A woman gives birth. An alcoholic pours his bottle of booze down the drain. A worker becomes the supervisor. A daughter loses her mother to a car accident.
New beginnings can happen any day at any time. However, sometimes new beginnings may not be of our own choosing or liking. Maybe the worker didn’t expect or want the promotion. The alcoholic, on the other hand, has clearly made a choice to try a different path evidenced by the dumping of his precious liquor. Both have entered a time of new beginnings. And although the birth of a child and the death of a loved one appear very different, they both have two things in common: an end and a beginning.
It can be excruciatingly difficult to walk through the doorway of a new season in life. How do we effectively live in the midst of a new beginning that we didn’t expect, or even want? What can we do to give God glory when our circumstances are not only new, but also extremely painful? Anytime we let go of something old, there is discomfort, even pain. Anytime we lose something or someone of great importance we experience a great sense of loss, even hopelessness. Yet it’s comforting to remember that the seemingly greatest loss of all, Jesus' death, resulted in the best new beginning ever — a resurrected Christ.
His new beginning and new life allow us to live our lives to the fullest, regardless of what we’ve lost or let go. For in Christ, we are never alone. We are always loved. We can always expect the best from God. He sees far beyond our pain and suffering and has a way of making every new beginning beneficial to us and to those around us — if we let him. Through this process, we're able to thrive and even discover peace and joy amidst the letting go.
The best way to experience a new beginning is to follow the acronym Lean On God.
Live in the truth
Whether you’re battling a tempting addiction or grieving an untimely loss, a key to embracing any new beginning is to stay grounded in truth — God’s Word. Without a foundation of truth, we are prone to fall prey to lies that increase our pain and keep us from growing and moving forward.
Enlist others for support
New beginnings are best faced in the safety net of caring and competent Christian friends. God is relational. Jesus was not a lone ranger. He was surrounded by his inner circle of disciples. We too will find support, encouragement, and help from others who have experienced similar circumstances.
Approach God boldly
We have the amazing opportunity to approach our heavenly Father with boldness and confidence. In the psalms, David gave us the perfect example of how to cry out to God in every conceivable manner, even in our anger, our anguish, and our anxiety. We need not face anything without God’s help. We can go to him boldly, because he tells us we can.
Never give up
Remember — no matter what our present circumstances may look like, no matter how difficult letting go might be —, with God, we win in the end. It may appear that we are losing, but ultimately, goodness and glory can grow in the midst of a new beginning. We must keep our eyes focused on our Leader, and remember to keep putting one foot in front of the other until we cross the finish line.
When we’re in the midst of letting go, we can find ourselves burdened by a barrage of obstacles — things on our path that can keep us from walking through the door of a better tomorrow. Feelings of grief and heartache can be part of the new beginning process. Lingering negative feelings and thoughts can become obstacles that keep us stuck. With God’s help and the support of others, we can continue forward, getting rid of whatever holds us back.
Neutralize the enemy
The Bible is very clear that we, as Christians, have an enemy. This enemy of our souls would like to destroy us and keep us from accepting God’s plan for our lives. We can disarm this devil by utilizing the armor that God so generously provides. Put on the armor daily.
Go forward with God
This is much like “don’t give up.” New beginnings can be scary and we can find ourselves paralyzed, afraid to take another step. We don’t need to continue by our own power. In fact, our limited human power won’t be enough, but with God, all things are possible. Allow him to lead, as you lean on him.
Open your eyes
Take a look at the beauty surrounding you on your journey. As you embrace your new beginning, you will discover the wondrous ways God is working in and around you. God is present, even in your darkest hour. If you look, you can see his light.
Decide to worship
Praising God in the midst of any situation brings blessings far beyond our greatest expectations. When we experience freedom from a bondage or an addiction, it is only natural to praise our Deliverer. But when a new beginning is the result of loss, worship may seem out of place. Yet consider Paul, praising God from within his prison chamber. Worship touches the very heart of God, and in turn he will touch ours. Worship God and expect the best.
Lean on God and expect one glorious new beginning after another. Each new day we can be filled afresh with the power of the Holy Spirit who will help us in our new beginnings.