Yesterday, we talked about the necessity of endings and how living our best with Jesus will always require us to transition to new seasons. Today, I want to look at two easy — yet incorrect — ways we may be tempted to make such changes. Most of us, when faced with the unpleasant emotions demanded by closing a chapter, will choose to either fight or flight. That means we’ll end something in haste and anger or we’ll simply disappear; however neither one of these responses sets us up for success in the future. If we burn bridges and slam doors shut without regard for the people and relationships we leave behind, we might be plagued by regret later on. Even worse, because we don’t know when two worlds will collide, we may be forced to face someone we “told off” in the future, at a time when their impression of us is more important. That said, while ending in an outburst is not appropriate, neither is simply disappearing. Though such a response is tempting, when we “ghost” a person or organization without offering any explanation as to our disappearance, we deny them the opportunity to learn from our feedback and to plan for our transition. While it requires more emotional effort, the best way to end something is to do it slowly, thoughtfully, and with great attention given to the hearts of others.
My friend, endings are an important part of new beginnings, and the way you handle them can testify to the presence of your Savior within you. While it’s easy to walk away from something in haste, hurt, or anger, that is not God’s best for your future. It’s better to embrace an intentional shifting of seasons than to ignore the welfare of the people you leave behind. No matter how uncomfortable, I encourage you to face the mixed emotions inherent in closing a door so you can end well and set yourself up for success in your next chapter.