End of the Beginning

I have always been fascinated by people’s stories. Simply the way that each individual’s daily experience differs, blows my mind and always causes me to intentionally ponder life. Saying that, yes, I would consider myself to be a deep thinker, yet seemingly ordinary things remind me of this. 

In the winter of 2020, my mom told me about this show on NBC called This Is Us — a TV series focused on three siblings and their connections to one another as they journey through life. Immediately, I recalled hearing from various teachers and sources that it was a terribly sad and negative show, and due to this, many people stopped watching. So it was safe to say I was rather skeptical about trying it out. My mom had watched all of it up to that point, and she encouraged me to give just the first episode a try. Little did I know then how much This is Us would impact me in such a positive way

Flash forward to March of 2022, upon finishing the last episode of the series, I sat in awe. When you think about it we are all just little pieces in this game of life. Always moving. Constantly shifting. Changing in each season. We never stay in one place. And along the way we encounter so many people, each impacting us differently. In the series finale, one of the main characters uttered:

“Everything ends. Everything dies. But if you step back, if you step back and look at the whole picture, if you’re brave enough to allow yourself the gift of a really wide perspective, if you do that, you’ll see that the end is not sad. It’s just the start of the next incredibly beautiful thing.”

And I think that life is 110% this way. Life is a gift. Yet a gift I take for granted too often. It is sacred. The moments we have here are too precious to brush off. Too precious to spend worrying. They are a blessing. 

As I mentioned, many people did not like This is Us because of the strong emotions it portrayed.  And I will say, there are some very tough topics and life events that come up that can be very triggering, which is not something to dismiss; however, this show was the most purposeful thing I have watched. 

At the end of every episode, I appreciated life a little more. I felt as if I was in another dimension watching this show and there I gained a special gratitude for those who have touched my life. All this to say, life is just too short to not take the risk, have that conversation, be the bigger person, etc. We are limited in our time here because “we are travelers here only passing through” but man what a gift living is. 

A life lived for others with the purpose of doing good and taking in every moment is fulfilling. It is a life worth chasing after as the Lord desires us to reach our full personhood through Him. It is through reflecting on the blessings the Lord has placed in our life we find that “missing piece” we have been seeking. 

There is so much more to life than what I can see in front of me. And in this season of my life, I am thankful for shows like This is Us being another reminder to me of that. As I have started my new transition — entering my second semester of college, adapting to a new environment, and investing in a career — everything is changing quickly; however, all my experiences are still a part of who I am. I still hold with me the memories of when I have fallen and felt alone, but also the ones when I have felt appreciated and loved beyond measure. You know life is a funny thing. I will find myself one day in a rut, but the next day I am reminded of why it’s a gift to be here. 

It is easier said than done for me to be like “just take in the moment and live your best life!” because I definitely do not always think that. Rather I would challenge you to surround yourself with people and things that constantly remind you of the sacredness of life. 

I have been so blessed with many incredible people in my life who have consistently led me on the path towards striving for Holiness over the past almost 20 years and I would not change anything. These people have walked through thick and thin with me and no matter how long we walked together, their impact still holds firm. 

I pray you find a community, family, or even a friend who reminds you what a gift life is. It is beautiful to sit back and watch. So thank you This is Us for instilling the art of reflection in my life through modern media and for pushing me to take the extra step to thank those who have helped me. How beautiful this life is and how good God is to lead us through it.

4 responses to “End of the Beginning”

  1. Love this! Always a lesson to be learned from each person we meet. ❤️. Love you

  2. Every ending is a new beginning. Facts.

  3. 💕

  4. Clarita Culpepper Avatar
    Clarita Culpepper

    Anna, I hope you will always take the time to share what is in your heart. Your words are so inspiring ❤️🙏

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