Ireland

The end of the road

May 22, 2019

“All good things come to an end.”

We’ve all heard that saying at some point, right? Our immediate reaction is: “No! Why must this good thing end!?!” We know when we have a good thing, and we don’t want it to end. Why would you voluntarily give up something that makes you happy or fulfils you?

When I first signed on to be part of OM, my two-year commitment seemed like an eternity. Forget the idea of a third year, would I last two? Would I fit in? Would the time drag on or speed by? Trust me, the time has gone by far too fast.

I never imagined being part of the school programmes in Ireland—I joined to be a journalist after all. But I volunteered for a couple of programmes, and that was the start of a great journey. Those first few times were rather terrifying, especially as I felt unqualified to handle unruly students. But as time went on and I participated in more programmes, I found my confidence and a joy in interacting with the students. This ‘add-on’ role became one of my favourite parts of my time in Ireland.

On the day of our last school programme, the fact that it was my LAST programme didn’t really hit me until the drive home when we stopped to take pictures of the canola fields “one more time.” The road goes right down the middle of the neon yellow flowers, and I thought: ‘Huh…This is the end of the road.’

There are plenty ‘road ends’ in life, good and bad. School, jobs, projects, relationships… just to name a few. In missions, the end of the road might be different: a visa runs out or gets denied, financial support runs out, health reasons, a sense that God is moving you somewhere else… Everyone faces them.

Some people immediately find a new road to travel; choosing to keep moving so they won’t have time to miss the road they left. Some people get stuck at the end, trying desperately to figure out where to go next. Some people turn around and spend too long reminiscing on the road just travelled.

Then there are those, like myself currently, who take a minute to look over their shoulder.

The road behind is full of memories, good and bad alike. The road has lessons, highlights, struggles and turning points. Despite all of these things, the road has come to an end just when, and where, it should. There’s nothing wrong with looking back and remembering, just as long as you don’t stay that way. After you look back, it’s time to face forward again and take the next step.

You can’t drive a car looking in the rear-view mirror, right?

Road ends are there for a reason. Otherwise, we would forever be on the same track and never experience so many of the wonderful adventures and lessons in life. Without road ends, you’d probably never take the time to glance back and see where you came from.

I arrived in Ireland a timid, self-conscious, newly graduated journalist who felt she needed guidance and affirmation every step of the way. Now, I’m producing 90 per cent of a magazine by myself. I never thought I’d be a missionary. Now, I’m wondering about other fields and opportunities to serve.

Not having a new road yet scares me, but I know that God will show me in His perfect timing.

Are you coming to the end of a road? Will you take the time to reflect before jumping to the next one?

Hannah (USA) has been serving as OM Ireland's journalist for two years. A trained writer, she loves sharing stories of people and their God-inspired life moments. She believes that everyone has a story worth telling, and it's a true joy to be the one to tell them.