“Pivot Points” by Sheryl Gehrls
Last weekend, I was watching the NCAA men’s basketball championship game, and I noticed something. Pivoting. Now, I know what a pivot is – my kids all played basketball! I even found a definition in the dictionary for it: “placing one foot on the floor and turning so that the other foot rotates as much as 360 degrees around the stationary foot.” And I started thinking about the pivot points we experience in a lifetime.
We’re all familiar with what this looks like. We’re living life and something requires us to change direction…. but that one foot longs to stay rooted. Sometimes we find ourselves turning round and round, with that pivot foot firmly planted where it’s been comfortable. As a result, we are unable to move ahead in any direction!
Life creates pivot points. We’re in the game, dribbling down the court, and suddenly we come to a dead stop caused by the death of our spouse. We find that one foot is completely stuck in the familiar past, refusing to move forward. These pivot points don’t necessarily mean failure or the end of everything. Nor do they mean we must permanently stop moving ahead. They can mean new opportunity and vision. They can include your crazy ideas and new beginnings. They can be the starting point for the dreams you never thought could come true for you.
Another definition says that a pivot is “an adjustment or modification made in order to adapt or improve.” A pivot can be thought of as a turning point for better or worse in the progress of a series of events. It is not necessarily the end, but a critical juncture, from which life continues.
A good example of pivoting appears in the New Testament in Acts 16:6-10 where we read the familiar story of the Apostle Paul’s intent to travel to Asia. God intervened and sent him in a completely different direction into Macedonia! It certainly wasn’t what Paul had planned for himself, but the impact of that journey changed untold numbers of lives.
So, how does this all relate to us as widows? With the loss of a spouse, our life reaches one of those “critical junctures”, where our direction needs to change completely. Keeping one foot in the past will stop our growth and will keep us from moving forward into what God has next for us. Pivots are hard because they demand a change of direction, and none of us like change!
At some point we reach a pivotal question that no longer asks, “God, why did you take him/her?” We begin to ask, “God, why did you leave me here?” We need to evaluate, adjust, and make changes to our former direction.
If we do this, we can find ourselves on a completely new and wonderful path, living out dreams that we never thought possible, and having faith-filled hope in spite of the traumatic loss of a spouse. As you consider this, do you find yourself ready to ask this pivotal question? Do you have the courage to follow a dream and adapt to a new season?
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