There comes a time in which we must start anew – to head down a different path and leave the old behind us. But these new beginnings are rarely altogether new. They usually build on what has come before – making it like a new chapter in our life rather than a completely new book.
Of course, there are times in which dying to the old means cutting off all association with it. Light doesn’t live with darkness and our past sinful life is best left in the past. But, even here, we’ve been shaped by our past experiences, which can still influence how we show up and pursue the good today.
And often we’re not looking for such a hard shift from the old to the new. For instance, a desire to start over in marriage doesn’t mean we’re looking for a new wife. But perhaps it’s time to learn a new dance than the one we’ve been doing for years. And this new dance will bring a fundamental shift in our relationship. At the same time, we’re doing it together and we don’t wipe out all our previous time together. There are still many memories and aspects of our old life that will continue with us.
Spring is a new season, yet it remains familiar. As new life emerges, it remains connected to what has come before. And this gives us hope and courage to enter the new.
It’s hard to move forward when it feels like we’re abandoning the good as well. But a new chapter doesn’t require us to start back at square one. It’s not giving it all up and starting over per se. Rather it’s simply starting anew – heading in a different direction that gets us to where we want to go.
In the end, enter the new chapters of your life and relationships with hope. The new will be different, but also familiar as you build on what has come before. Your time before has not been wasted.