Endings

All I want is a happy ending. I don’t like sad endings. I am so tired of sad endings. I have had far too many sad endings over the last few years.

Endings hurt. Endings are…well, the end. Rarely, have I been happy about an ending. Most endings are sad and unwanted and often unexpected.

End of a relationship. End of a job. End of a dream. End of a life. End of hope.

Endings hurt. Endings are so final. I hate them and I wish that they did not exist.

All the stuff that goes along with endings are just as bad as the ending itself. The tears and sadness. The sick to my stomach feeling. The wondering if I could have done something to change the ending, make it better or stop it from happening. I hate that I often go over and over in my head rehearsing what happened or what could have happened if only I’d said or done something different. I guess, when I think about it, what I really don’t like is the reason for the ending. The fight or misunderstanding that rips up my heart.  The tragedy that changes the course of my life and the worst part is that endings don’t actually end for such a long time. The hurt and pain seem to go on and on.

Part of the on and on feeling is wondering “what now”? Now where do I go, what do I do? How am I going to survive? What am I going to believe in? Who can I trust?

Endings always seems to change the future, or what I expected the future to be. It leaves me feeling off balance and lost. Making plans and having them unexpectedly changed is hard. Adjusting to a new reality feels so very difficult.

Endings have a way of forcing me to reevaluate my life and my beliefs. Self reflection is never fun and it’s rarely easy. It often causes fear and anxiety to rise from the depth of my heart. Reevaluating relationships and situations takes so much energy. It causes Sleepless nights while I  try to find answers that leave me feeling exhausted and grumpy.  I honestly don’t think it matters whether I do the ending or if something or someone out of my control does the ending, regardless, its horrible.

I want happy endings, but are there any real happy endings? A good marriage will eventually end in death. A good job will eventually end with retirement at best. A lifelong friendship will eventually end with parting. A magical childhood will end when adulthood comes. I suppose there are good endings but they are far between in seems. My son’s extensive medical testing will end at some point, hopefully soon. Paying off an overdue bill ends the collection phone calls. Graduating from High School or College earns you a degree and ends your formal education, at least for a time. All of those things are good endings, happy endings but they are not always permanent endings.

I can spend a lot of time and energy hating endings. I can focus on them, cry over them, rehearse them and regret them but I cannot change them. Maybe, my real issue is where I put my focus.  Sometimes it feels like I have nothing else I can focus on besides the pain and regret. I get so wound up in the wounding that I forget to seek the healing. What I need, what my heart longs for is a stable, permanent Happy Ending. Something that I can believe in and rely on. Something that will never, ever end. I need an ending that will bring back and sustain my joy. An ending that ends all endings. An ending that only Jesus can give.

I am pretty sure you know where I am going with all of this.  Everything in this temporal world has a beginning and an ending. Eccl 3 makes it clear that there is a season for everything. Those seasons come and go for each and every person. Psalm 23 also talks about seasons that come into every life. Dark valleys we will walk. Soft pastures He promises to bring us through. Nobody is immune. Not one of us will escape some kind of shadow or valley or season. How easy is it for me to become focused on my shadow, my valley. When I stay focused on my valley my eyes are covered with darkness. My heart is shadowed with fear and anxiety. But when I turn my face toward the rainbow in the sky and remember His promises to me, it’s at that moment that my focus changes.

God promises to be my Rock (Psalm 18) He promises that His love for me never ends (Jer 31) and that the seasons that I go through are not walked alone. (Heb 13). God has always been. He has always had a heart for me. He will always be. He is never ending and therefore when He promises that He will NEVER stop loving me and NEVER leave me alone. He really means never, ever, ever for all eternity.

Along with His word that I will never be unloved and I will not go through life alone. I also know that He has a plan. Now, sometimes it’s hard to trust what in the world He could possibly be planning! When my life stinks and my face is pointed toward the ground, all I see is dirt, mud and darkness. However, when I look upward to the sky my outlook becomes brighter and I gain hope. Isn’t that the real message of the Gospel? Hope because of Love. Love that never ever ends.

So what about my  unhappy endings? I still don’t like them. In fact I still hate them….a lot. I don’t think I will ever completely embrace the experience of bad endings. I will continue to watch happy ending movies and skip the sad endings of books. I can’t as easily skip my life though. That leaves me with the choice to change my focus. To choose to look up instead of down. To see the rainbow, not the dirt.  To trust that God’s word to me is forever and never ending. It gives me hope. The hope of the final happy ending. The ending to end all endings.

 

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