Growing Up

A few days of significant rainfall and the world around me is coming to life. The lawn is getting greener, the bushes are budding, and the garden is fully awake. The ferns are unfurling and the hostas are shooting their tender, yet strong, stalks up through the packed ground.

There is such a feeling of newness and promise in the air.

It makes me want the same for myself. Have you ever wished you could reinvent yourself? Start a fresh. Be more of who God made you to be. Leave the old buried in the ground and present the world with a new you, the real you. Rid yourself, once and for all, of what causes you rot. Unfurl into a more authentic, genuine, and real you.

With age, this desire to live our truth and the freedom that comes with it, often fills our thoughts, which can cause some real confusion and restlessness. It’s a good confusion and a purposeful restlessness. It signals that it’s time for growth and change. Maybe it’s time to be honest and have the courage to face the consequence of that honesty.

In the cycle of life, there are times of transition. Times, when in order to grow and flourish in the life God intends for us, we need to make some changes. We need to move from where we’ve been to a new place. Part of this movement involves a letting go of thinking patterns and behaviors that don’t serve us anymore. There is need for a deep dive into the core of who we are and what parts of us we have buried under these patterns and behaviors. Shedding these things brings us more in tune with our real selves, the self that God has been waiting for.

This isn’t an easy process. Our thinking patterns and behaviors are often so ingrained in us that we don’t recognize them and are unaware of the bondage they hold us in. With God’s grace and direction this shedding can be manageable and transforming.

I have faced a truth about myself recently and am working on the courage to make the changes necessary to feel the freedom I know is waiting for me. I can sense a newness and a growth spurt coming on. My true self is unfurling.

I have always believed that the worse thing a woman could be accused of was being needy. I believed that being needy was unattractive, undesirable, and shameful. As a result of this thinking, I made an unconscious vow to never come across as needy.  My behavior fell into an unhealthy pattern of self-sufficiency. My motto has been “I can take care of myself. I don’t need you.” And worse yet, I didn’t need God.

With age comes wisdom and I have wizened up, in my old age, to the truth that I am needy, and there is nothing wrong with that. To need companionship and support through life’s challenges isn’t a sign of weakness. To admit when a situation is too much isn’t shameful. To admit your emotions are raw and getting the best of you on a particular day doesn’t mean you can’t handle life. To crave a little extra TLC on a bad day doesn’t mean you are a baby. It means you’re human. To acknowledge and seek out what we need is a gift.  It’s a vulnerability that frees us and paves the way for God’s grace to enter our lives through others.

If we are open to it and willing to let God accompany us, life becomes a series of welcomed shifts from old to new. A never-ending process of growing up and growing into our true selves.

A never-ending unfurling which is just what we need.

Needy Joan

Joan Carey, Firstfruits executive director, is an author and speaker with a passion for helping women grow in their relationships with God. Her Ponder This book contains a series of modern day parables sure to get you thinking about and seeing our extraordinary God in our ordinary experiences. Joan invites you to use resources on this website for daily reflection in your journey to grow in God's loving care for you.
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