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Divorce papers, signed and sealed.

A doctor’s diagnosis, no known cure.

Foreclosure.

A visit to the boss’ office. “I’m sorry, but we have to let you go.”

On and on it goes—things that end, long before we are ready.

Relationships shatter, jobs are terminated, health diminishes, financial stability plummets.

But is it really the end?

Over the years, I’ve learned how things in the Kingdom of God are sometimes upside-down, back-to-front, and inside-out to our way of thinking.

For instance, how does God say we are to rise to the top in life? By becoming a servant. 

And how do we receive more blessings in life? By giving away what we already have. 

How do we receive joy in our hearts? By focusing on giving joy to others.

Each of these Biblical principles are backwards, to our logical minds.

God’s ways often don’t make sense to us, and seem exactly the opposite to what they truly are. We are told in Isaiah 55:9, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

And sometimes—what we mourn as the end, is really the beginning of something much more beautiful, much more precious, much more joyous than we could have ever imagined.

In Genesis 11:30 we read, “But Sarai was barren; she had no child.” 

It’s a short verse—eight words that sum up Sarah’s reality. She didn’t have a child; she would never have a child.

The end.

But was it the end? Absolutely not! It was the beginning of her story.

She went on to give birth to Isaac, whose name means laughter. Indeed, he brought great joy to his aging parents. As God promised, from Isaac came forth a great nation, more in number than the stars in the sky.

What appeared to be the end was actually the beginning. 

4 1/2 years ago, I faced a very painful ending. I became a single mom and lost my church and school ministries in one short weekend. It seemed a very final ending for me and my sons. Life as we knew it was over, and we prepared to leave our home, church, school, and friends, and return to America.

The end? Or the beginning?

It was hard. It was painful. We mourned for what was lost. But it was not the end. God still had plans for us. 

Slowly, as we grieved and learned how to live our new life, we began to see God at work. My boys not only survived, but thrived in their new school. It wasn’t long before ministry opportunities opened up for them. They’ve preached in youth services, ministered in vacation Bible school, and influenced others through sports and drama ministries.

As much as I grieved for all my sons went through, now I see how God used the fires of affliction to give them tender hearts toward Him and others. Their ending was merely the beginning of the next chapter God had for them. 

As for me? I was heartbroken when so many things in my life came to an end. I never planned to be a single mom. I never thought my life would turn out this way.

But God.

He took all these tragic endings, and stirred my heart to write. He carried me gently through my pain, and then gave me a specific calling—to show other women His goodness, His love, His mercy, His healing.

To show them how He will carry them through their heartache as well.

It wasn’t the end; it was the beginning of something beautiful and good God had planned for me. 

My friend, I don’t know what you are facing today. Perhaps you have lost a relationship, your health, a loved one, a dream. Perhaps you are mourning the loss of all that was, and you don’t know how God could bring anything good into your life again.

Perhaps you feel that this really is the end—there is no hope of a joyful future for you.

But this is not the end! With God, there is always hope!

He can bring good from anything—anything! He can bring beauty from ashes, hope from the most hopeless situation, joy from sorrow, and laughter from tears. And when we face the earthly end of our lives, it is only the beginning of a joyous eternity spent with Him and our loved ones.

Keep looking up, my friend. What looks like the end is not.

We serve a powerful God Who can transform our endings into glorious beginnings if we will simply keep trusting Him.

“Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh: is there anything too hard for me?” (Jeremiah 32:27)