Restarting your life – or starting over after a major loss – involves picking yourself up, learning from the past, and rebuilding from scratch. Unfortunately, restarting your life over also requires strength and power…and those are the last things you have.
Or so you think! You think you don’t have the strength or power you need to even consider how to restart and rebuild your life. Maybe you lost a husband, child, or beloved family member. Maybe your financial security has disappeared, your health is in tatters, your loved ones long gone. You think you’ve lost everything. You don’t know how or where to start rebuilding your life.
What if this is just the beginning of something new, fresh, and marvelous in your life? What if you reconsider how you think about the past? Yes, you still need to grieve and let go of the past. Yes, you’ll still hurt for what you lost. But you can change how you think about restarting and rebuilding your life…and the change starts here.
In Starting Over When Life Knocks You Down – Blossom Tip 61 I describe how I recovered from the lowest emotional and spiritual point of my life. It started when I broke my shoulder and had orthopedic surgery two months ago; it’s been a long road of healing, suffering, and learning what it really means to start over after taking a bad hit from life.
Before we jump into restarting and rebuilding your life, let me confess that I love starting over! I love moving to new homes, starting new jobs, meeting new people, and traveling to new countries. I grew up constantly moving to new cities, living in different foster homes, and attending a variety of schools. I’m comfortable with change.
But there’s a different between starting over because of a healthy life choice versus being forced to restart and rebuild your life because you lost everything. I like starting over when I choose my path. I hate starting over when my life and health spirals out of control.
Restarting and Rebuilding Your Life
This article is part of my She Blossoms Through the Bible project. I’m writing an article for every chapter in every book of the Bible; at the end of this post you’ll find a list of my previous articles. This article (3 Steps to Restarting and Rebuilding Your Life – Step 11) is inspired by Genesis 11.
You don’t have to believe in God, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit to benefit from my tips for starting over. Just keep an open mind and allow yourself to consider new possibilities. Great new beginnings and fresh blossoms grow from tiny seeds of life!
1. God is curious about you and your life. Genesis 11 tells us the story of the Tower of Babel. After the flood, people distrusted God and decided to build their own lives, in their own way, with their own resources. They constructed a tower reaching to the Heavens so they could make a name for themselves. They wanted to rely on themselves; they rejected God’s command and blessing. So what did God do? He said to Jesus, “Come, let Us go down there and…” (Genesis 11:7). God didn’t render justice and punishment without first coming down to earth and interacting with people. He was — and is — curious about what we’re doing with our lives. Remember this when you’re restarting and rebuilding your life! If you follow Jesus, ask Him to give you insight and wisdom.
2. God gives us freedom to decide what to do. This is one of my favorite things about Jesus! He sees and hears and speaks to us, yet He gives us freedom. In Genesis 11 people decided to follow and glorify themselves by building the Tower of Babel. God’s freedom is a beautiful and terrifying gift; it’s what broke this earth. We restart and rebuild this earth in good ways, too, because we have free will. “Nothing they propose to do will be withheld from them,” said God in Genesis 11:6. Thousands of years ago Adam and Eve were free to choose their own path, and their choice has a powerful effect on us today. The Bible is full of people making choices — good and bad — out of freedom. Today, you are free to restart and rebuild your life! This is a gift from God, and it’s especially powerful when you put Him at the center of your life.
3. God wants us to thrive. I was so surprised when I learned that God wants people to thrive, flourish, blossom into who He created us to be! He doesn’t want us to live with heavy hearts, stoic rules, or joyless spirits. He doesn’t condemn us to hell or want us to live gloomy lives. Jesus came to earth in human form many times — and still does — so we could be free from ourselves. Following Jesus means living in joy, peace, security, light, love and compassion regardless of what we lost, how we feel, or who is in our lives.
You’re at a turning point in your life. You found She Blossoms for a reason. You’re here because God is calling you, and wants you to restart and rebuild your life with Him. What is your response?
About You and Me
1. We don’t like to ask for help. After I broke my shoulder a couple months ago, I chuckled when the orthopedic surgeon said it’d take six weeks to heal. He added that I’d have to wear a sling, sleep sitting up, and go to physiotherapy to rebuild my bones, muscle, and tissue. “Sure, most people take six weeks to heal from surgery and go to physiotherapy,” I thought, “but I’m strong, healthy, and fit. I’ll be driving, lifting and even running again in a couple of weeks. I don’t need help.” I was wrong. Two months later I’m still struggling with aches and pains, and my shoulder isn’t fully recovered. The surgeon described the steps I’d need to take for restarting and rebuilding my body, but I shrugged him off. I don’t want to ask him, a physiotherapist, or anyone for help.
2. We’re vulnerable. How did I wind up with a broken shoulder and orthopedic surgery? By falling during my daily jog down my street. I tripped on a crack on the sidewalk and ripped my humerus (arm bone) from my shoulder joint. I still can’t believe how much damage a simple “trip and fall” can do! I feel more vulnerable and meek now. I’m aware of how fragile and fleeting health and life is. I also don’t love the idea of restarting and rebuilding my life as much as I used to! I’d happily go back to the way things were…but I wouldn’t be who I am today if I didn’t break my shoulder. And God wants me to be who I am today…and if He wants me this way, then so do I.
3. We’re free to make plans! I can rebuild my shoulder in good and healthy ways, or not. I can restart my exercise routine with a strong foundation, or not. I can share my wisdom and insight on my She Blossoms blogs, or not. I can live fully, widely and deeply by asking the Holy Spirit to guide my steps, or not. I can make plans and ask God to bless them, or not. I can love and follow Jesus with all my heart and mind and soul…or not.
You lost something or someone you loved. You know you need to restart and rebuild your life, but something is holding you back. What is it, do you think?
3 Steps to Restarting and Rebuilding Your Life
1. Ask for help. Reach out to someone who can help you start over. Find a healthy in-person support system. Talk to someone who can guide and mentor you. Take one small step toward restarting and rebuilding your life by asking for help. If this is hard for you, promise yourself that you will help others who need it one day. You will return the favor when you’re on your feet again.
2. Accept your vulnerability. You’re going to trip and fall in this life. You’ll get hurt, perhaps damaged forever. Your life is vulnerable and fragile…but if you follow Jesus your eternity is secure. So is your life here on earth! God won’t put you in a bubble so you don’t experience life to its fullest, but He can fill you with peace, love, joy, confidence and compassion. You can be filled with His spirit no matter what you face. His power and strength will help you restart and rebuild your life. First, though, you have to admit that you’re vulnerable, that you need God to live fully in this world.
3. Make plans. This is the stage I’m in right now. I’m not sure exactly how I’ll be restarting and rebuilding my life, but it definitely involves less self-reliance and more humility. I’ve been humbled — not by the broken shoulder itself, but by the week of emotional and spiritual exhaustion I experienced. It was a long dark valley, but it showed me that if I want to make good, solid plans for my life I need to rely on God. I can’t make plans like they did in Genesis 11, building the Tower of Babel. I have to make plans like Jesus did in the Garden of Gethsemane before He was crucified. “Your will, not mine, be done.”
What is one step you can take to restart and rebuild your life? Your thoughts — big and little — are welcome below!
With His love,
P.S. Are you struggling to break old habits? Read 3 Ways to Stop Wasing Your Life on Meaningless Things.