Growth is tricky, because some growth is natural, while other growth is intentional.
Think about a child - in the blink of an eye they go from crawling to walking...then speaking gibberish to speaking words...then on to talking in complete sentences and holding conversations. They aren't necessarily aware that they are growing physically and maturing emotionally and developmentally - it just happens. That's natural growth...
We as adults are able to identify growth in children - we can see someone has gotten taller; when they use a word we've never heard them use before, our listening perks up and we are excited about what might come next! We kind of brag as they develop, applaud their milestones, and are happy to help further them along.
But why doesn't that same spirit transition over to how we identify growth in others? For some reason, it seems as though individuals like to put a time limit one another's growth. If others would have it their way, they'd like to say "Ok, that's enough growth for you!" Or, "You...yeah you...stop right there...thank you for how much you've grown -- you're done now!" And I am careful not to blame it all on others, because, often times, I believe we ourselves are afraid to challenge our own growth. We get to a certain point in life and begin to have the "I guess this is it..." conversations in our minds. Never mind all of the things we always said we wanted to be, all the places we wanted to go, all the things we wanted to do. Just like others will attempt to convince us that we are done growing, we work hard at convincing ourselves of the same exact thing. We create reasons, or rather, excuses as to why we can't, why we shouldn't, or ,simply, why we won't.
If we are blessed to be placed in uncomfortable positions - positions that we can only get through by growing through? - that discomfort creates the atmosphere for growth. We have to keep striving to reach that level of comfort we are looking for --- and if God really has the best in store for us, we may experience discomfort for what seems like a loooonnngggg time... But we may need that time to keep pushing, pursuing, developing, trying, learning, doing... He knows that if we get too comfortable, we will simply stop... So the discomfort is dragged out a little while longer... Kind of like when a Master waves a treat in front of a pet to get them to keep coming in the direction they want them to go... Trials and tribulations are just like those treats...as we grow through them, we get closer and closer to where we need to be...to where He would have us be... this is intentional growth...
But, a lot of people don't like to see you grow. You see, it's nothing personal about you, your ability, your gift, your future...they simply don't understand what it is that you are doing. This usually comes from individuals that have resolved "this is it for me", or "I'm content with where I am"... while they consciously make a decision to remain where they are - whether they be in a great, mediocre, or even bad place - they are subconsciously content with where you are as well... No sudden moves are to be made by anyone... As they kick back with their feet up, or perhaps they're an individual that has resolved to just keep their head buried in the sand, and they look through their peripheral psyche, and see you start to move, it's like they want to say "Where you think you going???" And then they fall into what I call the "SINCE WHEN???" cycle...
This is when others see you grow and begin to QUESTION and DISCREDIT what you are doing, with a series of "SINCE WHEN???" statements... kind of like this:
"Since when did he start working out?"
"Since when did she start going to Church?"
"Since when did she start singing?"
"Since when did he start helping the homeless?"
"Since when did he start modeling?"
"Since when did she start writing?"
And when they can't get those answers, it changes to "WHO MADE YOU AN AUTHORITY???":
"Who made her an authority on this subject?"
"Who told him he could do that?"
"What makes her think she can open her own business?"
"Why is he doing that?"
"Oh, now she wanna try and go back and finish what she started?"
"Oh, now he wanna do that thing everyone told him he should've done 10 years ago?"
And good Lord, not the "I REMEMBER WHEN!!!" group:
"I rembember when she used to be over here doing this..."
"I remember when he used to be over there doing that..."
My advice regarding all of the above is: IGNORE IGNORE IGNORE!!!! Don't get mad, don't feel hurt, and if nothing else, PLEEEAASSSEEE DON'T GET DISTRACTED!!!!!!
People may not always understand how you are growing.... and they may not be able to clearly see where you are going...
But don't stop!!!! Whatever that passion is inside of you, the spark that sets you in motion, or even just the dim candle that gives you a flicker of hope --- focus on those things... do those things... grow in those things...
When the question is asked, SINCE WHEN??? If you must answer, it doesn't matter if the answer is TODAY!!!! SINCE TODAY!!!!!! SINCE RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW, IN THIS MOMENT!!!! That's when...
THERE IS NO EXPIRATION ON WHEN YOU CAN START AND NO EXPIRATION ON WHEN YOU SHOULD BE FINISHED!!!!! If you wish you would have done it 5 years ago, it OK to do it now...and if people think you shouldn't be trying to start nothing new, thank God they don't hold your future or your blessings in their hands!!!
BOTTOM LINE: DO YOU!!!!
SINCE WHEN???? SINCE RIGHT NOW is all they need to know!!!! The gifts inside of you have been there since before you were born... You received your ordination and anointing before you were formed in the womb!!!! If it took you tripping over a few stumbling blocks before you could actually see it, to receive the blessings in store for you...that's perfectly fine... nobody's business but you and the Lord...
Be encouraged that while others may not understand your growth, you understand the Spirit that dwells within...you understand your calling... you understand the steps you must take... and you even understand the tests you must endure...
Keep going!!! Don't give up!!! You got this!!!! They may not understand... but He does!!! The revelation is for YOU!!!! Once you've received it, share it with the world :-) It's Ok...
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