Starting New Chapters

This past weekend, a number of Ignite Monmouth members walked across the front lawn of Monmouth College for the last time. Amid the clapping and picture taking, tears and goodbyes, these former students are now college graduates.

They started a whole new chapter in their lives.

They said goodbye to the place they called home for four years, to venture out into the unknown.
They are leaving dorm rooms for apartments.
Cafeterias for kitchens.
School work for desk work.
And security for the hope of employment.

A new chapter has begun.

As with any new chapter in life — be it graduation, a new job, marriage, the birth of a child, retirement, moving — there are always mixed emotions.

Excitement at a new prospect.
Nervousness over the unknown.
Fear things won’t turn out the way you expect.
Happiness over starting something new.
Joy at what lies ahead.
Sadness over what you’re leaving behind.
Doubt that you have what it takes.
Boldness to strike out and prove yourself.

It’s never cut and dry.
And maybe, that’s just how it’s supposed to be.

Maybe it’s okay to feel fear at starting something new.
Maybe it’s okay to be nervous over what the future holds.
Maybe it’s okay to doubt that you have what it takes.

For awhile.

Starting a new chapter in life brings about big change, and change isn’t always easy.

There will be times of doubt and fear and anxiety.
There will be times you question if you’ve made the right decision.
There will be times you want to run back to the security of what you left behind.

It’s a normal response.

That doesn’t mean you have chosen the wrong path, don’t trust God, or have made a mistake.
It simply means change has come.

So, if you’re starting a new chapter in life and it feels like you don’t know what you’re doing, find comfort in this:

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Jeremiah 29:11

What scares you the most when starting a new chapter in life?

Background photo credit: Nick Webb (Creative Commons)