I'm Growing Up

I don’t know about you, but I think I’m growing up. I am feeling the stretch of my spiritual muscles as well as my emotional and physically muscles. “There are some shameful episodes in it; instances of meanness, unfinished tasks, weakness, and regrets. I had to ask myself, ‘If I live, who is it that I intend to be.’” (Lance Armstrong)

Do I intend to be a protege of my parents? Or me? Do I intend to please the people around me, or forge an identity all my own, while scared at the same time of learning how to fly?

One thing I’m learning is you’re never too old to be broken. Never too old to think you’re still afraid to fly. We all get comfortable. We all understand how to make the place we’re at home, but what happens when that home is threatened? By new schedules? Old frustrations? Big gaps?

The best biblical example of this is Leah. Leah was not the favorited wife of Jacob, Rachel was. Their story is found in Gen. 29-49. The thing I found most interesting while going through this study is the fact that God saw and heard Leah’s misery.

When the Lord saw that Leah was not loved, he opened her womb” (Genesis 29:31).

The Lord noticed Leah’s misery. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Leah’s husband) looked down and saw a woman who was lonely and sad because her husband loved his other wife better than he loved her. So, to ease her sorrow, to provide her comfort, God gave her children–beautiful, upright, strong children, one of whom would found the lineage of the priests of Israel and another who was an ancestor of Jesus himself. (Women of the Bible, pg. 69)

Some of us have experienced deep hurt and pain. Some of us have been wounded beyond words, but instead of pointing out the obvious, let’s band together in faith, hope, and love and really do something about it. Let’s get connected. Let’s encourage one another. Let’s take walks. Let’s talk and share. Let’s pray. Let’s point each other to God, even when He is silent.

God is amazing, really–if we let Him, and if we keep walking ourselves. Faith in action. I believe a sign of maturity is acknowledging all of these pieces, laying them on the table, and processing them. In time, the correct path will emerge.

Next time you’re tempted to think you’re the only one with pain and heartache in this world, take heart and think again.

Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez, saying, “I gave birth to him in pain.” Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request. 1 Chronicles 4:9-10

[Formerly Written, January 14, 2007]