We are only a little over a month into 2016 but it feels like some of the growing pains I’ve experienced thus far are enough to be spread over the course of an entire year. I pick a word each year to focus on and pay attention to. This year my word is ‘vulnerable’ and it’s pushed me harder than I think I knew was emotionally possible. When I first got the word in my head I didn’t realize what it would mean or the different ways that I’d be pushed to be vulnerable.
As it turns out, vulnerable isn’t really something that I usually like being. I like to feel strong and like I have it together, at least in front of other people. I’ve noticed that often times people feel comfortable enough to cry in front of me but even in front of the people closest to me, I won’t cry. I’ll wait till they go home and then I’ll have my little cry-fest. Right away on January 1st I was pushed to change that and cry in front of someone. And since that was day 1 of me being vulnerable, you can only imagine how many other things I’ve realized I need to be vulnerable in.
It’s been insanely painful, but also insanely good. This past summer I was sitting at The Belonging, a church here in Nashville, and the pastor mentioned that we often expect things to change in our lives without us actually making a change in our own life. That’s stuck with me because it’s so true. If I want closer relationships and better opportunities, that means I probably need to change something in my life to help make that happen. 2016 has looked like a lot of growing pains, but if I want things to change in myself and in my life, I need to face these things so that they can get better. For example, if I continue to hold a guard up against intimacy, I can’t expect to have closer relationships than I’ve had in the past. But if I’m wiling to work through the hard things, however painful they may be, I can expect that things will be different on the other side.
I hope this encourages you to be willing to let things in your life change if there are areas that you want to look differently than they currently do. And when change and growth gets painful, because it will, keep pressing on. There is a purpose behind the current growing pains and the growth will unlock doors you didn’t even realize you had access to.