New Beginnings Can Be Messy & Gray

Josh Lee


This Sunday, we will be in the third week of our series New Beginnings. In the past few weeks, we have discussed the importance of looking back and taking stock of what lessons we have learned and naming areas where we have been hurt or ways we have been formed. In week two we talked about the challenges of grieving. Grief often is necessary before we can truly experience a new beginning. Grief can sometimes be a whole new season in and of itself; grief can be that grey period between when one thing ends and a new thing begins.

This week though we will discuss what is sometimes the most difficult part of a new beginning — the challenge of releasing something. With everything that we say “yes” to, we are saying “no” to something else. With every new beginning, it is an end to something else. When we lose a loved one, experience a divorce, begin caring for an aging family member or go through a breakup, there is a time of remembering, a time of grieving and eventually a time to release what role that relationship or that job or the home played in our life. In doing so, we allow someone or something else to fill that role. When we are called to a different role at work, at church, in our community or our family, it may require us to let go of other tasks or roles in order to give ourselves more fully to this new thing God is calling us to.

If I’m honest, loading a U-Haul of all my earthly possessions and moving to Peoria from Chicago was a dramatic new beginning for me. The last few months have been riddled with reflection about all the roads I’ve journeyed in my life thus far to prepare me to pastor at Imago. This quickly led me to some grief about saying goodbye to quick accessibility to my friend groups and family in Chicago. I also experienced some grief related to no longer living in a familiar place with a familiar schedule and weekly activities. But now I find myself letting go of what was and embracing the joy in starting fresh. It sure can be an emotional rollercoaster living in both of these worlds sometimes. I can be filled with excitement on a Sunday morning about this new season in my life and the life of Imago and then on a Sunday evening find myself grieving and missing familiar friends to grab a drink with. This is the tension of a bittersweet transition to a new beginning: it’s often enmeshed with reminiscing about the things of old, grieving what you used to be or could have been and letting go of those daydreams so that you can embrace this new beginning. It’s not clean or clear—it’s quite messy and gray, but eventually what is new will become old and routine and as life seems to often go, something new will rear its head again!


As of January, Josh joined the pastoral team as one of the Co-Pastors at Imago. Josh loves hearing people's stories and getting to know what makes them tick. In his free time, he enjoys going to the movies, dancing or binging Netflix shows.

Lindsey Mooberry