Sometimes what you think is a beginning is actually an ending.
I discovered this truth when I packed up all my earthly belongings last December, put them in storage, and jumped in my car to “move” from North Carolina to Virginia Beach to find my new beginning. I had been through a season of immeasurable loss and needed to “find my new.”
Knowing that the only way I was going to find it was by TAKING ACTION, I grabbed onto my spirit, released courage, and headed back to familiar territory to establish what I thought would be a new sense of family. Mentally, I had to give myself permission to explore, to give myself some time to see if moving back to where I had once lived would be my solution for family, not having any of my own. If it worked out, great. If not, I would at least know, as this was where my long term friends were.
It was an excruciatingly hard year, amazingly freeing, but not in the way I thought. The people I thought who would be family to me were no longer in the picture. I had to come to terms with my past, truly lay it to rest, along with any notion of “what was” to “still be.” I discovered some deep truths about a new beginning, especially one that God builds:
- You can’t start a new beginning with old energy. Going back to where I lived before was old. Familiar and new cannot be sipped out of the same cup. New is new. My spirit was crying out for something brand new. If you want new, don’t go back to old.
- You are a product of your culture. We are not products of our own being. We are products of our environment. I needed an environment of vitality, and the city I had grown to love, no longer provided that vitality. If I wanted a new culture, I had to go where new culture existed for me.
- Until you get delivered from foundational lies, you are not free to enter into new life. Period. I had to face and extinguish the foundational lie that my life was meant to be lived alone. While I have tasted great glory in my life, I have also tasted great suffering, most of it self-induced. God brought a great pastor into my life, who in one divine sovereign setup, helped me to discover the lie that has sabotaged most of my life, a false identity put on my by a sin of omission by my parents. I was never nurtured emotionally—and so I took on a lie—a false identity that my life was meant to be lived in an emotional isolation. Until you deal with your fundamental life-lie, you will not get to your new. As soon as that lie was broken off of me, I immediately recaptured my sense of true identity. My life has not been the same since as I now feel whole.
- Don’t take so long to listen to your gut. I wish I had a mentor in “gut training.” It took me way too long to realize what my gut IS my best mentor. To listen to it, trust it, and act on it is an act of self-love.
- When you are in “your new,” your whole being will know it. Having just moved back to North Carolina about a week ago, my entire being was filled with the oxygen of life. I could breathe again. There is an emerging sense of exploring the new, not the old, and fresh hope, but this time with confidence of good things ahead. It’s still been a leap of faith with much to fall into place, but there is no feeling like KNOWING you are in the right place. My gut and every other atom of my being says so. All this to say, all aspects of our being help us to make decisions. While some are great logical thinkers, others rely on discernment. Whatever your mode of decision-making is, all parts of our being speak to us. If you want to get to your new, wake up and listen to each part of your speaking being.
- Accept total responsibility for creating your new, especially new relationships. I often say to people, “We don’t have the power to fix, but we do have the power to create something brand new right in the middle of our mess.” Renowned life-coach, Tim Storey, says, “A comeback is not a go back.” In other words, we have to move forward into our new—and not go back to fix things to get to our new. Take some time to reflect on what you don’t want—and that will open up your mind to consider the opposite—what you do want. While I made some great new relationships which I will still take with me, I developed some deep confidence in my ability to form new relationships and open up my heart to life again.
- God is not in the improvement business. When He does “new,” He bulldozers down the old to build a whole new foundation from the inside out. When I allowed Him to “gut me,” I was utterly amazed at what happened afterwards: after the past comes the future. After the old comes the new. After death is resurrection. After winter comes spring. Some loved ones I had totally relinquished are coming back into my life in a brand new way. When all the old energy of strife, control, and bitterness were dissolved in my own heart, God is bringing about a fresh start. Wow.
- Put yourself in the middle of the equation of life. As a life-coach, I help a lot of people get new jobs, process their grief, resolve their interpersonal conflicts, set and achieve new goals, and expand their confidence. One day I said to myself, “What about me?” I help all these people and now it is my turn for my own life! This led to my asking myself a lot of new questions I have never entertained. More about that in an upcoming reflection. But for now, I have been on an eight year journey to get to my new. Now I am here! In the last two weeks, I have moved, lost 15 pounds, working on publishing a book I wrote, and expanding my influence. All systems are go! Praise the Lord!
What I thought was a new beginning in Virginia was really an ending. I am now so grateful I went through the process of ending because now I am IN my new beginning. I don’t have to think it up, confess it up, imagine it up. I did the work and I walked it up with God. He brought me to it, and He is going to do the same for you!
If you deeply desire to make a shift in your life and make 2016 a banner year, a time for conquest, please reach out to me. Let’s find a time to talk. Remember, hoping, wishing, and even just praying, doesn’t change anything. What is it costing you to stay where you are at? Only taking action, inspired imperfect action will make the difference.