This past December we sat on the front row and proudly watched our little man sing his heart out. There is nothing like a group of four year olds singing Christmas songs. Waving, smiling, so full of joy. But me….I sat on that front row and cried. Tears streaming down my cheeks as I took witness to a last.
You know, as parents we are always marking firsts. First bath, first smile, first laugh, first crawl, first word, first step. Loosing that first tooth, those pieces of hair in a bag from a first haircut, first day of school. The list would go on and on if I got out a baby book and took a trip down memory lane, but that would cause more tears.
But what about lasts? Somehow we don’t notice them. Or maybe they just squeak by all to quietly. But I sat on that front row and watched my last preschool Christmas program. I sat there and remembered my first. She was so sweet on that stage, singing her heart out too. And now here she is ten and looking at me like I’m a nut because I am crying. It was a last. And I am thankful that I got to take it in. Memorize him in his little white shirt and cotton on his head as a sheep.
But what about all the lasts that I missed? The last time my girls needed help tying their shoes, the last time they needed help in the bathtub. Or help brushing hair. It all passes so quickly. And we don’t know it’s passing until they just don’t ask anymore. And we missed it.
Sometimes a last happens and we have no idea it’s coming. For me, it was my job. We all have our own plans in life. You know, if you are anything like me, you have it all planned out. Mapped out. Written out. With highlighters. But Isaiah 55 teaches me this….For My thoughts are not your thoughts, and your ways are not My ways. Inhale. Exhale. Oh. I have spent the last 15 years of my life building a business. Building relationships. In the hair industry it is all about relationships. I see you all every four to six weeks and you all are part of my life. And I am part of yours.
So when I woke up over two weeks ago unable to move and then heard the news that my career is what is causing my pain, I wept. Big, ugly tears. Not that I don’t trust God, I do, but it is so hard! This was not my plan. This was not what I had written down for me. But then I breathe in again and remind myself what Jeremiah tells me. For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord….You know the rest of the verse….plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. God knows my future! Not the one I’ve mapped out–my real one. His plan. For my life.
I wish I had known that Saturday would have been my last day to work. I would have memorized it. The smells. The conversations. We would have hugged and said our goodbyes. But sometimes lasts happen quickly and quietly. With no notice. No time to prepare.
Now after 15 years I have to say goodbye. Goodbye to all of my amazing customers. You all who have loved me for so many years. Fifteen. Thank you for your trust in me. Thank you for your friendship. For your support. Thank you!
But goodbye to my ladies. My partners. Pause. Our salon has been the best place to make a living. I am forever grateful for my 14 year friendship with you, Melissa. I have basically grown up with you. Had babies, who are now kids. Watched your kids grow to adults. Being your partner for these past six years has been a gift from the Lord. I am blessed to call you friend! Betsy, I am thankful for all the years you were my picky customer….who would have ever thought all these years later you’d be working beside me. Bringing laughter to our days. Preparing for your bright future. I am thankful also for you, Angela and Suzy, and the almost five years we’ve had together. Thank you for your friendship. Each of you. Tears streaming.
Sometimes life closes doors. Sometimes they slam. Sometimes we cry. But at the center of it all, we must strive to fit into Gods plans. He will not conform His plans and purposes for our lives to ours. He knows best. Always. Even when it’s hard.
Psalm 37 tells us to “Trust in the Lord and do good….Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him.” To commit ourselves to the Lord means entrusting everything. Everything. Our lives, our families, our children, our jobs, our possessions. To Him and His guidance. To fully surrender. To trust in Him. Commit.
I don’t know about you, but it’s hard to have a door closed. Slammed. What’s yours? Do you have a change right now? That hurts? If you are like me and in a hard season of change, just breathe. And know….He hears you! The apostle John tells us in 1 John, “this is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.”
He hears you! You. Me. He hears us! Whatever it is you are going through, approach him in prayer. Spend time seeking him. Not seeking your will, your plan. His. When we take time to seek his will, he hears us. Jesus says “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” So hear this, no matter what door has been closed for you, God has a plan for your life. For mine. We are not alone. Not abandoned. His plans are good!
I sadly leave all that I have known. Maybe, you have too. But I open my heart to what God has in store. I hope you will do the same. Because we know that God works all things for his good. And for that I can’t wait! Every new beginning comes from some other beginnings end. Inhale. Exhale.
Here’s to new beginnings…..