Living Things Grow; Growing Things Change
I first heard these words on Christine Caine’s podcast; Coffee with Chris. I was on a walk through our new neighborhood and her words really pierced into me since we had just landed in a new area after 15 years in the same home. What a challenging season that was. In some ways I am only now lifting my head consistently after almost 3 years.
I had lost the sense of how hard moving was; not just the physical, but emotional move, when leaving friends and family and familiar is involved. I had lived in the same area for almost 30 years! Changing residences always involved the physical hard work of packing and sorting; giving away and throwing away. But this move? It involved the letting go of the home where we raised our sons, the friends and church we had lived among for nearly 2 decades, our pets, and all the familiarity of streets, best coffee shops, outdoor opportunities within a moment of walking out our front door.
Letting go was hard for me. I slipped into the cavern of depression where light peeked in from far above me. Finding a place to rent that fit our simple list: 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, a gas range and a garage was harder than you’d think. What we didn’t realize at the time, because we were strangers to this new area, was our ideal price range was not going to find those creature comforts. Coming from owning literally 2 times the amount of space to renting for 3 times our mortgage at home made me angry. It still does. But it is what it is.
The anger over less than ideal rentals (we’re now in our second place; a story for another time) wasn’t helping my overall attitude either. I’ve heard that depression is anger turned inward. I don’t know if that is completely accurate but I knew that I needed to get out of the cavern somehow. Getting outside and active was a first step. Interject the words I heard on my walk: Living things grow; growing things change.
If I am living then I will be growing AND changing. Those two words are to be expected not rejected. This is not our final home; why do I keep thinking everything needs to be hunky dory all the time? Some might call this magical thinking. In coaching we call it mindset. Part of my work needed to be in the arena of self-acceptance instead of self-recrimination. A change in mindset.
In letting go I had to acknowledge I was focusing on what wasn’t, instead of being thankful for what is. That awareness was the first step to real change. To really lean in I needed to embrace change instead of being mad at it.
For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 1:5-7
I look at these verses and I see the progression, the process of growth. Growth causes change. I don’t want to stay the same. I want to be in the process of letting go and leaning in; of becoming my utmost for His highest.
In this season of Lent I am doing this very thing, one action at a time.
Where do you find yourself today? Are you in the cavern of depression? Or are you buried under a pile of to dos? Wherever it is you’re not alone. Reach out to someone who can bear witness to where you are and what you’re going through.
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We’re not meant to shoulder this life alone.