessing

Ecclesiastes-3-1The 5-year anniversary of a big ending in my life is coming up at the end of the month. My dad and I were co-owners of a Sylvan Learning Center in Hutchinson, KS.  I loved what I did.

Sylvan Learning Center gave me a chance to use all of my gifts and talents in exactly the way that made me excited to go to work every day.

I even thought of Sylvan and my time in Hutchinson as my Promised Land (read more about that here).

But it came to an end.

 

2 years after Ron and I were married I was still living part-time on the farm and part-time in Hutchinson (they were 90 miles apart) in order to keep the business going.  Enrollment had been dwindling and things had been changing with the business for a while.  But at the end of the Summer in 2011 all but 14 of my students stopped their programs.  There was no way to keep the doors open.

I had been sensing change was coming for a while but as usual God had to make it impossible for me to ignore Him in order for me to give up and jump on board with the change.  It was time to move on.

I’m so thankful God’s hand was obviously in the midst of it all. 

 

In 6 short weeks, my house was sold, all the assets of the business were gone.  Everything else was all packed up and moved to the farm.

It was the end of being a small business owner (for a while), the end of being my very own boss, the end of a dream I didn’t even know that I had.

 

As I have said so many times before God is good.  Just taking the time to look to Him we will see His provision. Though my certificate was expired since I never thought would teach again, I was able to walk into a part-time teaching job in October.

I was blessed with a great environment and a bunch of kids I fell in love with.

I was able to teach while I completed my coach training and here I am today.  A small business owner again loving my job, feeling blessed and called to my work.

That’s the thing about life, there are endings, they are natural, even if we don’t feel they are.  I’m sure there are some of you, like me, that fight endings with all you got.

 

Dr. Henry Cloud’s book Necessary Endings * has been a great read for me.  It states that “when we fail to end things well, we are destined to repeat the mistakes that keep us from moving on.”(p12)  Not ending well will often lead us to make choices that bring us to the same places again and again.

Not learning our lessons or dealing with endings will set us up to make the same mistakes over and over again.

Learning how to do endings well and how to process the experience allows us to move beyond patterns that can keep us stuck.  Moving forward allows us to embrace what’s next.

 

I have Ecclesiastes 3:1 on the wall in our bedroom to remind me of how God created this world to have endings.  “To everything there is a season, a time to every purpose under the heavens.”

We have to learn to realize that somethings are only for that time, only in that season are we meant to stay there.  When it’s time for an end, it’s time for a new season, not the end of everything just the end of that season.

So if you are facing an ending today, face it with the Lord.  He can give you a new purpose, He can help you see what is next. 

 

If you need help building a new dream or even learning to like this new season, coaching can help.  I would love to talk with you about coaching.       Contact Me .

 


How do you face endings?  I would love to hear about an ending that has you stuck or moving into new blessing!


Review by Rayna: When God Doesn’t Fix It

Review by Rayna:  When God Doesn’t Fix It:  Lessons You Never Wanted to Learn, Truths You Can’t Live Without
when god doesnt fix it

Most of us know Laura Story from her beautiful songs.  What I love most about her songs is the vulnerability of the lyrics and her way of sharing truth, it touches us all.

I was excited to see that her book is more of the same. 

I was amazed and encouraged by her willingness to share her struggles and heartaches.  Life has been full of ups and downs for Laura and her husband, Martin.  This book is a look into some of the things Laura has learned about God during this season of her life.

Laura starts the book reminding us that all of us are just one phone call or major event away from life change we never imagined.  In that moment we think life as we know is over.  The truth is life as we are yet to know is just begun.

I appreciated the way in which Laura ended each chapter by stating a Myth she had believed and the Truth which God had revealed to her through her life.

I believe that every Christian struggles with many of the myth’s Laura shares and would benefit a lot from hearing the Truth Laura learned about each one.

One of the most meaningful parts of the book was when Laura challenges us to make a list of why questions.  When I listed all things I would love for God to tell me why they happened it was pretty long.  Laura goes on to instruct us to write down all the answers to our whys that God has given us.

I was encouraged because I was able to write a few answers but….there are a lot of my questions still waiting to be answered.  Laura admits that most of her why questions are not answered either.  She is quick to remind us that God never promises the answers our whys.

She then reveals that making the shift from the question of why to how has made all the difference in her life.  “Man asks why, Jesus asks How.  Man says, “Why did this happen?  Jesus says, “How might my Father’s Glory be displayed through this situation?” Learning that God’s Glory can be displayed in spite of our circumstances is a life changing truth.

Throughout the book Laura also shares her struggle of sharing her story when there is no pretty bow wrapping it all up.  She encourages us all to step out and share our story even in the messy middle.  God is working and hearing what he is doing in others’ lives brings great encouragement.  The number of people touch by Laura’s honest struggles and her songs about them has continued to blow her mind.  You can encourage others too.

Be brave step out and share how God’s Glory is working even in your messy middles.

These are just a couple of the nuggets of truth I found in Laura’s writings.  I know that you will be blessed and challenged by reading this book too.

Laura closes her book with these powerful statements….

Share your story.

Give God the Glory.

Live a Better Broken.


How have you found peace in God’s answer to the HOW questions in your life instead of staying stuck in the whys?

Review by Rayna: Every Bitter Thing is Sweet

Sara is an eloquent wordsmith who invites you into her life and journey of faith.  She lays her heart out for us to see and helps us to be willing to look at things in our own heart to find the truth of God and His love.

I loved how she so openly shared the growth and depth of her marriage relationship Nate.  The beautiful picture of their growth through the years was both encouraging and challenging.  So many times we expect our marriage to be easy and our husbands to just get us.  Sara’s willingness to express these things was encouraging to me and I’m sure it would be for you as well.

The part of Sara’s story which spoke to me most was her barrenness.  Her willingness to share how broke she felt and how deeply she desired the blessing of children was healing oil to my heart.  Since I have lived my own journey of infertility and miscarriage it was amazingly sweet to read of her journey to motherhood.

I appreciated her vulnerability in discussing how even as she became a mom.  As her heart and arms were filled with children meant to be hers she still longed for her womb to be full of life.  The Lord is so faithful to bless us even as we are still growing in understanding of His imaginable love and mercy.

There was a part of Sara’s story which I did not relate to.  Though I have struggled with barrenness and losing 2 children to miscarriage I never struggled with it being my fault or punishment from God.  Though the loneliness and heartache was a part of my story I am thankful I did not experience the feelings of brokenness she did.  I was very saddened by her expression of this struggle.  I hope that if you have felt this way Sara’s story will bless you and help you move from this lie to healing and wholeness.

I held my children in my womb but never in my arms….

My entire life like most little girls I have always wanted to be a mommy.  I never imagined I would be a mom of 2 precious children I never got to hold, cuddle, kiss or even have to discipline.

After my first marriage ended I was still hopeful I would remarry and have children.  No I would not be the young mom I thought I would be but I never dreamed I would not be a mom someday. Eccl 11:5

Then it happened.  Ron and I had been married over 2 years and I was finally pregnant.  If you have struggled with infertility you know what the monthly rollercoaster ride is like.  I didn’t even bother to take a test until I as a few weeks late.  We were so excited!  I was so sick.

It was an answered to many hours of prayers for sure.

Then it happened.  Just the Friday before our fist doctor’s appointment, I started spotting.  It wasn’t much so I was totally unprepared for the news that Monday.

As the nurse did the ultrasound she told us there were twins.  But the look on her face was not one of joy, rather concern.  Our first baby, Isaac, looked to have stop developing at a little less than 8 weeks.  The second baby, Lillian, was much bigger, at least 10 weeks old but there was no movement.  The doctor came in to confirm neither of them had made it.

I was in shock.  My heart was shattered! How could this be happening?  They were the answer to my prayers!

After losing the twins life went on and I did my best to trust God in this and wait for my chance to be a mom.  The longer time went by and we still were not pregnant the more my heart crumbled.  I had been through tough stuff before and always found God Good but this time I struggled.

How could God give me two babies and never let me hold them, play with them, or even celebrate their life?  It felt cruel not good!  I really struggled getting past it.

Thankfully I had a good friend who lead me to the lap of God and encouraged me to ask Him to understand.  Our father always wants to talk to us and bring healing, we often just don’t know how to ask for it.

That day my Lord helped me to see His eternal perspective.  He had answered my prayer.  I am a mom.  In my mind’s eye and in my heart He showed me my two beautiful children.  They were on his lap laughing and happy.  He reminded me that just because they did not grow up here on earth did not mean they didn’t exist; they just went on ahead.

They are waiting for me in heaven and we will spend eternity together.

That day I started to call them by name, Isaac & Lillian and I embraced motherhood.  Mother’s Day has always been a difficult holiday for me.  Between losing my mom to an Alzheimer’s diagnosis at 16 and the struggle of infertility and now miscarriage I would rather just sleep all day to be honest.

But now I have the vision of my mom, Isaac and Lillian all together in Heaven with my Lord and I praise my Great God for answered prayer.

Of course I would rather have had them live here with me first but I know that God is faithful, loving and good and I trust that eternity will be long enough!

Is there something that you have experienced that doesn’t make sense or goes against the character of God?  Go to Him.  Ask to understand, He will give you clarity around the situation if you ask with an open heart.  People often stay stuck in the whys of hurts when clarity can help you move forward.  Clarity gives us hope.

Being able to ask God what I needed to heal gave me clarity and brought healing I wasn’t even sure was possible.


When has God met you in a place that helped you find clarity?

3 Things I Learned from Abigail’s Extravagant Obedience to God

As a young woman who wanted to love the Lord our God with all my heart, mind, soul and strength I struggled with the concept of submitting to my husband.  Not because I rebelled against submission as some do but rather I struggled with checking my mind, convictions and common sense at the door so to speak in order to submit.

I married while still in college and desired more than anything to join my husband in loving and serving the Lord in our marriage.Matthew 22: 37-9

Sadly, though he did not spend the majority of our 10-year marriage submitting to the Lord.  His selfishness and rebellion made our years together difficult rather than being filled with blessing we experienced trials and struggles.

I tried to be quiet and follow but I bet if you asked him he didn’t see it that way.  I felt the need to express my opinions but always gave in to his leadership in the end.  Our marriage did not survive.

I am remarried and one of the things I spent much time in prayer about before marrying again was submission.  I was thankful the Lord helped me understand His heart for marriage and submission as I sought him.

Just recently I read about Abigail and Nabal.  It was good to have a reminder of those things which God had taught me years ago about a marriage relationship.

3 Things I learned from Abigail’s Extravagant Obedience to God in Numbers 25

  1. Abigail was a woman of great worth apart from her husband….

His name was Nabal and his wife’s name was Abigail. She was an intelligent and beautiful woman, but her husband was surly and mean in his dealings—he was a Calebite.”

It really stood out to me how valuable Abigail was to be highlighted in the Old Testament.  As a young wife I did not find myself in a relationship that valued me or my thoughts.  I ended up losing myself and forgetting my value.  I became unhealthy in the struggle of caring for my husband.  At one point of brokenness and pain I was poured out my needs to the Lord, He assured me that He loved ME and I was worth DYING for.  I had forgotten that.

  1. Abigail knew God and honored Him even when her husband did not…..

18 Abigail acted quickly. She took two hundred loaves of bread, two skins of wine, five dressed sheep, five seahs of roasted grain, a hundred cakes of raisins and two hundred cakes of pressed figs, and loaded them on donkeys.”

As soon as Abigail heard that Nabal had sent David’s men away with insult she jumped into action.  Her drastic response to her husband’s foolishness was eye opening.  In that day and age, she definitely took her life in her hands by honoring David even when Nabal did not.  Her quick action brought a blessing from David instead of the revenge he was on his way to extract on Nabal and all those he was responsible for.

  1. Abigail was blessed in her obedience…..

35 Then David accepted from her hand what she had brought him and said, “Go home in peace. I have heard your words and granted your request.”

It can be confusing at times when it appears that scripture contradicts itself.  After all Ephesians 5:22 states clearly “ Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.”  Obviously, Abigail did not do that.

I think that God is clear, we are to follow the first commandment always and all the others after that.  If we are being asked by our husband, father, boss or anyone to break the first commandment which Christ told us in Matthew 22:37-9 “ Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.   All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” 

I was blessed and encouraged by the reminder of Abigail and her actions in Numbers.  I don’t spend a lot of time looking back to find things I would change or regrets in my life rather I look to learn and do better today.

In my marriage today I am thankfully I have not had the struggles of submitting to my husband in areas that I know are not God’s will for us.  But even as I read of Abigail I am encouraged to Love my Lord and my Husband well!


What are your thoughts about Abigail’s actions?  Have you ever experienced a time when you had to follow the first commandment rather than submit to someone in authority?

Pin It on Pinterest