Grateful Endings

“The end of a thing is better than its beginning; The patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.” Ecclesiastes 7:8

For the longest time I couldn’t quite understand this verse. Simply put, why would an ending be better than a beginning? Beginnings are exciting twinged with a bit of fear, and a whole lot of anxiety for some. Endings are sad mostly, laced with regret and pain for others.

It wasn’t until recently that I discovered just how grateful I am for endings. While I haven’t written much on this I do want to be transparent and share how coming to gratefulness in an ending is worth it.

You see in June I lost my job.

Actually it was more than that, it was my calling, my profession, what I poured my life into. It was my livelihood. It came unexpectedly and it was wrongfully executed. To put it plainly, it was just wrong. What would happen over the next six weeks while I searched for a job was life changing for me. I found myself, who I actually was, once again and who I am in Christ.

This was something I had lost somewhere in my job-because that is what had become of me. I was my job, my job was me. Every bit of it was wrapped up in me and who I was. I found I welcomed anxiety, stress and insomnia as friends all too easily. If I happened to be with friends when I wasn’t working rather continuously, I was talking about my work. I became hard to be around simply because I had allowed my job to become my life.

ending_beginning

Someone recently said we make our own idols out of the things we desire to give us that only God can. I believe wholeheartedly I made my work, the busy of it, and the immense strain of it my idol. I could easily say I was pushed and pulled into it by those around me, however I made that choice. And I chose it again, and again, day in and day out.

As I come upon the five months since that occurred I had to stop and put it into perspective of this week. A week of gratefulness acknowledged in every aspect, of life and love, of truth and beauty and of what God is doing in me and through me. I was brokenhearted over the loss of my job in June. But as I sit here in November I am grateful for that ending. An ending I would not have crafted and I firmly believe was not by God’s design, but one that He knew I would weather because I would be fully in His hands. Endings are worth it and are better than beginnings because we are able to part with something or someone.

We gain perspective we didn’t have at the beginning, we are older, wiser, stronger and better than we were at the start. We can boldly come to the end of something and choose gratitude for it having been complete. When we have weathered an ending we see patience lived to it’s fullest. Pride is no longer our banner as humility rings true.

Being grateful that a thing is over can be difficult to see at the present of it, but soon you realize that all along you were navigating to an end. I know I would not be where I am now, having experienced and met some of the most godly and amazing people I have had it not been for that ending. I am grateful for that, because it’s allowed me to see the beauty in people in action not in word. It’s opened my eyes to possibilities and paths I had long-since pushed aside for other people’s goals for my life. More than anything, it’s given me the grateful heart to bid adieu to a chapter of my life that I wasn’t truly writing. This ending is truly worth it even in the face of beginning again.

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