I think the willingness to step out of our comfort zones impacts us in so many ways, but all of them result in growth if we are honest with ourselves. We can’t grow by being stagnant in our faith, our life, our love, our career. We have to be willing to take the extra steps in order to succeed. But – man, oh man – taking that first step is so difficult that we are often intimidated to even try.
When we plant seeds, we water them, tend to them, and shelter them. Finally, a sprout peeks through the soil if we are able to keep nurturing the seeds. Once the flower has secure roots, it flourishes with continuous care. As the flower grows stronger, it needs less and less care – it just continues to grow (we even call it “hearty”). The flower blooms and survives the rain, the winds, the storms. In fact, the storms help water the flower. One day, however, the plant outgrows it’s initial flower pot and must be moved to either the ground or placed in a larger pot. Otherwise, the plant ceases to grow. For a period of time after repotting a plant, the plant may even require more care as it secures its roots in its new home. Soon, though, the plant resumes its growth and blooms once again.
The plant grows because it has room to grow. Growth stops when it reaches the limit of its container. Repotting the flower causes a temporary disruption, but then the soil settles, the plant adjusts, and growth begins again.
As I look back on where I began, I realize that there have been many times where I have bloomed and been settled, but also many times where my life has been temporarily disrupted as I’ve been challenged and encouraged. Sometimes the disruptions are shorter than others, but they are ALWAYS temporary. There’s always something just around the corner. Some growth I need to experience. Some nugget of information that I need to learn, often about myself.
Though the disruptions can be painful and terrifying, I am never alone. I have my blessings (my family and friends), caffeine, and Jesus. The coffee may come and go, but Jesus is forever. When I reflect on these times, I can often see the hand of God at work in the orchestration of events, in things that happened that were more than a “coincidence”. Each even was a reminder was guiding me on my way to where I needed to be replanted in order to grow and bloom.
Never in my youth did I expect to be a single mom of two amazing kids, yet here I am. I’m a strong, independent woman and am (hopefully) instilling good things in my children so that they can be amazing members of society and fulfill their goals. I am the woman I am today because I have been allowed to flourish after multiple upheavals. However, there are no longer many traces of the woman I was years ago.
While certainly not all of my “growth opportunities” were pleasant or enjoyable (some were downright tough to endure, honestly), they all worked together to mold me into the person I am today, which is not the person I will be in the future.
Growth is continuous if we allow ourselves to be replanted into unfamiliar soil. God will always challenge our boundaries. He will nurture us, prune us, and replant us many times in our lives. We, in turn, will bloom repeatedly and growth will continue.