Beauty In Growth //
About a week ago, I clicked on my “on this day” Facebook memories feature. Up popped a portrait of me that my friend had taken, and I sat and remembered the season that I was in at that time. The caption on the picture read “If you love deeply, you’re going to get hurt badly. But it’s still worth it.”
This quote is by C.S. Lewis, and I had no idea what that meant then…but I get it now. I get it.
This past year I’ve hurt. I’ve grieved. I’ve cried… sobbed…wept. I’ve yelled. Screamed. I’ve gone through absolutely every human emotion possible. Lord knows I have. But yet, I am still seen. I am heard and I am loved anyways. It has been worth it.
Words have been spilling out of every corner of my jagged heart. My journal is covered in them, and they line the core of every poem, caption, thought and intentional conversation I have had. The past has crept up and tried to take hit after hit. I’ve been down and out- or so i thought. But, through the pain, I have learned.
You see, my eyes have been opened to a new kind of growth. The messy, ugly and painful kind of growth. I’ve come face to face with it. It’s kept me up at night. The growth I’m talking about is the growth that involves getting pulled out by the roots – having your world flipped upside down and inside out. Having to face things that you never thought you’d have to. But you do. Because sometimes, life happens. Sometimes, circumstances we don’t see coming, or actions from other people, sneak up and change the direction in which we were headed. Sometimes, things are not okay and we decide to stop lying to ourselves, and deal with the pain that comes with facing that kind of reality. We have to swim upstream with all our might, while layers and layers of what we thought were good and right get ripped away. This kind of growth doesn’t tuck us in at night and tell us everything is going to be okay. It doesn’t lie. It is real and it is raw. It is uncomfortable.
So, during these times, we run. We hide and we don’t let ourselves fully deal with the reality of our situations. We are told by the world around us and by our own minds that we have to have everything together, and that we have to be (or appear) perfect all the time. But, I’m here to tell you that you do not. You do not have to have it together all of the time. I saw a tweet the other day that read; “this revolution will be led by the broken.” I truly, whole-heartedly believe that. If we had it together all of the time, we wouldn’t feel such urgency to bring change. And we wouldn’t have the opportunity to experience that sweet, gentle comfort from our Heavenly Father.
So, here I am owning it. I’m finally taking responsibility for my brokenness. Not just hiding behind it or blaming it on anyone else, or living in it like it’s a part of who I am. I’m finally self-aware, and Jesus has been working through the pieces – one day at a time. We are mending it all together; healing hand in hand me and Him.
I’m here to encourage you with this. Allow yourself room and time to heal. You don’t have to be afraid of the messy kind of growth. Our pain makes us beautiful. Our pain creates joy. And joy helps us grow. So whatever that looks like for me and you; we can do it. We can grow.
Jesus says in Romans 5:1-8 (TPT)
“Our faith in Jesus transfers God’s righteousness to us and he now declares us flawless in his eyes. This means we can now enjoy true and lasting peace with God, all because of what our Lord Jesus has done for us. Our faith guarantees us permanent access into this marvelous kindness that has given us a perfect relationship with God. What incredible joy bursts forth within us as we keep on celebrating our hope of experiencing God’s glory! But that’s not all! Even in times of trouble we have a joyful confidence, knowing that our pressures will develop in us patient endurance. And patient endurance will refine our character, and proven character leads us back to hope. And this hope is not a disappointing fantasy, because we can now experience the endless love of God cascading into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who lives in us! For when the time was right, the Anointed One came and died to demonstrate his love for sinners who were entirely helpless, weak, and powerless to save themselves. Now, who of us would dare to die for the sake of a wicked person? We can all understand if someone was willing to die for a truly noble person. But Christ proved God’s passionate love for us by dying in our place while we were still lost and ungodly!”
We have a hope, we have faith – and we get to access and abundance of grace through our faith. We can take GLORY in our sufferings, because our sufferings produce a strength so we can persevere, and that shapes our character and makes us who we are supposed to be. That’s my Jesus. That’s how He loves. Even when I don’t get it and it hurts and it stings- oh gosh does it sting sometimes- He promises to cover me with grace and love, and tells me it will all be worth it. All of it.
So today, I am choosing to be expectant through the good, the bad, the messy, the ugly, the beautiful and all the in between. No matter how scared you may be or how uncertain the next season you are stepping into may be, Jesus is real. His plan is real. His love is real. He is GOOD and He who promised is FAITHFUL. We can walk expectantly. Expectant to flourish, expectant to grow, expectant to be healed.
So, I encourage you today — challenge yourself. Sit with Jesus and ask Him to help you identify your brokenness. Get to know Jesus and how He loves and who He is. The reality that i’ve learned is- you can’t trust someone you barely know. So, dive into the word. Diiiive into that bible. Get around people who are full of faith and courage, who will speak life and who can be honest with you and love you at the same time. There is so, so much beauty in growth.
No shame, all beauty.
All of this is making you more beautiful.
Love, N. X