africa · Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday: Finish

Go.

That last lap stretches on infinitely. The last few moments of the journey seem to draw on endlessly. The finish line, though only a few steps away, can seem miles away. Or perhaps we have no idea where the finish line is.

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Nearly there, but ready to give up.

Last year, I was struggling. I was knee-deep in figuring out a new culture and language, dealing with an unsafe living situation all while navigating a new job. In the midst of all the crazy, it was nearly impossible to see the finish line. I could hardly imagine getting through the next day, let alone an entire year. I was ready to give up and run home, avoiding all the difficulties of transitioning to a new place.

It’s bittersweet now, because while I was in the middle of some seriously difficult transitioning, I had no idea how soon it would end. I thought I have 14 months until the finish line rolled around. But after a serious accident a few short months later, I was at the finish line.

It was over. I had the plane ticket in hand I was leaving my African home.

The finish crept up on me, before everything truly started. I left behind friendships, projects, and gardens when my season in South Africa unexpectedly ended. And it took me awhile to understand that it wasn’t really the finish. It was just a new lap.

And on this new lap, I’m weaving together my African experiences into my American life. I’m sharing cultures and maintaining friendships. I’m learning that though a season finishes, it’s never truly over.

Because each season shapes and molds us, and adds to who we are. And that never finishes.

Stop.

It’s time for Five Minute Friday, where we gather together to write on one word. As a community. Freely. Unplanned, Unscripted. We just write.

Check out Lisa-Jo’s blog for the awesomeness that is Five Minute Friday.

-Jen

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26 thoughts on “Five Minute Friday: Finish

  1. ‘I’m learning that though a season finishes, it’s never truly over.’

    Ain’t that the truth. A hard truth, but one laced with grace and wisdom. Thanks for taking us there, Jen …

  2. oh friend….this section “And on this new lap, I’m weaving together my African experiences into my American life. I’m sharing cultures and maintaining friendships. I’m learning that though a season finishes, it’s never truly over. Because each seasons shapes and molds us, and adds to who we are. And that never finishes.”
    Oh yes. And sometimes its hard to know how deeply we are effected until we start to weave those pieces together. I know how deeply Africa beats in your heard dear one, and I pray that as you write out your story that the Lord will draw those parts together into healing. Thank you.

  3. Jen- what a beautiful picture of God’s Kingdom: the weaving together of cultures. And I love your closing thoughts: “because each seasons shapes and molds us, and adds to who we are. And that never finishes.” I’m always glad when I stop by your place. Great post! #fmf

    1. Yes, won’t heaven be an incredible place, with people from all cultures and walks of life, way back from the beginning. What a beautiful weaving together that will be!

  4. Very beautiful and powerful words! I am so looking forward meeting him at the ultimate finish line and seeing how he weaved everything together to beautifully. Happy Friday to you!

  5. Beautiful words –> “each season shapes and molds us, and adds to who we are. And that never finishes.” Every season has its purpose in our lives. Grateful to be reminded today! Blessings!

  6. Oh yes, the new laps all woven together in the big race. Love it Jen. I know the feeling of finishing in a way that just wasn’t what you had in mind. Being able to look back and see how He works it for His purposes is a true blessing. A gift that grows faith.

    1. Yes, Jolene…oh how it grows faith! It’s still a difficult thing to deal with, but I’m beginning to appreciate the ending and the new beginning. Most days. 😉

  7. Welcome Home! 🙂 And I know how it feels to have something be over before you expect it. May God grant you these cords of new beginnings into His finishing work.

    1. Thank you, Angie. It’s amazing how when things get completely shaken up, He is still near and makes everything settle into something beautiful.

  8. I think sometimes it’s okay not to finish things. I think if we don’t finish things they will just go on and on and on because no one will put a stop to them…so maybe that was gods way of finishing for you by not finishing….(well after I typed that it sounds kind of mean/bad)…

    1. I get what you mean, Beth Anne. Sometimes it’s time to turn the page and start a new chapter, even if we don’t want to. It’s all part of the refining and strengthening process. Not the most fun, but in the end well worth it.

  9. Thank you for sharing so honestly about your struggles to make a home in a new place– so often our best stories and deepest lessons come from those hard, hard times, don’t they? Encouraged by your words today.

    1. Yes, Courtney, that is true. A story without a difficult period is hard to relate to, because if we’re completely honest, life is often difficult. Let’s not hide it! 🙂

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