In the heat of a South Carolina August, I arrived at my new home with too many boxes of clothes and hopeful aspirations for the year ahead. I felt like someone had turned me inside out, jittery from iced coffee, nervousness, and excitement. That night, as I snuggled into a new bed in a new place, I felt small. I didn’t have a name and nobody knew my story. I was starting over. The blank canvas was an exciting reminder of the adventure awaiting, but the unknown felt daunting.
That day I realized that life is marked by constant change.
Whether it be starting college, moving, becoming a mom, walking through a parent’s divorce, getting married, or experiencing the sting of death, change forces us to face the tension between our desire to hold on and the plan God has for our next step.
Ecclesiastes reminds us that life is full of fleeting seasons. Sometimes a season of suffering interrupts us and we dread enduring the pain. Sometimes we step into a beautiful new season, but even then the mystery of the newness can be scary. Each new chapter reminds us of this world’s impermanence. But maybe the burden of the temporal points us to the promises of the eternal. I love how the wise King Solomon puts it in Ecclesiastes 3:14:
I perceived that whatever God does endures forever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it. God has done it, so that people fear before him.
The Lord has been showing me what it means to let go of the false promises of the world to hold tight to the promises of His Word. I so easily doubt His quiet guidance and assurance. I am prone to lose faith in His plan for me.
Yet I am reminded that when God calls us to something new, He doesn’t leave us there.
Just as God initiates His will for us, He will complete the good work He begins. When everything is uncertain and unfamiliar, we find rest in the steadfastness of the Lord.
The strength to thrive in transition, though, is not within ourselves. Newness is overwhelming and beginnings are rarely flawless. Some days we will feel incompetent, some days we will feel alone, and some days we will feel scared. Our hope lies in choosing to believe in the future God has promised us, even when we can’t even fathom how He could reconcile our tomorrow to our today. Though we may wake to unknown, we can trust that our God already knows the ending. After all, He is the Alpha and Omega of the much greater story that we are living in.
I admire Paul’s choice in 2 Corinthians 1:20 to trust in God’s promises, even when he can’t understand God’s plan.
For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory.
Amen can be translated from Hebrew as “so be it” — an exclamation of praise. Though Paul is frustrated that his own plans have not gone as he hoped, he has the faith to proclaim “so be it.”
That August day that I left home wasn’t very long ago. Though my eyes may be fresh to the changes that life will continually bring, we all share in this journey of jumping in faith from one story to the next. We are always living in the midst of beginnings, endings, and the in-betweens. Regardless of what season of change we are in, may we join together to meet God’s promises with Amen.
Sisters, I pray that when God reveals His will to us, we will have the strength to bravely follow. I hope that where God promises, we will trust in the Yes to come. Most of all, I ask the Lord to help us say “so be it” when He leads us to a new beginning.