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  • Writer's pictureDawn Ward

New Beginnings: How to Have Faith When Starting Over

Updated: Apr 13

woman in beanie leaning on car door
“Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:19 (ESV)

Are you making changes in your life? Does starting over mean stepping out in faith as you face new beginnings? For some, starting over is embarking on a new career. For others, starting over involves moving to another area of the country.


When facing new beginnings, it always carries with it some uncertainty. How will you handle the change? Are you making the right decision? Maybe you have no say in the matter. Change is inevitable, and starting over means facing your fears of the unknown.


Starting over can be new and exciting. Every new parent must make adjustments in their lifestyle as they anticipate the birth of their baby. Sadly, for some, a new beginning can be the result of losing a loved one or a marriage ending in divorce. If this is you, your faith is most likely wavering at the thought of starting over and living your life without them.


My life has been a series of stops and starting over. As the mom a son who struggles with addiction and mental health issues, I often feel trapped in the spin cycle in my washing machine. You know when the load is too heavy and it starts rumbling and shaking? That’s how I feel when things get out of whack in our family. The only solution is to stop the machine, move the laundry around, lighten the load if necessary, and push the “start” button again.


Starting over may happen on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis with minor to major adjustments in our lives. When a crisis or significant life event occurs, starting over could require a major life overhaul. Whatever the reason, when facing an unknown future, starting over challenges us to look at our circumstances through the eyes of faith instead of fear.


“Dear Past, thank you for your lessons. Dear Future, I’m ready. Dear God, thank you for another chance.”
— Author unknown

How to Face Your Fears When Starting Over

I tend to overthink. In doing so, I question myself and the decisions I make. I dart out of the gate with confidence and fierce determination. As soon as I hit a bump in the road, I question myself. Did I hear from the Lord when I made this decision? I mean, what was I thinking? With no assurance of success, I wonder if starting something new was just one big mistake made in an overzealous moment.


As I stated earlier, sometimes we face new beginnings beyond our control. We are forced to start over because of the decisions of others or because of unexpected changes in life as we know it. Whether by choice or against our will, starting over is never easy. It brings with it uncertainty, and for some, an intense fear of the unknown. So, how do you face your fears when trying to begin again and start something new?


Here are five ways to increase your faith when facing the fear of starting over.


“It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; he will never leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” Deuteronomy 31:8 (ESV)

5 Ways to Have Faith When Starting Over

1. Seek God’s Presence


We can feel forced to make big decisions based on unforeseen circumstances. If we panic, we usually make our decisions based on fear, not in faith. When facing uncertainty, we will need the faith to start over. Our faith grows as we seek the Lord’s presence through prayer and by spending time in His Word.


“Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near;” Isaiah 55:6 (ESV)

2. Seek God’s Wisdom


It’s not the time to ask God for wisdom once we are already in the middle of big changes. Okay, it’s always the right time to ask God to lead and guide us. But, the best time to seek wisdom from God is before we make our decisions, whether large or small. As we look to him before we leap, our faith will grow, and our fear will diminish.


“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given to him.” James 1:5 (ESV)

3. Seek Godly Counsel


It is important to seek godly counsel from others when facing tough decisions, especially those involving drastic life changes and new beginnings. Talk to people who love the Lord and will pray for you. Seek wisdom from those who have walked in your shoes before.


“Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in the abundance of counselors there is safety.” Proverbs 11:14 (ESV)

4. Seek to Trust God


Fear keeps us from walking in faith. Before we can be rid of fear, we must first determine to trust God, no matter how difficult our circumstances or how uncertain our future looks. The idea of trusting God may seem cliché, but this is not the case at all. When we trust God, we step out and obey him even when it makes little sense to us or others. Trusting God means we ask him for wisdom and then, in faith, we obey him.


“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6 (ESV)

5. Seek Peace


We can become a bundle of nerves while waiting for answers from God, especially when starting over. For most of us, our comfort zone is in what we know. Truthfully, I don’t handle change well. That’s why I have lived in the same house and worked in the same job for 20 years. I have also been a follower of Jesus most of my life. Many years ago, a more mature believer shared some wise advice with me. She told me to always follow peace. Seek the Lord and be patient while I wait for him to answer. Once he gives me direction, faithfully obey him. This advice has been extremely helpful to me over the years.


“For God is not a God of confusion but of peace.” 1 Corinthians 14:33 (ESV)

woman and girl pointing outside

“Stepping out in faith can look like stepping down or stepping up. All that matters is you go where God leads you.” ~Dawn Ward



When Starting Over Feels Like Failure

A few months ago, I announced the ministry of The Faith to Flourish was approved to be a department under an umbrella non-profit organization. After an extensive application and interview process, financial investment, and background check, I looked forward to a new beginning for our ministry.


While I was prepared for the hard work of getting the non-profit up and running, I was not prepared for the time requirement necessary for training, team building, and fundraising. I thought I had all my questions answered prior to making the commitment, but soon found out just how unprepared I really was. I simply could not produce enough hours in the day to make it happen, at least not until I cleared a few prior obligations off my schedule.


Another roadblock I came up against was in determining a solid vision for the ministry’s mission statement. Going in, I thought I knew exactly who we would minister to and how the funds earned would be allocated to provide necessary resources to those who needed them.


It all looked great on paper until I realized I hadn’t checked with God to see if these were still his plans for me and for the ministry. I soon found out that the Lord was directing me to shift its primary focus a bit. He was expanding the vision and reach of the ministry. I would have missed these significant and subtle changes had I continued to move forward.


When we do not seek God and continue doing things our own way, as though our plans are his plans, we may soon be forced to return to Square One and start over.


That’s where I found myself. Had I failed to listen to God? He placed this ministry on my heart many years ago. I felt led to start it so we could provide Biblical resources to women who were struggling because of their loved one’s addiction or life-destructive behaviors. I didn’t rush. I did my research and waited for the right opportunity. Even then, I waited another year before deciding to proceed.


It all seemed to be going smoothly until one day I realized I was overwhelmed, over-worked, overtired, and under-prepared for the next leg of my journey. To say I felt like a failure was an understatement. What should have been a season of new beginnings became a season of waiting.


“but they who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31 (ESV)

Gratefully, the Lord is the God of second and third chances. He is the author of new beginnings in our stories. When we run ahead of him or do not obey his directions, he forgives us and helps us start over. He renews and strengthens our faith so we can make a fresh start. The Lord has carefully reminded me that “Not yet” does not mean “Never.”


For now, he has me in a place of blooming where I am planted. Here I will remain while he renews and strengthens me for the journey ahead. Are you in a season of waiting? Perhaps your fresh start will begin with God working in your heart and life as he teaches you to trust him, just as he has in mine.


“When God gives you a new beginning, it starts with an ending. Be thankful for closed doors. They often guide us to the right one.”— Alisa Ismael
Pinterst pin woman in beanie leaning on car door

Dear Lord.

Sometimes life does not go according to plans, at least not our plans. We must start over. Other times, we face new beginnings with anticipation and joy. Please teach us to not fear changes that come our way, but to step out boldly in faith as we trust you to guide us. We are thankful for your patience with us as your children. In Jesus’ name, we pray.

Amen.


Beautiful Blessings, Dawn





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