Have you ever found yourself at a new beginning?
As summer quickly comes to an end, school is about to begin, offering students and teachers a fresh start. Even if you aren’t anticipating a new school year, perhaps you’re waiting on the next big thing to happen, or maybe you’re so caught up in this fast-paced life that you can’t keep up with where you have been or where you are going. You may not notice something new happening around you or within you.
I have been that person, the one who was unaware. But in recent years, I’ve learned new beginnings deserve our attention, even if we have to wait on them.
My journey of new beginnings started about 10 years ago when God asked my husband and I to sell our house, the only home our son had ever known. We found in that first act of obedience, God put us on a path scattered with unknowns and new chapters. We had no idea where we were going or what we were doing, but God knew.
In March 2018, I faced a second new endeavor: I sold my business of 20 years to follow my dream of writing a book. But not just any book—a book God asked me to write. With mixed emotions, I left my corporate life behind and entered the process of writing, editing, and publishing my first book. Exhilarated by this new adventure and terrified by the risk of it all, I was still unsure of where I was going. Scared to death, I stepped forward in faith, and I found myself at another new beginning.
God always knows the plans He has for us, even if we do not. We don’t have to know His plans, but we do need to walk to the path God has placed before us. Yes, it can be frightening to walk in the dark, but that is where our faith comes in. And that faith helps us tremendously, like we see in Hebrews 11:1 NIV: “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”
“Instead of trying to fit this day into a preconceived mold, relax and be on the lookout for what I am doing.” –Jesus Calling, March 16
As God continues to present new opportunities in my life, often I am unaware of them. I thought my new beginning came at the sale of our home. I had no idea that act of obedience would lead me to selling my business several years later and then writing my first book, The Me Disease.
But God knew.
And I admit, all this newness has been tough to handle at times. However, I am comforted by the words of the Prophet Isaiah, which remind me that with every new thing, God will make a way: “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.” (Isaiah 43:19 NIV)
Even still, the road has been hard, and I often find myself impatiently waiting on the next thing. Looking back, I now see prior to any new thing God is about to do, there’s a waiting period. The lesson is to learn to embrace the waiting.
In her book When the Heart Waits, Sue Monk Kidd writes, “Whenever new life grows and emerges, darkness is crucial to the process. Whether it’s the caterpillar in the chrysalis, the seed in the ground, the child in the womb, or the True Self in the soul, there’s always a time of waiting in the dark.”
While I was writing, I learned to embrace the waiting. God was doing something new almost daily, it seemed, sometimes around me and sometimes within me. I learned waiting was critical to my own spiritual development and cannot be rushed. And I learned the journey is as important as the finish. For with every ending, there is always something new emerging.
“Waiting on Me enables you to glorify Me by living in deep dependence on Me, ready to do my will.” –Jesus Calling, March 26
I wrote about this transformation in my book. “I could feel something changing inside me, a shift toward a more authentic self. I was moving back toward who God had created me to be. I am a disciple, a learner, and a follower of Jesus Christ. That means I am the student and God/Jesus/Holy Spirit is my teacher. I am still learning.”
As I welcome each new beginning and the waiting that comes along with it, I recognize I am that new beginning. As I continue to learn who God is and who God is in me, I am shifting toward that new creation we read about in 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV), “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”
Today, I feel as if I am standing at another threshold. God is about to spring forth, and I am waiting. I flip open my daily devotional, Jesus Calling, for my daily dose of guidance. The words from July 14 pop out at me like a road sign pointing me home.
“Though the path is difficult and the scenery dull at the moment, there are sparkling surprises just around the bend.” – Jesus Calling, July 14
These surprises are our new beginnings. They wait for us. And sometimes, they are us.
Melissa H. Thompson has many roles: wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, small business owner, church leader, community advocate, and non-profit volunteer. She and her husband Travis and their 14-year-old son Luke make their home in Thomasville, North Carolina.