Good evening friends! Surprise, I looked up and it’s already Friday! I managed to loose track of this week. Life’s just been like that. I was thinking through what I wanted to post this week and I realized I never shared this with y’all. I wrote this last fall when I was going through a particular season. I hope it encourages you this week!
Have you ever experienced growing pains? Like when you’re a kid and your body grows so fast that it aches? I remember seasons where one of my brothers couldn’t sleep at night because of the pain in his legs. He grew so fast that his legs would just hurt. His growth was a good thing but it didn’t necessarily feel that way.
I think life can be measured in growth periods. Seasons of extreme change, positive or negative, mixed in with seasons of apathy mark my life. I rarely look back and think about my life in terms of ages or years. Instead I think of “seasons,” however long, and how I’ve changed. Right now I’m in a season of change and growth. It’s painful and it hurts but it’s also amazing and healthy. I was explaining this to a friend and I came up with a hypothesis. There are three types of growth:
- Painful, stretching, “ouch this hurts” kinda growth
- Easy seasons of smiles
- “What the heck is happening in my life right now?” seasons of confusing growth
I’ve personally experienced all three of these. Currently I’m experiencing the first. In January I started asking Jesus to teach me His ways and show me His precepts. In case you’re curious, Jesus loves to answer prayers for growth. He responded to my prayer in a way I didn’t necessarily want but I’ve needed. He’s brought so much sin to light and shown me just how much needs to change in my life. From being kind and showing love to being meek, how I’m living my life is changing. And that’s not easy. It hurts, it means constantly praying and serving rather than taking. I’m learning to lay down my wishes, wants, and self-righteousness to love on others more. Don’t get me wrong; I’m in no way a model for this. I keep messing up and falling over. But that’s the beauty of growth in my eyes. Jesus still loves us and helps us no matter how many times we screw up. He doesn’t give up on us. (How crazy amazing is that???)
Practically, this season hasn’t been about changing my behavior. I’m not in a program or process. I don’t count how many compliments I give or how many smiles I dish out. This past spring my small group went through “Recovering Redemption,” a video series Matt Chandler created, and he said something that stuck with me. He explains that changing a recurring sin or recovering from an addiction has nothing to do with behavioral modification but rather from a heart change. Changing you’re life has more to do with becoming closer to Jesus than punishing yourself. There’s a time a place for self-disciplines but first and foremost, seek out more of Jesus. I think that’s such a profound idea and honestly, it just makes sense. Every time I’ve tried to just change my behavior a new “something” pops up. Drawing near to Jesus changes that completely because it’s Him changing and working through you.
So wherever you find yourself today, I challenge you to look for more of Jesus. Spend time with Him. Scour His word and let Him work in your life. He’s pretty incredible and if you don’t want to take my word for it get to know Him. You won’t be disappointed.
We all need to grow in various ways. Whatever season you’re walking though, know that I’m praying for you! If you see an area in your life you would like to change, take a moment and pray about it. Jesus is good to give us opportunities to stretch and change. Much love. ❤