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Day 23: Always Starting Over

31 Days of Starting Over

It would have made a lot more sense to you, my readers, if I had started with this post 22 days ago. But, like most things in my life, I just don’t think that far ahead.  It’s taken me 23 days to figure out that I should explain why I chose “starting over” as my 31-Day topic.

To many, it may seem very depressing to think about having to start over. But, not to me.  It is the single most “hopeful” thing we can use to encourage others – in my opinion.  There are so many people (me included) who are struggling or have overcome, a fear of failure.  Why do we fear this so much? Does anyone really care if you fail? Will your life end if you fail? Will you lose your job if you fail? Not always! Is it possible to learn more from failure than success? Absolutely.

Is there anything that once you fail, you can never start over again? Yes, once you are dead, you cannot start over again. Except possibly in Heaven, and I’m betting there’s no chance of failure on the streets of gold. The only total failure in life is if your destination after death is not what you’ve expected.

So why do I see starting over as the single most encouraging thing we can suggest to those who fear failure?  I’ll give some personal examples:

  • When my son left for New York City with no job, no home and limited funds in his pocket, his question to me was, “Mom, what happens if I get up there and don’t make it?” My reply, “You move back home and start over.”
New York City Subway
New York City Subway
  • When I went through devastating miscarriages, my hope was that in the next few months, we’d be able to try again.
Amy's birthday.
Amy’s birthday.
  • I have a family member going through a divorce right now and my constant encouragement to her is, “this is your chance to start over with a different man who will love you for who you are and appreciate the gift of service you are so lovingly capable of sharing.”
  • When my daughter comes to me distraught about sin in her life, my words of encouragement are, “When we repent, (turn and start again) God forgives us to the point of ‘starting over,’ as if we’ve never sinned in the first place.”
  • Of course, with every diet I’ve started, I’ve re-started at least 8,000 times.
  • If, like my friend, Pat, you lose everything in a wicked tornado, or my friend Linda, who is burglarized and loses everything, are you completely destroyed?  No. Are you crushed? Do you grieve? Yes! But, what do you do in each of these cases? Yep, you guessed it. You start over. Hopefully with the love, support and help of loved ones.  And a good insurance company!
This debris was once a house.
This debris was once a house.
  • What do you do if you are sexually harassed in 1983 and HAVE to walk out of your job? I can tell you. You hit the pavement and find a replacement job better than the one you had before.
  • What do you do when you lose a loved one? You start the grieving process and work your way back among the living.
  • Cancer? You start the treatment plan your doctor prescribes, begin a healthier lifestyle and thank God for every new day you’re given.
A very courageous cancer patient.
A very courageous cancer patient.
  • Drug addiction – rehabilitation, rehabilitation, rehabilitation.
  • Alcoholism – 12 long, stressful steps to a new you.
  • Child abuse-unforgivable, but the ability to overcome and live an abundant life – all things are possible through Christ who gives us strength. (Phil. 4:13)
  • When you are faced with a dilemma that you just don’t know the answer to, you begin with research, talk to experts, and start to educate yourself in all things pertaining to your dilemma.

I could continue forever because the possibilities of starting something over are endless. I do not pretend for a second, that it’s not scary. Starting over causes anxiety, stress, and in some cases – absolute panic when rock bottom knocks the breath out of you; but there is nothing short of death, that we can’t start over.

I am not attempting to make mole hills out of mountains.  It is my hope that the thoughts shared here will encourage those facing the fear of tragedy.  Not all change is bad. Every sunrise offers a new day, a new chance to do it different.


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