You feel it. God is asking you to end something, to lay something down, to walk away. You have done all you can to hang onto it. You’ve prayed. You’ve sought wise counsel. You’ve gone to your therapist. Is it Biblical to step away from a project, a role , a relationship, a job? So many factors enter into these decisions and our decisions should not be entered lightly or without much prayer and wise counsel.
I’ve been there many times throughout the last few decades of my life. It never gets easier. But, I have learned so much each time I participated with God’s plan to move forward. First, the scripture that always comforts and challenges me when facing a transition is Ecclesiastes 3:1-8: (emphasis mine)
To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to break down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to cast away stones and a time to gather stones together, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to count as lost, a time to keep and a time to discard ,a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, …
As I read this passage, I am comforted by the contrast of the seasons we face. It is impossible for me to deny that endings, parting, quitting, leaving and removing ourselves are normal and covered by God’s grace in our lives. In our humanness, we want to rush ahead at the slightest hint that we are being released forward. From my own personal experience, I would encourage you to move slowly. If you are facing a major ending in your life, please connect to your pastor and counselor.
The concept of pruning is also helpful as we consider stepping away. God allows both good branches to be pruned, dead branches to be pruned and unhealthy branches to be pruned in our lives in order to make way for MORE fruit.
We cannot face an ending without facing loss. Even endings we want require acknowledging loss, change and the need to grieve. Have you ever sent a child to Kindergarten or college? Have you ever retired from a job? Have you ever left one job for another step in your career pathway? Each of these are normal and good things, but involve the loss of what was. If we haven’t spent time actively pursuing grieving, it is likely we risk bringing something unhealthy into our new season.
Here are two quotes that have challenged and comforted me when facing the decision to step away from something that has served me well and I have loved:
From Henry Cloud in Necessary Endings “The good cannot begin until the bad ends.”
Dr. Caroline Leaf: “It’s ok to be sad about the right decision.”
When we face endings, it’s important to act in obedience to the actions God places before you. While endings are inevitable, ending well is something you can control. This will involve making sure your heart isn’t hard, being well into an authentic grieving process, working through forgiveness and having honest conversations with all involved. If you are facing an invitation into the unknown by leaving something behind, I would be honored to pray for you. Please leave a prayer request in the comments, or reach out direction to me at https://ljallencoaching.com/contact/