We often find ourselves in the position of ending something for one reason or another. We can be changing jobs, moving, or transitioning in some other way. Change is inevitable and the way that we walk through that change is important.
Julie and I, along with a group of others, are facing a change as the church that we have been attending is closing. The building is being transferred to another church and there will be a transition in a few weeks. The handoff is intentional and there will be a clear end as well as a clear beginning between two leadership teams as well as cultures on a certain day in a certain way. One day it will be one thing, the next day it will be something different.
My initial reaction is that I really didn’t want to attend that handoff. Julie and I are convinced that our calling for next steps is that we are to open a new church. Many things have led us to this point, and we believe that the steps of our past have led us to this decision at this intersection as we step towards our destination. We certainly have nothing against the new, but since we won’t be joining the new I anticipated it being at least slightly awkward for us. My first plan was to not attend the final meeting where the handoff would take place.
As we discussed it, I realized that we had been brought to this place (which is closing) on a call and with a purpose. We had stepped into this season with a heart towards exploring what God had for us, knowing that He was behind the move. Since that decision, we have been affirmed many times over of His invitation and faithfulness.
Upon the acknowledgment that He was with us in this, I realized immediately that we need to see it through until the end. Being faithful with what we have been given is important. How we finish the thing that we are in will impact the way that we start the thing that is next. When we side-step or shortcut the life cycle of one season, we prematurely take hold of the next season to control things for ourselves. There is no faith in us controlling things.
We are excited about the new and nervous about it in many ways, as well. Our nervousness is good as it requires absolute surrender and dependence. We can’t do this because this deal isn’t ours. Resisting the urge to take ownership even in the ending that precedes the new beginning is resisting the urge to take on more than we can handle.
God is faithful in the ending as well as the beginning.