I truly hope you all are well today.
Life is a gift, and we are all in one way or another “forced” to grow. Although, we all know people who have NOT grown. Sadly. They have rather just rolled inward like a little armadillo to build armor and block out any and all pain.
I understand the temptation! Don’t you?
BUT the sad reality is when we do that we miss out on beauty – our own beauty.
Side thought: I do not believe God gives us things to make us grow. I do believe we can choose to grow in all times and seasons of our lives. Is it not better to be intentional about growing when the sun is shining, and the water is plentiful? Consider the lilies… they grow, they feed, they bloom. They do this all when the weather is good. We have been told we grow in the hard times, which we can do. But how much better to be focused on growing in the good seasons?! Now, I know in my difficult times I have chosen to work hard – to grow, to not become bitter, to not roll into the armadillo-protection-ball. I have decided not to be a victim, but rather to find what I need to improve. After all the butterfly goes through the cocoon phase and works hard to BECOME. So, no matter the seasons – difficult or beautiful we can choose to grow.
Now then… as I began this letter… I wonder…
How have you grown? What have you done or not done? Have you rolled into a ball to protect yourself or have you decided to reach out and get help and force the growth? Have you opted to seclude yourself? Have you accidentally become a victim? Or have you made intentional choices to stretch and flex those growing muscles?
I know. So many questions here. But these are the things I would ask if you were before me, and we could have a conversation.
I will leave you with this nugget. Forgiveness is the first thing in the order of working through a difficult season with another human. Forgiveness is often misconstrued and added to. Even the dictionary definition is so limited in its scope. Forgiveness is NOT saying what happened was ok, was no big deal, or was right.
Forgiveness is you saying, “I will not be your judge, nor will I be your prosecutor. I will leave the judgment and the payment for the wrong done in the hands of someone bigger than me. I release you so that I can grow, so that I can move forward in life.”
Unforgiveness is you creating your own bondage, your own prison. On the path of growth and wisdom – forgiveness is required. You simply cannot grow beyond your last offense!
Love you all – feel free to email or reach out to let me know your wisdom as well! I’d love to hear from you!