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Growing Up

Growing pains hurt. With each of my kids there have been times of waking up in the night while they had leg cramps and aches that sent them either into a hot bath or us scrambling around looking for the hot water bottle. My mother in law recalls a time when my brother in law was growing so quickly this was normal occurrence-along with a grocery and clothing bill going through the roof! I guess growing pains can be painful no matter what side of it you are standing on. Whether it's watching my kids in physical pain as their bodies grow, seeing them learn how to emotionally navigate the next phase in their lives, or simply upping the grocery bill monthly to attempt to keep growing bodies filled - I feel the pain alongside them.

God is doing a growing time in me recently, too. Physically I am done growing (please, please, but spiritually, mentally, and emotionally God is stretching me in ways I have not experienced before. And it often hurts. And often I think, "I didn't ask for this." There have been a number of "honest conversations" between God and myself recently! As we raise kids, raise these churches, and raise funds and I feel in over my head each day, he is bringing me to the end of myself. Some days I get it right away and am able to surrender that to him and find relief from the burdens that I try so hard to carry around. More often then not, though, there is a time of fighting it and insisting on being on my own and having things done my way. I take on a lot of responsibility in that- and that can bruise me in ways that are painful for a lot longer than if I had just surrendered them to begin with. Doing the things God has called us to and feeling the weight of the world versus feeling the privilege of this life is separated only by how quickly I am willing to surrender to the growing process and learn what he wants me to understand at the moment. When I insist on holding on to that complete responsibility I am insisting on holding on to childish pride and selfishness - the world actually does NOT revolve around me. Who knew? So God allows those growing pains to help me understand what I am doing.

And he grows me. No, that is not quite right. He gives me opportunities to grow. I can choose to remain a baby - but those growing pains will keep coming.


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