Starting over is hard but it could be the best thing that’s ever happened to you.
I grew up on Nintendo more specifically Contra. I remember getting the game fresh out of the box and getting up to a certain level and having to start over because of a mistake. It was the most frustrating part of the whole game. All that progress just to have to start over. Sometimes I’d just hit the RESET button and start all over! Then I learned the code.. ↑ ↑ ↓ ↓ ← → ← → B A START… yeah that was awesome. 30 extra men right at the beginning of the game. As I’ve gotten older and mature in my journey with the Lord I realize His grace is the code for my life. Instead of 30 extra men I get limitless chances. This thought humbles me everyday because His love overwhelms me and reassures me that no matter how I screw up or how bad life may seem, His grace is encoded into my life through the work of the Cross. I don’t want to take advantage of grace but the understanding of grace has revolutionized my life. Grace covers and forgives but it also empowers us to overcome sin and gives us the ability to start fresh.
Sometimes a fresh start is needed. Sometimes it’s more than needed, maybe it’s forced upon you. Whether you’re reeling from the loss of a loved one, the estrangement of a partner, or the severance from a job, taking control of your new circumstances is an important part of turning around your life. Maybe you just feel stuck in the rat race and you find the hairs on your head getting grayer and the lines on your face getting clearer and you think, “Is this it? Is this what God intended for my life?” One time, I had a pastor suggest to me that what I was living was just maybe my lot in life. I was immediately offended and wanted to punch him right in the face. When you have the spirit of a champion in you because Jesus lives in you, any suggestion of mediocrity is just flat out unacceptable. Don’t ever just accept that this is as good as it gets. Your life is what you make it and starting over isn’t as bad as you may think. Oh it’s not easy and it will be painful but it could be an amazing adventure that you never expected depending on your attitude about the whole thing. Let me just encourage you… you are never stuck. Ruts are made because they are driven through, ruts are never created because a vehicle sits in them. Whatever situation you are in, it’s temporary. Go THROUGH it, don’t stay in it.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. -Psalm 23:4 NKJV
When we find ourselves it can be daunting because march up the mountain again seems overwhelming but we do it one step at a time, one day at a time. I’ve found myself in a starting over period where I needed a “Do-Over”, I needed to hit the reset button. When that button was hit my progress disappeared. I felt like I lost my whole world and by all rights, I did. What I gained was priceless. Perspective. I learned to trust God again, I learned that He is my hope and when I fully trust Him, I will never be let down. This is where I get to live today. A sense of expectation and hope that is erupting out of my heart. Here are a few things that helped me along the way. I grabbed some of these concepts from this great post by Dragos Roua and put it into my own words for what helped me.
1. Accept defeat and loss.
This is something that may sound contradictory but when we understand that maybe we have been defeated and we feel the pain that comes with it, it strengthens our resolve to never allow it to happen again. When I accepted the fact that I lost seemingly everything, I realized that I will never let that happen again. Leaders learn from evaluated experience.
2. Leave the past in the past.
Accept all your past and make peace with it. Accept all your past mistakes or awesome decisions. The past is gone. Count to 3… 1,2,3. It’s gone. The past doesn’t even exist anymore nor does the future. The present is the only option we have and it’s up to us to live it or just stay the same. More on this concept here.
3. De-virus Your Mind
I love this phrase. Our mind is part of our soul and sometimes can get poisoned with toxic thoughts. It might be time for a detox. It might be time to clear our mind of thoughts that are actually harming us. If we’re going to start fresh, we must admit that are mind needs constant improvement and healing. Don’t believe everything you think because everything we think isn’t right. We may need to take time to quarantine our own thought life and de-virus our mind.
A word of caution. Getting a “do-over” is a gift. Don’t waste it it. Starting over is a great opportunity but as we journey this new road, let’s remember what got us here. No one is going to finish if they keep starting over. Starting over is great but let’s aim to accomplish and finish the work God has set before us.
Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. -Lamentations 3:23 NLT
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Please leave your thoughts if you feel led and let’s continue the conversation! May God bless you!