Let's face it, growth is U N C O M F O R T A B L E. The awkward stagnant seasons of life just aren't pleasurable. I am pretty sure we've all experienced that awkward stage of life during puberty when we were too old to relate and fit in with the younger kids, but too young to be involved in "grown folk" business. It left us in the waiting to finally become "grown" and do what the "big kids" did. Every now and then, life feels like some kind of sprint that I end up feeling like I am woefully losing in, and coming in second place just wont cut it. If you scroll through social media too many times in a day, you just may dig your self into an anxious hole of "what am I doing with my life?", that later evolves into thoughts of comparison, self pity , frustration and discontentment. We would rather look for reasons why we are not where we are supposed to be, instead of cueing in on the not so obvious answer to that question,
Now I am not speaking of sitting in one place and doing nothing out of laziness, but actively having faith and walking with Christ through whatever He is taking you through. He is guiding your steps and in that case my dear, you are exactly where God wants you to be. In the past few months, I have experienced my fair share of growing pains and I wanted to briefly touch on them in this post:
Graduation - What's next? I graduated from College on December 10th 2016 and when the high blew off, I was left with this resounding thought about what could come next. I currently desire to go back to school and by God's grace that is the plan, but in the meantime, what's next? The waiting season has been rough because I am an impatient perfectionist (which is an ugly combination and oxymoron). In my head, things should always go as planned, but when things such as jobs and school admissions are out of my hands, I have no other choice but to rely on God and trust His plan for my life. If it is His will, I will get the ideal job and get into the ideal program. No amount of worrying, questioning and stressing will put the endless thoughts to rest and calm me, but finding solace in Christ will.
New relationship / Christian Courtship - I tweeted this on my twitter account a little while ago and it went a little something like this: #DearsingleChristians, if you desire to be in a Christ-centered relationship, be ready to put more of your flesh to death daily. Anything centered around Christ will require less of you and more of Him. My relationship has shown me just how selfish, lustful and unreasonable I can be. Laying that down by the grace of God takes tremendous amounts of dying to your flesh. Let me just be completely real with you, it was not easy for me. To let go of mindsets, behaviors and things that make you feel comfortable and secure and to put on a whole new perspective and understanding of how things need to be for the sake of glorying and pleasing Christ. It's a beautiful sanctification process and I wonder how much more Christ will stretch me in this area.
My walk with Christ - I read my bible, I pray, I worship etc BUT I want to go deeper. The growing pains here bother me most, because I know there's so much more I could be doing with my time besides taking occasional naps and looking for things to help me procrastinate. This year I challenged myself to read a book every month because I truly believe that theres so much applicable wisdom and perspectives in the right kind of books. I desire to learn so much more about the bible and historical prompts on the life of Jesus. It excites me honestly! Even scripture tells us to study to show ourselves approved to God and that if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it. I want to ALWAYS be ready. No "but", "umm" or surface level explanations. We have all of the resources and there is no excuse for why we cannot always be ready to explain our faith.2 Timothy 2:15 // Peter 3:15
The growing pains are necessary for sanctification and growth. Helen Keller once said,
"Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired and success achieved."
Likewise, the apostle James put it like this,
"Count it all joy my brothers , when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have it's full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. (1:2-4)
Growth is necessary and the pain that comes along with it wont last, keep pushing forward and focus on your portion. God's plans are perfect, even when they don't feel like it. Tell your fickle emotions to quiet down and remind yourself of God's solid truth. Grace and peace.
From my thoughts to you.