Photo credit: Shewanda Riley

“Over ain’t over!” My former pastor, the late Rev. Dr. Jerome McNeil, stated these words a number of years ago in the middle of a sermon about having hope in the future that God has for us. He stated that some people need to be reminded that when it looks like things are at their worst, God still has things under control. Even when man says things like our jobs and our marriages are over, God wants us to remember that “over” for man isn’t necessarily “over” for him.   

Like so many of you, I’ve seen this happen in my own life. When relationships have ended or I’ve lost jobs and other things that I’ve valued, I’ve mourned. However, as I went from seeing the loss as a negative to seeing it as a chance to embrace something new, I became more thankful and hopeful. For example, when I was fired from my job at KNON radio back in 2003, I was angry about the situation. However, a few weeks later when I’d accepted another better paying job as a college English Instructor, I was thankful that “over” meant that I’d overcome that negative situation. And now nearly 20 years later, I can say that being fired led me to the most satisfying job I’ve ever had.

“Over” ain’t over for a few reasons:

  • God is in control. – Even when we seem to lose a grip on our lives and don’t understand what’s happening, God still has us in his hands. 2 Samuel 7:28 reads, “O Sovereign LORD, you are God! Your words are trustworthy, and you have promised these good things to your servant.”
  • God is never surprised. – Even when we are taken off guard by what happens in our life, God never is.  Isaiah 46:10 shows, “I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.”
  • God always has a plan B.  – God expects us to follow him on the path of obedience with the eyes of faith. Genesis 22:13 says, “Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son.”

As we look forward to Thanksgiving, other highlights of the holiday season and the end of 2022, we have to be thankful for “over” transitions…they make us overcomers!

In most cases, “over” is a chance to revisit the goodness of God. “Over” is an uncomfortable place but it reminds us of what God promises to be.  Numbers 23:19 reminds us “God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind.  Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill? “It’s all about how you see it…. will you be overcome by your circumstance, or will you be an overcomer?

Shewanda Riley (Aunt Wanda), PhD, is a Fort Worth-based author of “Love Hangover: Moving from Pain to Purpose After a Relationship Ends” and “Writing to the Beat of God’s Heart: A Book of Prayers for Writers.” Email her at or follow her on Twitter @shewanda. You can also listen to her podcast at