Necessary Endings

As the year comes to a close I find myself looking back over 2020 and grieving. There was so much lost in our world: the lives of hundreds of thousands of people, the financial security of even more, many of our interactions with one another, and any sense of normal we had before all of this.

The grief feels especially real for our family as I consider all that we walked away from this year. Personally, what continues to hurt the most are the friendships that ended this year. I don’t have regrets on this, just a sadness that this was how it ultimately played out. We made the decisions we felt were right and then paid a huge personal toll in our community for it. The abrupt loss of it was staggering.

But I’m also realizing that maybe this had to happen in order for us to go where Jesus is ultimately taking us. The author Henry Cloud refers to this idea as “necessary endings.” He has this to say in his book with the same title.

Getting to the next level always requires ending something, leaving it behind, and moving on. Growth itself demands that we move on. Without the ability to end things, people stay stuck, never becoming who they are meant to be, never accomplishing all that their talents and abilities should afford them.

I wouldn’t have guessed we’d suddenly lose as many friends and community as we did. I’m still working through all of that. While I wouldn’t have changed the decisions we made, I continue to process and grieve these relationships.

This is common in both business and personal lives. It is just one of the truths about life: sometimes we need to do something for ourselves or our business that is not good for someone else, at least not in the short term. Our decisions might take business away from others or force them to deal with some rejection or loss. But ultimately they are responsible for their own lives, as adults have to be.

Henry Cloud

These types of endings are hard, like really hard. I noticed that listening to music helped to give me space to do this well. And for those who know me, you know I love making playlists. All of this led to me create my most raw playlist ever.

I designed these songs for when you need space to grieve the loss of a relationship or friendship and all of the emotions that come with it. This isn’t a feel-good playlist to have on in the background of your day (in fact I’d strongly encourage you not to do that). This is designed for you to spend some time with headphones reflecting and processing the necessary endings in your own life. It will open you up to pray some vulnerable prayers. It’s also not a kid-friendly playlist as it involves some of the more expressive words that seem appropriate for this kind of pain.

To be honest, making this playlist felt a bit like writing a psalm. The Psalms can be pretty dark at times (just read Psalm 137 for example). I hope the lyrics of the songs in this playlist provide a voice for some of the thoughts inside you that may need to be felt and addressed. While the overall theme is the same, each song tackles this pain in a unique way or through a specific application.

There’s so many good lyrics in these songs. Here are a few of my favorite:

  • “We used to be close, but people can go, from people you know to people you don’t.”
  • “Cause I don’t need you to tell me who I am or what I’m meant to be. I don’t need you to make up my mind.”
  • “Now you’re just somebody that I used to know.”
  • “So break me down, if it makes you feel alright. Shake me off, if it helps you sleep at night.”
  • “Cause our minds may change but our hearts remain.”
  • “I was getting kinda used to being someone you loved.”
  • “Cause I can’t tell if it’s the end or the beginning.”

Maybe you need to move on from a romantic relationship. Maybe you need the courage to make a decision that might cost you a few friendships. Maybe you need to say yes to what God has next for you and it looks scary. Sometimes Jesus calls you forward and the journey gets lonely. Or maybe you need to bookmark this for the future.

Click here to listen to it for free on Spotify. Click on the heart icon to add it to your playlists.

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Jeremy Jernigan

Speaker | Author | Founder of Communion Wine Co.