A Time for Necessary Endings

NecessaryEndingsBorn in 1848, Mary Slessor was raised by an alcoholic father. When she grew older, she found work in a cotton mill, but she longed to become a missionary. She found inspiration in David Livingston, an early nineteenth century British explorer who traveled to remote regions in Africa to share the good news of Jesus Christ. Compelled by his story, Mary left her home in order to go where no other white person had settled in Western Africa.

At the age of twenty-eight, Mary established a missionary base in the Calabar region of Africa. Settling in the area was highly dangerous. Some of the accepted cultural beliefs of the time included burying widows alive in their husband’s graves and killing innocent children. Yet Mary refused to give up—despite battling sickness often and living with constant threats. Over the years, her commitment to Christ, sharing the gospel, and opposing injustices had a profound impact on the culture. Not only did locals hear the good news of Jesus Christ but Mary challenged a long-held superstition that twins were evil. Because of her hard work and prayer, locals finally quit the horrible customary practice of killing and abandoning of twins.

Today in Nigeria, Mary is recognized and honored as a spiritual leader who saved the lives of countless children and women and shared the good news of Christ with many.

God used a short, red-haired, Presbyterian missionary to make a profound impact in our world. But in order to lay hold of the life God had for Mary Slessor, she had to leave that which was comfortable and familiar behind, a necessary ending, in order to lay hold of the new beginning God had for her.

Though our stories may not be as dramatic as Mary’s, we all have moments in our lives where we sense God calling us to leave something behind in order to lay hold of the something new God has for us. Sometimes the “necessary endings” we’re facing are practical. We may sense the invitation to leave a place or a job in order to step into the fullness of life and service God intends. Or we may feel a nudge toward a necessary ending through forgiveness of something that’s happened to us in the past. Or maybe we’re aware of an unhealthy pattern or addiction in our lives and we’ve got to make a break. Whatever necessary ending you may need to make, rest assured that it’s worth it in order to lay hold of the freedom and fullness of life God has for you.

From A Time for Everything © 2013 Margaret Feinberg (Thomas Nelson) Used by permission. A Time for Everything is part of the Women of Faith Study Guide Series and includes 12 weeks of Bible study for group or individual use. Order a copy of A Time for Everything  here.


  1. God has called me to change my ways. The past year has been a very rough year and i have found many endings but also i found that there’s hope. Because i have found a bright new beginning. Thank You God for bringing me this change. I embrace it. Thank You Lord for giving me a fresh start. It has been hard but now i understand why change needed to happen. Thank You Lord for this happiness. For the new love i have found. May it continue to blossom into a lovely family of my own. Thank You Lord for everything. Thank You for opening my eyes and the Love You have for all of us. Lord, please give me the courage and strength to keep on following Your path. Give me the strength to move mountains and to be a person of light for others. Also i would like to ask You to reveal how i can serve You Lord, because more than ever before i’m ready to spread Your Words and Love. Lord thank You for listening to this prayer. Amen x

  2. We will go to His harvest field, and see His glory in this His last hour. Thank you for your encouragement, let’s follow Jesus. Bless You, Linda Ruscito Sunshine After Rain

  3. God is leading my husband and I to His harvest field, we are looking forward to seeing His glory in this His last hour. We have decided to follow Jesus, and we’re not turning back! Bless you–Linda Ruscito Sunshine After Rain

  4. God has been calling my husband and I to make a move to Florida. It meant I would have to leave my three grown children–I cried. Jesus has been gracious, and helped me to change my mind. A long time ago He spoke to me that He was leading me to His harvest field. Now I am looking forward to seeing His glory in this His last hour, please pray for finances needed. May His name be ever praised. You are such a blessing in many ways. In God’s Love–Linda Ruscito Sunshine After Rain

  5. T am so thankful for your account about Ms. Slessor, as God has been calling my husband and I to make a move to Florida from Rhode Island. It was very difficult in the beginning as I would have to leave my grown children and their families, I cried alot. But Jesus has been gracious to me and has worked in me to change my mind. Now I can hardly wait to go, but as we know its in His time, we are awaiting the finances. To God be the glory, someone who is a prophet gave me a word, she said in this year 2014, I will see the glory of God, I believe that is for all of us who are seeking to be used by God. Once God literally spoke to me with an audible voice, He said I am leading you to my harvest field, little did I know it would be in Florida. May His name be ever praised. God bless you all–Linda Ruscito

  6. 8 months ago
    Julie says

    I am in the beginning stages of selling my home and moving into an apartment. I recognize God’s prompting in all this. How special to read this devotional and have it further confirm God’s will. I don’t know where I will go when the house is sold. I just know that the right place will be there when I need it.
    Thank you.

    • Julie, you are right. Don’t worry God will provide everything for you. As He always takes care of us.

  7. 8 months ago
    becky says

    this is what i needed to hear. i feel lost in what i should be doing in my walk in faith and i have always wantedto help others. is there anything local i could do? any ideas? i don’t live near my home church, but i want to help as much as i can.

    • 8 months ago
      Lorie says

      Becky, there are many opportunities to serve in your local community. Look for a local food bank where you can serve, a library, nursing home, hospital. Many, many options out there.