By Donna Gibbs
“Necessary Endings”. That phrase just sounds… wrong, doesn’t it? But if you are seeking a goal that God has orchestrated, then the journey will automatically involve some endings. And these endings will indeed be required. Endings are non-negotiable components of achieving goals.
I’ve spent the last year processing endings. For those who know me well, you know that the counseling ministry of A Clear Word Counseling Center was very close to my heart for many years. In 2007, after serving ten years as a single practitioner, I allowed the necessary ending of my independence and responsibility only to myself as I followed God’s leading to open a non-profit and expand the counseling ministry. After a tremendous amount of personal stretching and many hours of hard work, an organization was born. To be honest, it felt more like the birthing of a baby. I poured myself into developing the organization, developing an annual comedy night and an annual golf tournament that would fund our Client Assistance Program, and growing and nurturing an amazing team of clinicians and staff. I remember often reflecting on how grateful I was that God seemed to have shined His blessing on that organization. He allowed us to be used to help people… truly help people. Lives were being saved and changed. Oppression was being lifted. Marriages healed. Depression released. It was a truly great decade! When you pour into a ministry like that, and you see God using it in the most intimate way in the lives of countless people, you develop emotional ties. When something is so sacred, you want to hold on… and never let go. So, you can imagine the emotions I experienced when I recognized that God was leading something new for that organization. And that is precisely why the term “necessary ending” became an important one for me.
It is impossible to follow God to a new place without letting go of the old. We can’t accomplish the new without releasing what has already been. Endings are necessary. Indeed, I had to allow the ending of A Clear Word in order to energetically embrace my role in the graduated ministry of Summit Wellness Centers.
What about you? What goal do you know God is orchestrating in your life? Is it related to your ministry? Or perhaps a relationship? Your health? Your finances? If you are pursuing a goal, remember that endings will be necessary. Some endings are radical and complete. There is no residual of the past, no contact. Other endings are more like endings of patterns, methods, or particular structures. But remember this: an ending in some manner will be non-negotiable. You can’t add(a new goal) without subtracting (from the old). It’s basic math!
God has a word about these necessary endings: “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” (Isaiah 43:18)
So today, let’s learn to embrace necessary endings. Rather than focusing on the unknowns and anxieties of a transition, let’s welcome the basic math that comes with obedience to a new, God-ordained task. Where God has led, He will also assist in the necessary release.
For more about necessary endings, I suggest the book by the same title, written by Henry Cloud.
Donna Gibbs, co-owner of Summit Wellness Centers, PLLC, is author of the recent releases, Silencing Insecurity and Becoming Resilient. Donna has authored numerous other books, and is commonly featured on radio broadcasts across America, and occasionally internationally as well. Donna has been providing individuals and families the hope and help they need for twenty years as a national certified counselor, board-certified professional Christian counselor, and licensed professional counselor supervisor. A member of the American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC), she is a leading professional provider for Focus on the Family, Christian Care Network, r3Continuum, FINDINGbalance, and Samaritan’s Purse.
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