Friday, August 14, 2009

a time for growth

there have been times in my life when personal growth was inevitable. like when i moved out of my parents' house, went to college, got married, changed jobs, had a baby...big life changes usually come with personal growth.

but did you know personal growth can happen out of the blue? when there isn't a big life change? without warning?

i didn't know. and it is happening to me.

i'm trying not to be scared.

growing hurts. and at the same time, the pain is worth it knowing i'll come out of this a "more developed" me.

it kind of feels like the ground is shifting beneath our home, shaking things up. a warm wind is blowing in from a different direction. what was familiar and was working is no longer comfortable. things that used to fit, now don't. and part of me is afraid [and sad] knowing when the dust settles, things will be broken or misplaced. another part of me is excited about the possibilities. it's thrilling. there's a rush.

i didn't know this was happening. i didn't know it was coming.

BUT GOD did. and He has probably been trying to warn me for some time now. yesterday, in my still and quiet time, i finally got the memo.

i flipped open my Bible right to Job chapter 33. i continued reading 34, 35, 36, and all the way to 42. as i scanned each page, words jumped out at me, as if someone had highlighted them in yellow:

"Listen!" "Listen to me" "Listen to my words" "Pay attention"

i did. and it was exactly what i needed. isn't God's timing just perfect? here it is in black and white- a story that could be about what's going on in my life right now and His perfect instructions on how to handle it.

step 1: Realize God is greater than man. And although you might not know it, He answers your prayers in one way or another. (Job 33:12) Did I pray for this change? In one way or another?
step 2: He will renew and restore you. (Job 33:25) I feel my renewal and restoration coming!
step 3: Do not harbor resentment. (Job 36: 13) Leave the garbage at the garbage pit. It's hard to grow with a heavy heart.
step 4: Stop and consider God's wonders. (Job 37:14) The mountain isn't a heap of trouble, it's God's beautiful creation!
step 5: Pray for your accusers. (Job 42:8) Take the focus off of myself and my situation by lifting up the ones who inflict pain and trouble.

do these things, and the Lord will bless you with a long and prosperous life. (Job 42:12-17)

as i read and studied, the Lord spoke to me, "Listen to me. It's time to grow."