Not so happily ever after
Lots of fairy-tale stories begin with ‘Once upon a time' and conclude with 'The end.' This ending often comes after the much loved famous phrase even young children can quote together - 'and they lived happily ever after.' These ending emits love, positivity and hope. To sum it up, all things good and all things longed for.
While we are more blessed here in Aotearoa, many countries are still experiencing lockdown with increasing numbers of Covid-19 cases. Even with so much more freedom here in New Zealand, we have all been impacted by 2020. We have been devoid of our much longed for happily ever after to conclude 2020.
For most of us, 2020 has come to an end without this desired happily ever after. Even though the year came to an end, many of us didn’t find closure in lots of things that happened throughout the year. We were thrust into 2021 without proper endings.
As we did not get our happily ever after ending, it felt almost as if the year did not come to an end. The overseas trip we planned were cancelled. The new business venture that was launched was shut down. The money we thought we would save did not materialize because of the retrenchment.
While things came to an end, we did not readily accept the endings since they were not the endings we wanted. We hold on desperately, somehow hoping that if we could just hold on to it for longer, maybe we would eventually receive our happily ever after.
Unfortunately, we are merely being delusional. Dragging out something that has ended does not change that ending. What it does do is to prolong our state of not so happily ever after.
Nursing past miseries and stubbornly refusing to accept the end deny us of a new beginning. We cannot have a fresh start unless we have an end. We need to find closure to put an end to our not so happily after so it doesn’t deny us of new beginnings.
Whilst it seems to be common sense that there can be no end without a start, it is less obvious that there too can be no beginning without and end. We often says the sun rises then it sets but it is also because the sun sets that it can ride again the next day. There can be no rising of the sun without the setting of it first.
Regardless of whether our end was a happily ever after or not, putting an end to it is what allows us to start again.
After an atypical year in 2020, we enter 2021 with less certainty. What’s this new year going to be like? While most of the new years came with its own uncertainties, 2021 has ushered in even more of these with Covid-19 and all its cronies still looms in the background, threatening to dominate again with every chance given.
If there’s one lesson that we’ve all learnt from 2020, it has to be that there is nothing that is certain in this world. There is no saying for sure if I’ll still have a job at the end of the year. Nor that I’ll be able to fly overseas for my dream holiday. Nor that I’ll be able to meet my family and friends as casually as I’ve used to.
2020 has stamped into us and reinforced that nothing should be taken for granted in life. Not that we didn’t know that before, but we just never thought of it that much till last year happened.
So how can we be certain this new year and start anew?
Indeed we are still living in uncertainties but in the midst of these uncertainties, there are things that are certain.
Revelation chapter 1, verse 8 says, “I am the Alpha and the Omega [the Beginning and the End],” says the Lord God, “Who is [existing forever] and Who was [continually existing in the past] and Who is to come, the Almighty [the Omnipotent, the Ruler of all].”
We can take comfort that our constant God is the beginning and the end and everything finds its start in Him. Not only is God unchanging in these times of uncertainties, His word is also steadfast. “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever” (Isaiah chapter 40, verse 8).
Thus, all His promises in the Bible will come to past. We can be assured that “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change” (James chapter 1, verse 17).
Trust the certainty of God in our uncertainties and let the sun set on our endings permanently, so it can rise into new beginnings of happily ever after that He has for us this year.
As the song ‘New thing’ by Hillsong Young & Free goes,
‘We're ready for the past to pass
We're running where the future is
It's coming like the rising sun
We wanna see Your kingdom
Come do a new thing'
Esther Koh is a primary school teacher living in Christchurch with her husband and two sons. She loves people and has a passion for helping others find their purpose for living.
Esther Koh’s previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/esther-koh.html