Whenever someone says, “You’ve grown” I tend to wonder what they see. I know all about my ‘hang ups’ so to speak so I immediately look to my actions or things I’ve done in the past to dictate who I am now and even sometimes where I’m headed. But, I see now that it may be time to take a step back and evaluate my life. Although it can be easier to notice physical growth than it is to notice spiritual or character growth, we don’t always notice immediately. You see, when we’re growing physically—height, weight, etc.—we don’t necessarily notice it right away. It’s not until we have to get that new pair of jeans or the new pair of shoes that we notice we’ve grown.
When it comes to spiritual growth we don’t necessarily need to get anything new or replace anything, or do we? Let’s say you’ve outgrown your favorite pair of jeans. You wore the jeans almost every day—or quite often—and suddenly they no longer fit. It can be upsetting because maybe you feel like the jeans are irreplaceable. That is, until you find the next best pair. You never thought you’d be able to replace your favorite jeans but you found a pair that fits you just right. After awhile, you’ve forgotten all about that other pair of jeans. In fact, it’s time for some spring cleaning and you’ve decided to give them away since you no longer need them. You’ve gotten the perfect pair of jeans to replace them so, you’re good.
The old jeans are no longer a thought. They’re long gone, off to be someone else’s treasure. At some point you get to a place where you forget about them altogether. Yes, they’re jeans but at one point they meant a lot to you. But, you outgrew them so it was time for something new, something better. It was time for the perfect fit.
We can think of life the same way. Daily, we want to be growing—I know I do. Not necessarily physically, but spiritually. I desire to grow as a woman, as a child of God, as a daughter, as a friend, a sister and the list goes on. And I believe I’m on my way to all of the above as I choose to invest in me and in the areas and relationships that matter most. But just like with the need for that new pair of jeans due to physical growth, there’s time for something new in terms of spiritual growth too. I can’t ‘wear’ the same shows, movies, songs or habits. It’s time for those things to be replaced, so much so that like my old pair of jeans, I totally forget about those things. They no longer fit so they won’t serve their purpose well.
I must choose to rid my ‘closet of life’ of anything and everything that no longer fits. Not just physical things like certain movies and tv shows but even characteristics. Oh you know, the ones that like to stick around but have never served a good purpose for you or anyone else and never will. Or even the characteristics that were once ok, but at your age and stage in life, they no longer fit. Things like, jealousy, bitterness, resentment, envy, rudeness, laziness and the list goes on. I’ve dealt with all of these and so many more and it’s a daily process to rid myself of them, but it’s a necessary process. Especially for growth. These characteristics no longer fit, in fact most if not all of them should have never been a fit in the first place.
My point in all of this is, I couldn’t see past the old me to the new me because I was still looking behind me. I was looking at things I’d done and even things I still ‘struggle’ with. Don’t get me started on traffic. But, to get back into perspective, I realize now that I was staring and ‘remembering’ my old clothes instead of realizing my new wardrobe. That doesn’t dismiss the struggles but it gives me the freedom to do away with the struggles until I struggle no more which I 100% believe is possible.
We were all meant to be growing, constantly. Growing doesn’t always feel or look the greatest. But, it’s doable and most importantly it’s necessary. I mean, we’re not the Rugrats, we don’t stay babies forever. So, with growth comes new things—new clothing, lifestyles, relationships, jobs and so much more. We can never fully step into our growth by holding on to what would only fit who we used to be. We will never realize our growth by staring at our old selves. But it’s when we choose to let go of the old and embrace the new that we can truly appreciate and fully grow into who and what we were always meant to be. So, what size are you? 😉