On Endings

Endings

I was laid off from my job 2 days ago.

How’s that for a subtle opening? Let’s just establish a little credibility before I proceed any further. Lest you think this is my first rodeo, let me assure you it isn’t. In the 22 years I’ve been working, this is actually the 3rd job I’ve been laid off from. I’ve been fired from 1 and have resigned from 8 others. Some jobs lasted 5 years while others lasted 6 months.

Whether it was a job I left voluntarily or one I left involuntarily for one reason or another, the 2 things they all had in common are a beginning and an ending. That moment when you first step into a place, wide-eyed and green, full of optimism and ideas often stands in stark contrast to the moment when you take your last steps from a place and all your hopes, accomplishments, efforts and even failures just… stop. Sometimes you get to choose the ending, sometimes you don’t. Sometimes the ending is abrupt and unexpected, sometimes it is a planned slow fade and other times it is a grueling drag to the finish. Whatever way it happens, one thing is for sure:

Things that begin, end. ctt-tbird

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 says:
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2 a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build.
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.

Think it not strange when these things happen to you. Welcome to the universe. Things that begin, somehow end.

I was reminded of this simple truth once again this week as I pulled out of the parking lot of my job for the last time on Wednesday afternoon. Since then, I’ve been reflecting on what I’ve learned and am continuing to learn about endings.

Endings are always wedged between 2 beginnings, each one an invitation to the other. ctt-tbird

This is important to understand. When you’re younger you don’t tend to default to knowing that right now is not forever. But as you keep living, you’ll realize that beginnings really are ultimately invitations to endings, and likewise, endings are invitations to new beginnings. Don’t let one distract you from the purpose and value of the other. If you can grasp this, change becomes a lot less catastrophic.

Change is a messenger, come to invite us into what is next. ctt-tbird

I like to think of this in terms of mountain peaks and valleys. It’s as though one exists to usher in and point to the other. A peak is only a made a peak when neighbored by a valley. Likewise, the beauty of a valley is only fully realized when dwarfed by a peak on either side. To fully be what they are, they need each other. Beginnings need endings, they develop trust. Endings need beginnings, they give us hope. Soon you realize that what often looks like the end is really just the space between. ctt-tbird The space between peaks. The space between heights. The space between beginnings.

When something ends, it can be hard to see past the moment. It’s easy to think you’ll always be where you are. But the truth is, the end… the valley… the middle… is a gift. It is where I reflect on where I’ve been. It is where my heart rests and recovers from the journey that brought me to this moment and refuels for what lies ahead. Be careful, though, not to build a house where you’re supposed to pitch a tent. Don’t unpack and don’t get comfortable, you’re not there to stay.

The middle is a place of respite, not a place of residence. ctt-tbird

Knowing I’m not here to stay, I’ve often been too eager to jump from one season to the next without fully appreciating and embracing the gift of where I am. I am no stranger to the middle. This time though, I am choosing to be fully present. There will be plenty of time to scale the next peak when it comes, but for now I am taking the time to just sit. To BE. Right here. In the end. In the middle. I am allowing myself to celebrate the wins, mourn the losses and fully breathe in the gravity of the moment.

Soon I will stretch again, raise my head and set my eyes on the next mountain to climb. Soon I will be there. But right now, I am here. ctt-tbird

Fits Of Bravery: The Soundtrack

Check out my FITS OF BRAVERY Spotify Playlist, a soundtrack for the journey of “the middle”.

 

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Grant JenkinsEndings
16 comments
KandisDavis
KandisDavis

First off, that first line. #juicy :)


Seriously, I was challenged by this post.  


"Be careful, though, not to build a house where you’re supposed to pitch a tent."  -- This line made something leap in me, or maybe it was a light bulb? Something definitely happened internally.


I'm excited to see what your next peak will be...after you're done here in the middle of course ;) 

Your life is fun to follow. Love watching God write your story. Praying for you friend.


danielcclark
danielcclark

Wow, Grant. I was winding down from a long day, and got an invite from Linkedin to connect with business acquaintance.  I saw a few posts and scrolled down to see this one! I love the way you write. The flow and thought was good. The reason you wrote... well as you stated so well, we are not in charge of how some things end. All things do end.


Always think of you and pray for you. 


Can't wait to see where God will lead you!


Your Friend


Dan

NalediNoxoloBhengu
NalediNoxoloBhengu

Im currently in the middle.....reflecting what went wrong...what could i have done better...Its a hard and painful place to be but i know i did what was right for me and that my new beginning is on the horizon...

oneluv
oneluv

Absolutely beautiful and touching!

tammyhelfrich
tammyhelfrich

"I am allowing myself to celebrate the wins, mourn the losses and fully breathe in the gravity of the moment" - That is such a great and really hard thing to do. I've been there before. Thinking of you.

RoneiHarden
RoneiHarden

Been there, still doing that. Thanks for placing specific words to the thoughts, for clarity to see beyond the "now", and for the reminder of life yet to be lived. I'm one of your biggest fans, albeit quietly in the corner waiting for my next beginning. Much love, Grant.

benreed
benreed

I love this, Grant. You've somehow, some way found beauty in the midst of chaos and pain and uncertainty. The way you're processing this is healthy and good. I'm praying that it propels you forward, and becomes something that allows you to speak in to other people's stories as God shapes yours.

RickTheule
RickTheule

Grant - Thanks for sharing your hurt and your growth and your in-between moments. I pray you find something soon.

Matt Scherr
Matt Scherr

Knowing I’m not here to stay, I’ve often been too eager to jump from one season to the next without fully appreciating and embracing the gift of where I am".. - love that. Nice writing , sir.

jgrantjenkins
jgrantjenkins moderator

@KandisDavis Thanks, friend. I thought you would enjoy it. It's an interesting season for sure. I'm glad that the words to share my journey have come back. Thanks for the support and encouragement!

Latest blog post: The Process

jgrantjenkins
jgrantjenkins moderator

@danielcclark Thank you so much, Dan. That really means a lot to me, coming from you. I really appreciate your encouragement and prayers!

Latest blog post: The Process

jgrantjenkins
jgrantjenkins moderator

@benreed Thank you so much, bro. that means a lot to me. It's certainly and interesting and exciting time!

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