What do you know about growth? How about change? Does it affect you as much as it does me or do you welcome a change from the norm? For me, change can be scary. The unknown is like a deep, dark hole that I just wish would flip a switch and see what all lies ahead. Then, I’ve heard it said as well, that if we knew what really lay ahead, that you wouldn’t have the strength to do it and……..well, would we really want to??
Think about a seed. Happy, contented to just be a seed. Nothing hurts, nothing is wrong. Then one day, it’s thrown in the dark, and covered with dirt and water is poured over him, making him soaking wet. The sun beats down on the dirt, warming him just a little but still the cool, damp earth is making his whole situation very uncomfortable. He begins to suffocate, and he feels the life drain out of him. He is dying, and yet, no one hears his cries for help. If they do, they don’t seem to care. Then one sunny, clear day he begins to feel the sunshine in a new sort of way, and as he looks around for just a second, he begins to realize how far he has come. From 4 inches below the ground to new life springing up above–closer to the sunshine and closer to the gentle rain. He didn’t realize it. He didn’t realize that he was growing. All he could think about was the dying process it felt like he was going through.
A few weeks ago, I passed the 2 year anniversary of the beginning of my health problems. The morning still replays in my mind. Even though I was passed out, and very confused, there are still some very vivid pictures that come to mind. (There’s a lump in my throat as I sit here writing about it) Had I known all that I would go through and the changes that would come into my life because of this, I may have very well sunk into a deep depression unwilling to open myself up to anyone. Had I known the many headaches/migraines (literally) I would have in the next couple years, the time spent laying still in the MRI machine, (still can’t believe I held still for that long!) the many needles stuck in my arm (when up to 20 years old, I had never had a needle stuck in me that I can remember), the nasty stuff I’ve had to take, the many pills to remember to take (and at the right times, as well), knowing that they were going to try to make me pass out to do more tests….Had I known all of this was going to happen, I would have run in the complete opposite direction.
You know, as humans, we do have a blessing in disguise. We can only face one day at a time. Sure, we make plans and we desire for those plans to come to pass. But, in the end, God holds the master plan book and He will decide when and if those plans come to pass.
These past 2 years have been filled with many things I never thought I could handle. Many times I have wondered why God has chosen me to go through this….Why couldn’t He have chosen someone else who is stronger than me? Why would He chose me, the introvert, who doesn’t like to open up about the ‘real things’ going on in her life? Why didn’t He choose someone who was more mature in their growth than I am? Someone who seems to always have it all together??
I look back over these 2 years, and I realize that I have changed. There are things that are different about me. I open up to people and tell them when they ask me how I’m doing. I have a deeper respect for Drs. when before they were someone I didn’t need, and they just were ‘out there’. I realize that life is not an independent thing. You need friends, family, and most importantly, God. (I still forget this, but by God’s grace, I will keep learning) I’m very sensitive to what my body is doing. Any weird, odd thing that happens, is like a warning flag to me, and I wonder if it’s time for another episode or warning me that it will happen soon. I’m very much mindful of the noises I make upstairs in my bedroom. Most often when I drop something, or bump the wall, or the door, or something similar, I hold my breath, waiting to hear if mom or dad yells up to me to see if I’m ok. It also works the other way too, when there’s lack of noise when there usually is, they check on me. I try to let mom know if I’ll be sleeping in so she knows to expect noises at a later time. I go to bed earlier. This is a big one. I could stay up late for days back in the ‘good ole days’ 🙂 Now, I usually try to be in bed by anywhere from 9-10 as long as I’m home for the evening. I want to let people know what to do if it were to happen in their presence. I used to be silent about it, not telling anyone, because for some reason, in my mind, if I didn’t talk about it, it’s less likely to happen. 🙂 chuckle, chuckle. I try to live my life more on the focus on one day at a time–especially lately. It’s been a little over 9 weeks since the last one, and so the last few weeks have been, get up, go to work, come home, do things, and quick get to bed before it happens. 🙂 I realize that God has given me 9 weeks of health, and I try to thank Him for each ‘healthy’ day He gives me, while preparing me that it might not last forever. I am more aware of what an encouraging word does to someone. There have been times through these past 2 years when someone has reached out to me and told me they’re thinking of me, or they’ll be praying for me. So, I have been learning and trying to practice (notice the ‘have been’ and ‘trying to’–It’s not completely attained yet either) to take action when I’m prompted to encourage someone. When I see or hear of someone who’s down, and I’m prompted to encourage them, and I don’t, is that not robbing God (and me) of a blessing?
Anyway, that paragraph took an entirely different turn than I expected, and I need to get back on topic. 🙂 Growth, and change are sometimes things that just seem to be too much. ‘I’ll never be as spiritually mature as she is.’ ‘I’d never be able to go through what she is with such a positive attitude.’ ‘I just don’t think I could do it.’ ‘I’ll never love to serve people like they do.’ ‘I just can’t go through another day hurting like this.’
Friends, do me a favor and look at the beginning of each of those sentences.
They all start with ‘ I ‘. We hurt ourselves so much by turning the focus on ourselves instead of focusing on the One who can help us with all that we need. Like I’ve heard being said recently and I don’t remember the exact wording but to the extent of–“Sometimes, you are growing, and you don’t realize it until you look back a little farther.” I’m 22 years old. Back when I was younger, I never figured I’d still be struggling with some of the things I am right now. I guess I don’t know what I was really expecting…maybe a Super-Christian or something?? It’s laughable now, because I’m realizing and trying to remember there is always a higher point that I can strive to reach. We will never be able to say, that we’ve reached the top level of Christianity. It just doesn’t work that way.
So yes, change can be unpleasant. Growth sometimes is painful. But take a look at any beautiful flower, vegetable, fruit….something had to die before it got to be that beautiful. The something that has to die is you, me, our selfish plans and thoughts. Only then, can God create something that is beautiful for the world to enjoy.
If you’ve stuck it out to end–I give you a high five. This post was basically a lot of thoughts rolling together, and it just didn’t seem to flow as smoothly as some. Anyone who knows me well, knows that depending what mood I’m in, you never know what will come out of my mouth. 🙂
I started out the year 2018 giving myself 2 challenges. One was to take a picture every day. (I tried this one last year, and failed miserably!! Maybe if you all keep me accountable, I may actually finish this year. 🙂 Find the pictures here. And #2 was to write something every day. This is a big one for me, but so far it’s been pretty fun. I found a whole year of daily writing prompts, questions, etc., and while I wasn’t going to share on here for awhile, I’m in the mood, so if you’re interested, you can find it here.