Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Growing Up

There are ways in which we grow that no one else ever knows.
We fight the dragons of our selfish nature and we emerge from the fire victorious, but we don’t get banquets thrown in our honor.
We don’t go down in history.
The battles that matter most are silent, at least to most of our world.
But our victories over pride and bitterness and self-absorption, small though they may be in the grand scheme of things, are still victories.
Their value is not lessened by their lack of pomp and circumstance.
And our victories, if we know Christ, are not even our own doing.
The strength to fight against pride comes from Him.
The strength to have the humility to even recognize that pride must be fought comes from Him.
I can’t even see my own weakness without His hand opening my eyes.

There are ways in which we grow that no one else ever knows.
Save One.

He knows what it took to destroy that piece of pride that made us hurt the people we love.
He knows what it takes to combat the guilt we still sometimes fall prey to over the damage we once did, despite the forgiveness we’ve received.
He knows that those decisions that look easy to our world are the biggest steps of faith we've ever taken.
He sees the small victories.
He enables the small victories.
He knows how we’ve grown, and He knows how important that growth is to us even when no one else sees anything extraordinary.
But every victory is extraordinary because it means you fought.
You fought the complacency and the comfortable misery and the apathy and the anger and the self-pity and you beat it.
And you beat it with His strength.
You’re stronger now because your identity is composed of less of your broken self and more of the wholeness He supplies.

There’s a song that repeats, “I’m not who I was.”
And I’m grateful that though that phrase can be considered cliché, it’s true of me.
I’m grateful that I lack the ability to win any battle on my own.
I’m grateful that He helps me when I’m fighting those dragons.
I’m grateful that victory is in Jesus and through Jesus and by Jesus and for Jesus.
I’m grateful that He sees it when I grow.

There are ways in which we grow that no one else ever knows.
But knowing that who we were is not all we are,
and that who we are is not all we will be,
can be enough.

This past week, 3rd week, was eventful mainly in how it pointed me to the Lord.
I had homework and spent time with friends and it was a good week. A normal week.
But the weekend gave me a fresh perspective.
I was reminded not to limit God by my fears.
I was reminded that there’s more to life than what goes on or seems possible in my own little world.
I was reminded, even today, that adventures and experiences and people and places can all change my life, but none of them have any ability to fulfill me.
I can’t just hope to find my purpose by changing location, or changing occupation, or even changing myself.
Because my purpose never changes.
It is to “glorify God and enjoy Him forever.”
It is to seek His will.
It is to love Him and love others because He loves me incomprehensibly. 
It is to share the way He changes my life day in and day out.
So this post doesn’t talk so much about what life in Oxford was like from October 27th to November 2nd. 
But you see, that’s because my life doesn’t revolve around Oxford.
Or Cedarville.
Or Roanoke.
Or my family.
Or my friends.
Or myself.
And this week, I was reminded of that.
I love Oxford, and at times I’m pre-emptively heartsick over leaving.
I love the people who have made my time here such a wonderful experience.
But the purpose of these posts is to share what I’m learning,
and this week I learned that not seeing what my future holds,
not being applauded over the small victories,
and not knowing all the answers I wish I did,
aren’t failures.
They are ways in which God reveals Himself.
They are ways through which He helps me grow.

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