When You Need A New Beginning

When was the last time you had a new beginning?  You know, when you got to start over.  A new year?  A new job?  A new friendship?  A new move?   A new adventure?  There is just something about starting a fresh that quickens my spirit.  

Call me crazy, but I love a little change.  You know, redesigning your living room by moving the couches around.  Or finding that new way to drive to work.  Or starting a new Bible study.  Or better yet, getting a new Bible. 

To be honest, those are the small changes in life for me and I love them.  But the big changes?  Let's just say I love the planning, but not the execution. 

It's not to say that change is bad, but if you and I are gut-level honest, change requires, well change.  Change requires that I change my routine.  Change my knowledge.  Sometimes, change even requires that I change my people.  

In the last couple of years, I've changed a lot of things.  I've changed my routine.  I've left my job.  And then another job just recently.  I sold my home.  I switched from being a home owner to a renter.  I switched from being an employee to becoming a business owner.  

But in all these changes, I've come to the realization that I prefer to play it safe.  To experience the familiar and the known.  To stay where I am instead of venturing to where I am not.  

For almost every single one of those changes I listed above.  I dragged my feet.  I knew God had been calling.  I preferred to sit right there in my safety zone until I was sure.  So I delayed God.  I deliberated.  As any learner would do, I gathered more intel.  But I didn't make the move when God was asking me.  I played it safe. 

I played it safe when God was calling me to shift my career.  It was more comforting to know there would always be a paycheck.  I knew nothing about owning and running a business.  (A little secret - I still don't).  God kept pressing and I knew it was time to go.  Time to trust.  Time for a new beginning. 

I played it safe when it came time to sell my home.  I liked my home.  Moose like our home.  We had great neighbors.  And plenty of space.  But it was time.  And as I dragged my feet, God prepared the market and just the right buyer.  And today here we sit with new neighbors and a new set up. 

Where are you and I playing it safe when it comes to new beginnings?  

As I've been contemplating the most recent change that God has laid on my heart, I've dragged my feet.  A new beginning is unsafe.  And unfamiliar.  And I have no idea what to expect.  And as I was processing all this, I heard a talk on new beginnings - especially the ones with God.  

New Beginnings Start Outside of Our Comfort Zone

Have I mentioned my new eating challenges lately?   My body has decided to rebel against my two favorite foods.  Gluten and dairy.  That's right no pizza.  No ice cream.  No cheese.  Let me say it again so that can sink in...NO CHEESE. 

To be honest it's a new beginning for me.  A new chance for me to make healthier choices.  A new chance to reset my taste buds.  

I don't like it.  

It's out of my comfort zone.  My zone includes last minute drive thrus and ordering in.  But I was encouraged recently that every new beginning - whether it's a new diet plan, a move across the country, or a new job - means leaving our comfort zone.  

New beginnings are about going where you've never been to experience what God has for you there.  You cannot experience what God has for you by clinging to your comfort zone.  A new beginning starts with stepping out of your comfort zone.  

New Beginnings Come From A Broken Heart

To be silly for a moment, breaking up with cheese has broken my heart.  But so have others.  Changing my career broke my heart as I needed to say good bye to routine and regular paychecks and co-workers.  On the flip-side, what I've experienced is new and different and a blessing.  

Your new beginning may begin with a broken heart because God is allowing it to break to He can move you.  Move you to your next job.  Move you to make a few new friends.  Move you to a new way of looking at food (that's me and ouch!)  Move you to new neighbors.  Whatever your new is can be found by embracing your broken heart. 

New Beginnings Come When God Is In Charge

The thing about all my recent new beginnings.  God was insistent with me.  He continued to pursue me.  He continued to remind me that He had something new.  And He continues to remind me today that He will take care of me as long as I follow Him. 

Are we listening? 

I don't always listen.  I sometimes like to inform God that I can handle it.  Not to worry God.  I'm good here.  No need for all this change. 

For God to be in charge, we must be listening.  Listening to His voice.  Through the Bible.  Through Christian leaders.  Through friends and our community.  Through music.  

God will speak, especially if we let Him have the remote. 

So I ask myself and you: what new beginning do you need in 2016?  Where is God calling you to a change?  Where are you playing it safe?  

And maybe your answer is...I just need to listen for a while. 

I'd love to hear and pray about your new beginning.  Comment with your new beginning here...