I am repeatedly amazed at the myriad of methods the Lord will use to confirm His word and His will to us. If you have an open heart, He can – and most certainly will – use just about anything in your environment to capture your attention. I discovered this week that He will even go as far as leaving a message in your mailbox!
With the expiration of my car lease just around the corner, I received a beautiful marketing piece in the mail showcasing the new crossover models available for purchase if I turned in my car. I briefly glanced at it, but along with my seasonal sea of spring catalogs, I placed it in the recycling pile. The next morning, however, while gathering up the junk mail, it somehow flipped over and I looked again, something the Lord often has us do. There, in big bold letters, on the back of the booklet was a personalized command: “Kathy, Embrace New Beginnings!”
It was one of those moments when you just have to stop and listen. I certainly know that I and so many of God’s people are experiencing new beginnings. My personal friends and family members are securing new jobs, new ministry assignments, new homes and several are even reestablishing their lives in new geographical locations. I have never experienced or witnessed such a season of multidimensional change. But the question Holy Spirit stirred me to answer in that holy moment in my kitchen was “Kathy, have you embraced your new beginnings? Knowing and embracing are two different things.”
According to Oxford’s dictionary, the word embrace means “to hold (someone) closely in one’s arms, especially as a sign of affection”, but it also describes the “act of accepting or supporting something willingly or enthusiastically.” Oh no…the word willing. A new beginning sounds exciting, but inherent in the act of starting over can be many challenges. We can be excited at first, but then when the reality of practical consequences for daily life set in, that emotional euphoria can easily subside.
When you are set to experience several new things at one time, the temptation to be overwhelmed by it all is even greater. Notice, my beginning was plural! Perhaps yours are, too! When we embrace change, we love it. We love it, because we realize it is God’s plan, so it can only be good! God loves us, so we can love this new beginning. We can hold onto it for dear life, committed to pushing through our fear of the unknown and the stability and comfort of what we used to know. With enthusiastic first steps, we can move out in the direction God has given. As we do, grace comes to power us through the many tasks we must complete to manifest that new beginning. We abandon hesitation and procrastination, and grab it! When our new beginning is emerging from a period of loss and grieving, there are unique obstacles we also must overcome. Following Jesus always necessitates saying farewell to people, places and things that were wonderful in their time, but just not part of our future. There is so much that has changed – and is changing – in our lives, the church and our world. Embracing change means we can accept that this is where we are now, while discerning God’s way forward. We can let go of negativity and frustration and accept our new environment.
It’s time for us to take our personal prophecies off the pages and go to work. You can be in a prophetic season of new beginnings, know all the words from every 2022 YouTube video proclaiming it, and let out all the shouts on Sunday, but never truly have one. I encourage you today to embrace YOUR new beginning, as I embrace mine. The ride will be so much better together. Wrap your arms around what God has shown you and do not let it go!