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The Next Chapter
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The Next Chapter

By Bernadette A. Moyer

There is always another chapter, right up until we take our last breathe. There is the chapter after the winter and the spring and the summer and the fall. There is the chapter that follows the break up or the divorce, the marriage, the kids, the parents and the job. There is always another chapter as long as we are alive.

My friend lost her father yesterday, he has been ill and she has been tending to him. Loving her dad and supporting him like only a devoted daughter can do. She has spent many weekends traveling to him and staying with him. He has been a huge part of her life. Now he is gone. Those hours, days and weekends will be voids until she figures out the next chapter. What will she fill her time with? She will grieve this huge loss.

Another friend lost her husband several years ago, they were inseparable and then he died. After her grief, she had to figure out what the next chapter would look like. Today she travels with friends and is supportive toward her children. There was a period of time when she couldn’t imagine what the next chapter of her life would look like and then it arrived. Her life became full again.

So many of my peers are running from pillar to post with ailing parents and children still in the home, then there is the big career that goes along with it all and life is full. But then time gets away from us and the parents and the kids go and maybe it is retirement time. Another chapter is about to begin.

Choosing a Joyful Dance

“Don’t tell me how wonderful things will be … someday. Show me you can risk being at peace, truly okay with the way things are right now in this moment and again in the next and the next and the next …” The Dance by Oriah

Our lives are filled with chapters and with a beginning, middle and an ending. It is up to us to use the time and the pages of our life story to matter, to matter to us and to God. We may not get what we want but we should know that we will receive what we need. God has a plan that is bigger than anything we could have ever imagined for ourselves.

“Some people think that God does not like to be troubled with our constant coming and asking. The way to trouble God is not to come at all.” Dwight L. Moody

At times it takes an incredible amount of grace to move from chapter to chapter never fully knowing what lies ahead for us. Our faith allows us to take that next step into the unknown.

“Although we have only one life cycle to live, although it is only a small part of history which we will cover, to do this gracefully and carefully is our greatest vocation.” Henri J.M. Nouwen

Like the novel that we can’t put down and the pages we anticipate reading, our life should hold that same desire that same anticipation of what is yet to come. What is next, how does the next chapter read? My husband and I are about to start another big chapter in life, a chapter that includes retirement and relocation, a chapter that includes empty nester status.

We are both excited and nervous and celebratory we have arrived at another major milestone in our life. The next chapter is yet to be written but we welcome its arrival. There is always another chapter, another chapter until we take our last breathe here on earth.

This chapter could easily be called, Feeling Fabulous in Our Fifties … the only question, who knew it would arrive so soon?