"Growth itself demands that we move on. Without the ability to end things, people stay stuck, never becoming who they are meant to be, never accomplishing all that their talents and abilities should afford them." - Henry Cloud
In the book, Cloud talked about how endings are one thing that most people struggle with. As much as humans might lack the ability to commit, we will generally commit to stay in something that no longer serves us for longer than we need to. We will even get comfortable in something that is "good enough," before we would ever take the leap to something greater and in that, we often hold our own self back.
A friend and I were having a conversation when she dropped this nugget:
"When God prunes, He doesn't prune the dead parts."
That hit me in like a boulder. She went on to add that "pruning removes some branches and blooms that are still LIVING" and if you "cut off the still living branch, the new blooms will be larger, fuller, vibrant and more hearty."
That simple idea brought new insight to this idea of pruning for me.
The last couple of years has been an intense season of pruning in my life. I have walked away from people, places, things, ideas that I thought would always be a part of my life and not every exit came with drama, a hard goodbye or pain. Some things were going just fine, thriving in fact, but in order for me to walk toward my destiny I had to set those things down too.
We walk away from bad things, but sometimes we have to walk away from good things too, to walk toward the excellent things.
Cloud's book talks about how endings are a healthy and natural part of life and we should approach them with boldness instead of fear because they generally almost always lead to something new. He also helps us see that endings are a normal part of our lives, helps us explore what signs you should look for as indicators that something has run its course and needs to come to an end and why it may be necessary or okay to ask for assistance in ending things or allowing someone to lead the "end" in your life.
I would go on to add that, if you trust God, even the toughest ending, isn't a true end because He can bring any situation, thing or circumstance back to life, in His time. I have proof. I have seen it happen in my own life time x time again.
In the cancel culture world, I don't condone giving up on everything or even walking away from tough situations. I believe that it is honorable to be long-suffering and persistent, but I do believe that we have to have the wisdom to see when it's time to move on and when a thing has run its course and have the courage to act in accordance to that response.
Endings are hard, but they can be great blessings with phenomenal return. Some of the sweetest things in my life began from an ending. Even if they began again, different and new.
If you are struggling to walk away, scared to move on, I pray that this little blog post encouraged you today.
With His strength, wisdom and courage,