Moving forward, a new chapter, a new journey
Updated: Jan 7
On December 24, 2016, I was thrust into a new chapter and a new journey. (Note: I tend to use Journey and Chapter interchangeably.) Not too long before this, Terry and I had recently celebrated our 45th wedding anniversary. I thought that a new journey with my wife and BFF was starting when I was laid off in September and I was blessed with the time to spend with her and caring for her needs. After all, I had been procrastinating over this decision for nearly a year, and God set the table for me to be with her when my position at my former company was eliminated. At that time, it seemed to me that God was saying, “If you won’t decide, I will help push you”. That WAS a blessing.
But, instead of being able to spend years together, I only had 3 more months. In spite of the pain of losing my “honey”, I still can celebrate that we had not only this period of time together, but 45 years together. Now, I celebrate ALL of our time and the blessings and memories that continue to flow from these chapters in our lives.
The bible says that “the steps of a righteous man are ordered of God”. To me, this means that God scripts out the chapters of my life. Looking back on those chapters, I can see how God scripted them, but He left it to me to “fill in the blanks”. God leaves us with choices, and honors our choices. But, somehow, in a way that only He knows, the script He lays out for us is still fulfilled.
A chapter always has a beginning, a middle, and an end. As God scripts out the chapters of our life and, as is found in literature, we don’t truly know the path that the chapter will take, nor do we know the end of the chapter (until we read and experience it).
I didn’t see that chapter of our life ending, nor would I have chosen that ending. In my mind Terry and I had years ahead of us to enjoy each other and travel this new path together. But, like so often happens, the chapter took a sudden twist, ended, and here I am facing a new chapter. My journey is new.
Today, I am not the same person I was last year. Today, I am new. Today, my hopes, dreams, and desires are starting anew. Some of my desires were there all along, but are just now being resurrected. Some are new. Some, I have yet to find. Some things I have had to experience first hand in order to start an understanding of what they are. A lot of this chapter has yet to be written.
Yes, I can see God scripting out this journey. In the beginning, I couldn’t. In the beginning, I had to let God carve up some of me, so that I could be shaped by Him (this hasn’t ceased). Sometimes I think that the pain of grief is God carving and shaping us for this new journey. There are many times when I still want to control these circumstances. And, just when I think that I can, a wave of pain crashes over me.
I can remember cartoons when I was growing up depicting an angel and a devil on the character’s shoulder. Do this because it’s right, says the angel. Do this because it is fun, and feels good, Do this because YOU can do it, says the devil.
Just as in the cartoon, I often have a conflicting devil and angel on my own shoulders. Trust God. Suck it up! You can Do it. God will provide comfort! Let God script out your days. These and many similar thoughts continue to this day. I wish it could be as easy as “Letting Go and Let God”. But, I don’t think that this is what God has planned. After all, he has given us the freedom of choice. So, while it is true and proper to trust God, and know that he comforts the wounded and hurt, it is also His will that we grow from our experiences, grow from choices and consequences of our choices.
So, I started a new chapter of my life last Christmas Eve. One thing that is clear to me, right now, is that I am new. I am not the same person I was last year. I no longer can sit in comfort in that previous chapter. I am moving forward. Notice that I said that I am moving forward. I am not moving on. Like any book, each chapter builds upon previous chapters. My new journey is definitely rooted and based upon the warm memories and lovely times with my sweetie. They happened and I wouldn’t change that for a minute.
What I can do is to preserve them, remember them, celebrate them, and use them. I promised Terry (as she was passing on) that I would continue all that she taught me in our years together. That is a promise I will never renege on.
So, last December I started a new journey. I don’t know how this chapter will end, but I do know that God is speaking to me in many ways.
Today, this very day, I commit to working on discerning this script that God has written. To follow His script to the best of my ability. To honor Him and my lovely Terry.
In upcoming articles of this Blog, I would like to recap some of the steps and paths that have happened to me already, and to continue to develop some concepts that God is laying on my heart that has helped me and perhaps can help others.
Thank you for reading this. Thank you for supporting me in your thoughts and prayers.
One final thought – and I am just now remembering this. Years ago, when I was having a particular rough time in a previous chapter, God laid a life verse on my spirit. I just now am remembering this, and isn’t it like God to never let us forget the promises He has for us.
In closing, here it is.
“Now I will break their yoke from your neck and tear your shackles away.”…” Nahum 1:13