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Necessary Endings Precipitate Beautiful Beginnings

>> 8.30.2011

I really can't take all the credit for that insightful title, although I did "spruce" it up a bit.  This comes from the title of one of Henry Cloud's newest books, Necessary Endings.  I heard him recently at a Women of Faith event and the phrase has been rolling around in my head ever since. 

It came back to me this morning as I was struggling with myself over whether or not to give my two- year- old his paci back .  You see, we had gotten him off of it earlier in the year but with the anticipation of the move he had begun to have terrible night terrors and our ped's doc scolded me after asking if he had anything else to comfort himself with and said, "[since he doesn't have any other security blanket] give him back his paci!  And don't take it away until you are good and settled in your new place."  With that, we gave him it back and the night terrors stopped.  {I was felt happy to be able to "comfort" my child.}

I'm struggling with this thought again this afternoon as I desperately want a Mt. Dew {I can feel the "calming" effects it gives me now=} and I keep telling myself "tomorrow"  i can "go off" of it. You see, I had also been off of that myself for months, and enjoyed the freedom from headaches that caffeine and major sugar buzzes actually give a person, but when the stresses of life had begun to add up -- I caved in and began "drinking" again.  {It really is an addiction-- and I felt happy to be able to "comfort" myself.}

And then, during our post lunch quiet time {start of a routine} today, as I'm reading through Bonhoeffer's The Cost of Discipleship, this thought was once again brought to mind as he says, "The first Christ-suffering which every man must experience is the call to abandon the attachments of this world.  It is that dying of the old man which is the result of his encounter with Christ. As we embark upon discipleship we surrender ourselves to Christ in union with his death...Thus it begins; the cross is not the terrible end to an otherwise god-fearing and happy life, but it meets us at the beginning of our communion with Christ.  When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die." (p. 79, 2nd ed., 1960)

Hmmm...a necessary ending of me in exchange for the beautiful beginning of what Christ wants for me to be.  This sounds inspiring...but in reality it is painful.  Really painful.  And I'll want to give up.  And so will you.  {Because this won't always make me feel happy and comforted.}  But that's what true discipleship, truly following and seeking after the Lord, is .  It is not cheap-- but costly.  It cost Christ everything and, as a student is not above his master, so shall it cost us everything if we are truly His disciple.

I will be posting on this book regularly in the coming weeks.  Please join me in reading the book if you have never done so.  If you have, a refresher never hurt! lol.  Tomorrow I hope to post a little bio about this man who will be given the highest honor in heaven {as told us in Revelation} for he was a martyr.


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