New every morning: Rev Linda Chester reflects on a whole variety of New Beginning experiences

When we pause to reflect, it’s interesting that all of us are constantly facing “new beginnings” throughout our lives. They are so varied, we may approach each with excitement, uncertainty, fear, or even a mixture of all three. From our early years at school, we are familiar with the annual change of class and teacher in a new classroom. We usually adapt quite well to new friends and a widening circle of acquaintances. But the move from First School to Secondary School is a much bigger leap, and our feelings are often affected by which of our friends are facing the transition with us.

Can you remember the first time you lived away from home? It may have been for a job, college or university, but it was probably quite scary to begin with as it’s very unlikely any of your close friends were accompanying you. Suddenly, you are away from home and family, away from old friends, feeling very alone in an unknown area, with expectations placed upon you.

While you may have looked forward to this new chapter in your life and seen it as a real adventure, when it actually happened you may have found it quite daunting to begin with. What made the difference I wonder? How did you turn that corner and face the new challenges?

How many times have you moved house? My mother lived within a 2-mile radius of where she was born, in the small market town of Highbridge in Somerset, all her life. Once she married, she was in the same house for 45 years. However, she ran out of space under “C “ in her address book when I left home at 18 years old. I was placed under “X” as my addresses were so numerous! Times change. And of course a new home inevitably means new neighbours, new friends and finding your way around a new area. How have you coped with these changes during your life? What helped you?

How many different jobs or positions have you held? Was it challenging when you first started a new routine or had new responsibilities? How long before you stopped feeling new and the people and tasks or machinery/technology became familiar? It`s also daunting when you find younger colleagues quite at home with something with which you are initially struggling!

It has been good recently to welcome new people to Broadstone Methodist Church. People who have moved home and area for various reasons to make their own new beginning. It is especially brave when you are older, to take that leap into a new chapter of life, as everything is new and different eg Post Office, hairdresser, shops, a church, and, of course, those people on whom we have come to rely such as a well-known doctor who understands us, trusted neighbours, our local car mechanic and garage, for example.

Whether a new home, a new job or a change in circumstances, in all the new situations in which I’ve found myself, and there have been quite a few over the years, prayer has helped me to face each day as a new beginning. Our journey with faith is exciting, as although we never know exactly what is around the corner, whatever happens, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8). He is the one who walks beside us and carries us when needed. And isn’t it amazing the way He gives us the appropriate new friends, new insights and perhaps a new church family, just when we need it.

"New every morning is the love,

our wakening and uprising prove;

through sleep and darkness safely brought,

restored to life and power and thought. "

[Singing the Faith 137]

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