A Journey of Growth

It seems everywhere I look seasons are changing.

My breath slowly turns to frost as the rain washes over my feet, leaving them with no direction, not even the slightest path. Some days my heart feels like an autumn leaf slowly dancing to the ground, its colors changing as it prepares to embrace this new season, yet it is also hesitant to let go of what is familiar.

With every passing day I find myself consumed by the pursuit of perfection, this idea of fitting into society’s box and living up to the standards around me. I think so often this world loves to point out our flaws and the ways we don’t measure up. From a young age we are taught to play the comparison game simply because fitting has become a way of living.

Yet I find myself slowly suffocating, because only when I boldly stand up for myself and step out in confidence of who God has made me to be, will I find that grace and purpose fill my lungs. We were never made to fit into a box, the beauty within us is found in our uniqueness and the way that every heart beats for a slightly different purpose.

Perfection is an illusion that we have been taught to chase, but realizing we are weak and in need of a savior is the only thing that will truly bring freedom and healing. For when we stop idolizing perfection and placing happiness as our destination, we leave room for a new growth that thrives off of a foundation of grace.

A grace that is so much greater then the way autumn fades to winter. Because I think we so often get caught up in idolizing the season we are in that our hearts unknowingly become hard to change. Before we know it we find ourselves being soaked by the rain as thunder booms and our hearts become hardened. If I am being honest, lately I have found myself unwilling to surrender to the newness of this season, because I am still holding on to the adventure, the people and the excitement of my last season of traveling and doing missions work.

Yet I am realizing that all along God intends for us to dance in the rain, letting joy become the never ending smile that reminds us of the beauty to be found in change. For if we never embrace the way rain finds its home among flower petals and the strings of spider webs as the leaves transform from green to fiery red, I think we are settling for so much less then God intended.

We weren’t made to live in one season, for God is good and He is committed to our growth. What would it look like to be a generation that ran towards change with open hands? Walking in the fullness of what it means to be human, being brave in our struggles and open with our hearts. It is okay to not be okay, to feel as if you are floundering awkwardly between seasons, yet don’t let that steal away the beauty that is in front of you.

The other day when I found myself caught up in past seasons with an unwillingness to embrace the fact that time moves on and friendships change, one of my good friends reminded me of a simple truth. It is okay to hold on to and cherish past seasons, placing the memories in a treasure box in your heart, yet you can’t live in them forever. Sometimes you have to stand up and walk into the next season with a joyful heart that is ready to fully live and be present. Moving on doesn’t always mean letting go; sometimes it is learning to cherish what happened and to rejoice over how it has changed you but realizing that the best is yet to come.

Simplicity is found in letting go of control, because only the one who causes flowers to grow with a mere whisper is the one who can truly bring growth.

So stand up and raise your voice, your heart isn’t meant to remain hidden. Embrace whatever season you are in with open hands. Let love be your guide as you walk forward in confidence knowing your future belongs to the one who created seasons and whose faithfulness never leaves your side.1

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