Be not afraid of growing slowly, be afraid only of standing still. —Chinese Proverb
Contrary to what we have been told as children, we will never really be “all grown up”, at least not on this side of Heaven. Throughout my existence, I have been a lifelong learner. Sometimes intentionally, other times inadvertently and with lots of resistance. While my acceptance may have come with a great deal of kicking and screaming, I recognize growth is an unavoidable part of life. We are growing into one thing while growing out of another. With growth comes change; a new season of living. Resistance is futile. You can embrace it, but you cannot avoid it. Change doesn’t come easy, yet it comes. You can even embark out of your comfy cocoon and seek out change, journeying where few before you have dared to venture.
While the winds of change may sweep in from the outside, growth springs from within. With growth and change come newness of life, a kind of rebirth, or rekindling. Our spirits awake rejuvenated ready to tackle the challenges of our altered paradigm. Scripture tells us that the old fades away as the new arrives. We are reborn, by the Spirit, through Jesus Christ, by the grace of God the Father. The walk of recovery is a lifelong process, a continuous cycle of wash, rinse, spin, dry and repeat. The refining fire reshapes us slowly, removing our flaws, of which there seems to be a limitless supply. Yet, we press on, moving forward, growing with each change of season.
And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit. —The Gospel of Matthew 15:14
Along with the changes that come, we must be careful and intentional about the company we keep. We become who we surround ourselves with. People can lift you up or rip you apart. They can lead you toward God or extinguish your voice if you let them. If you let them. Therein lies the key. Recognize you have a choice. While we do not pick our parents, we do choose our friends. Be careful of who you let speak into your life. Their words will shape you, and their actions will direct you. Invest time in the people that can demonstrate their love for you by making you a better person for having known them. Conversely, spend time on others in whom you can have a similar lifting effect. Build people up. Don’t tear them down. Remember, each of us have our own challenges, and we never really know what others are dealing with that may be making them difficult for us to handle. Keep a hand on the wheel, avoiding the ditch.
Nurture growth through being intentional. Let go and let God. Be unmoored. Change happens.
I believe you can.