Growing Pains

“The prerequisites for growth,” Bruce Mau said, are “the openness to experience events and the willingness to be changed by them.” Perhaps that is why so many of us reach a point where we simply stop growing. It’s not easy to let an event change us from the inside out.

Or perhaps we simply reach that place where our bodies have ceased growing and we think maybe the rest of us has grown up as well. Now there’s a laughable thought.

I’ve said before that I’m the kind of girl who always had a plan. I always imagined I had my life figured out. I always thought I knew exactly what I wanted. Maybe that’s why I stopped growing. Maybe when I reached that place where my mornings were devoted to my writing, I thought I had finally arrived.

Because this is what I wanted. And even though I knew there was always room for growth, I had let myself believe it could only be the small stuff from here on out. I was settled. I was certain. I was in that dangerously comfortable place… until God reminded me of how often I’m more like a three-year-old girl in her pink tutu and plastic tiara, claiming that I’m going to be a princess when I grow up (which I don’t think I ever actually said growing up, but the principle remains and you know that every three-year-old girl has thought it).

“Darling,” God whispered, “you’re still growing. You’re still in the stages of becoming and discovering and finding it’s not always so easy to stand with your head held high.”

The past few weeks, God and I have been discussing my flaws and, let me tell you, there’s a reason they call them growing pains instead of growing pleasures. I’m learning that there is a price to pay for the joy of becoming. Slowly but surely, I’m accepting the pain for the blessing it truly is.

And if you’re finding it hard to move past the growing pains, just remember that those sharp pangs in your ankles rendering it hard to walk right now are going to make you a little more surefooted in the future. The spasms shooting up your arms are making you strong enough to carry the loads you were never able to shoulder in the past.

Because Little One, Little One, you were made for so much more… You were meant to be so much bigger. You were created for greater things.

But you’re still growing. And it still hurts, though sometimes it’s glorious to realize how tall you’re now standing. But you were made for greater heights than this. For longer reach. So don’t you dare become content to stay just as you are. Because you’re still growing. And yes, it’s a painfully glorious thing.

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