On New Year’s Eve of 2017, I faced a new beginning. A new season of life. After a nasty breakup with my first boyfriend, I was single.
The spring semester of my sophomore year in college—the first semester after my breakup—I experienced deep emotional suffering. My ex attended the same college I did, and I struggled to see him on campus.
A new beginning means new lessons, and God taught me several that semester. I want to share one of those lessons with you.
After struggling with random memories of my ex, I remembered the story of Abraham. I realized that he left an “old” life to follow God’s calling and leading in his life. He left his home, his extended family (except for his nephew), and everything that was familiar to him to follow God into an unknown future.
The beautiful thing about Abraham’s journey was that God gave him a better life than the one Abraham had left. God blessed Abraham’s trust in Him and allowed him to be the father of many nations. The Bible barely mentions Abraham’s life before he left to travel to Canaan. Instead, it focuses on his new life, his new beginning. And it emphasizes the blessing Abraham received from God in his new life, a blessing he didn’t have in his former life and one he may not have received if he was not obedient to God.
The Bible doesn’t record Abraham looking back and wishing he had staying in Haran. It doesn’t record that he regretted obeying God’s calling, even though it meant facing a scary and uncertain future. Instead, the Bible tells us that Abraham believed God’s promises to him, and because of that, Abraham’s faith was counted as righteousness.
This lesson from Abraham’s life helped me to move on from my previous relationship. It taught me to look forward and to not look back at what I had lost.
In other parts of the Bible, the idea of looking forward to the new instead of dwelling on the old is encouraged. Isaiah 43:18-19 (KJV) says, “Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.”
Philippians 3:13-14 (KJV) says, “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth into those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” I clung to these verses after my breakup because they reminded me that God would do a “new thing” in my life and they helped me to look forward and not dwell on the relationship I was no longer in.
I encourage you to look forward to whatever new beginning God leads you into. And if you have not yet entered that new stage of life, I pray that the example of Abraham will encourage you to enter that stage completely obedient to and dependent upon the Lord so you can look forward and not look back.
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