Unmoored: Nurturing Growth in Our Daily Living

Be not afraid of growing slowly, be afraid only of standing still. —Chinese Proverb

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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.

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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

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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.

via Daily Prompt: Unmoored

 

Some Days Are Harder Than Others

Life is downright hard some days. You juggle multiple irons burning in the fire at near lightspeed and manage to accomplish the laundry list of to-dos without overstepping your boundaries or hurting anyone. All day, you’ve managed to keep all four wheels between the lines as you truck down life’s highway. And then life deals you an unexpected blow or smacks you in the face with all its force for no other apparent reason other than because it can. You know—those moments where life takes your breath away but not in a good way. As people of faith, we are not immune from these valleys we stumble into along our journey. Life hurts. Yes, Virginia: the Struggle is real. 

What do we do?

As believers, we are called to continue on, faithfully, walking humbly, acting gently, being grateful, and nurturing a spirit of forgiveness. In our words and deeds, we show love, blessing even those who curse us. Even when it hurts. Yes, we mourn, and we grieve. Yes, we fervently pray, begging God for relief from our struggles. But it doesn’t end there. We get up and go on, moving forward, towards the prize, running the race with all our might until the very end.

As redeemed children of God Most High, we are all in recovery, rescued from our shortcomings, no longer bound by the chains of sin, while all the while, day by day, learning how to live life because He lives. It’s not easy. We aren’t perfect. But we are changed, no longer the same. Like new creations learning to find our way, we stumble, and we struggle, getting up after each fall.

God is SO good. Even on our worst days, He shepherds us, providing all we need to maneuver through the trials and tribulations this earthly life brings, from time to time during different seasons. In our plight, we turn to the Lord, showing our dependence on Him to traverse the storms life brings our way.

Jesus Calms a Storm Matthew 8:23-27 (ESV)
And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.” And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. And the men marveled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?”

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