Sunday, May 4, 2014

Out With The Old And In With The New

“For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope” -Jer. 29:11 It’s hard to let go of things. We are all “creatures of habit,” so we like to hold on to things as long as possible. We like consistency. We favor familiarity. We lean on structure. But only one thing is certain: things will change. I have said “goodbye” many times over the years. I said goodbye to my dad in 1988- I love him very much; last year I said goodbye to my oldest brother, Pelham- I miss him dearly; I said goodbye to three labs- Jose, Maggie and Kipp- all awesome dogs; I said goodbye to a job- I loved my years with Doulos Ministries; and I said goodbye to my boss and mentor Richard Beach- I think about him every day. There have been a lot more “goodbyes,” too many to list here. Months ago, a friend at church asked me, “Would you ever be interested in selling your car?” I drove a Chevy Trailblazer. “Sure,” I told him, and the search for another vehicle began. I narrowed the field to three SUV’s and had three dealers looking for me. Last week, we located the vehicle not far from home and I purchased a Honda Pilot over the weekend. As I drove the Trailblazer to the new owner this morning, I reflected over my years with the vehicle. Sure, it’s just a car, but I reminisced on the season I had with the car. The Lord provided the vehicle in a tough season and it drove Jeanie and me all over the country to visit family. But I’m excited about the new season with the Pilot. Again, it’s just a car, but a gift God will use to transport us to family and friends. It’s the reason they christen ships. They are just boats, but they are special as they transport us to special places. Just this week, I met with dear people struggling with letting go of jobs, kids, teenagers, health and other major life areas. This time of year, seniors are letting go of the high school years and moving on, sons and daughters are moving out of the house and moms and dads are saying “goodbye” to their beautiful young adults as they go off to college, jobs and careers. All the goodbyes involve grieving. We all find freedom in “letting go, trusting and moving on.” That’s what healthy grieving is all about. We appreciate where we were as we celebrate where we’re going. Perhaps you’re holding on to something today that you need to release. Don’t grab it tighter but instead, let the change begin. Acknowledge the pain of the separation, but embrace the change as well. Through it all, God is there. He never leaves us alone, even when we feel lonely. Admit your pain. Embrace the change. Let it go. Make the jump. Let it be. Every season has a reason. People, jobs…. …and even an SUV. By Eric Joseph Staples ©

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