Many times I’ve watched friends go through intense growth seasons. They felt nothing was happening, but I saw it in them. There are seasons when the exterior output seems minimal, when we can’t figure out what’s going on inside of us, but there is change. Deep. Real. Good.
But of course the person changing is blind to all that’s being accomplished.
I must be in one of those seasons. I’ve felt dead inside, like I’m not changing, not moving forward, not accomplishing. But last week I heard the kinds of words I’ve said to others during intense growing season they couldn’t see. Only this time the words came back to me.
Perhaps this thin feeling which has made me quiet here on A Benew Journey isn’t emptiness at all. Maybe the stretching is happening so fast that I struggle to keep up with it. So deep that I have to step inside myself for a time to to let me catch up to it and once again fill the whole space.
So what does a girl do?
On occasion she digs in her heels. She’s quiet. She bakes. She reads until she’s bored.
Sometimes she cries.
She tries to work–to learn a new business, to write a novel. Some days she sees a little success. Other days she wonders.
Sometimes she forces resistant feet out the door, determined to maintain the hard-earned new body, determined to feel God in the sunshine, breathe Him in the fresh air. Other times she drinks a salted caramel mocha and eats dark chocolate and screams into her journal with big angry words.
She complains and moans to God, wondering if He’s getting completely sick of her.
Then she remembers King David of the Psalms, and how he was called the apple of God’s eye even though he could be a major whiner. And that King David was also a heroic warrior and a passionate worshiper. That a person can be all of that.
Even on the same day.
And she remembers that Jesus died on a cross for whiners like her, that He didn’t come to rescue perfect people who were always strong and good, but just the ordinary person who chooses to believe He is and He loves.
And she writes on her gratitude wall in an effort to show her God that she does recognize the gifts, not just the struggle. And sometimes she reads her Bible and pulls the Words into her heart, remembering that God promises to restore locust years and to give hope and a good future. (And sometimes she doesn’t. She tells Him she’s tired of trying, of doing Christian things and He’s going to just have to hold her together ’cause she’s done.)
Her faithful friends remind her of all God has promised and all the direction He’s given.
And slowly she begins to believe the thin feeling of being stretched like butter “scraped across too much bread”* is just that. A feeling.
That God is at work.
That after a season of stretching she’ll fill up her whole new self.
That His promises are simply waiting for when she will be able to receive them.
Friend~It’s humbling to share the ugly parts, the me who struggles, but really aren’t we on this journey together? Humanity seeking to be full and real and good . . . and often stumbling, bumbling and wondering. The temptation is to only write about the good, especially now that I’m stepping into a new role as a business woman. Shouldn’t I always put my best foot forward, show the successful Paula?
But maybe you have these times too–times as a business person, a mom, a dad, an author, or one seeking to lose weight . . . and maybe the old voices scream at you, too. Tell you nothing changes, and you’re just a wimpy, little whiner.
When maybe, just maybe, God is stretching you. Making you bigger and better on the inside, where it counts.
And maybe if we’re honest with the journey, you and me together, we can unfurl the tight places, stretch our wings, and fly.
Share the hope:
*Bilbo Baggins in The Fellowship of the Ring