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Fear, Growth, and Change

How These Are Related, and Why It’s Important

Growth. 

It’s a good thing, a sign of health and life.  Watching plants push through the ground, buds pop out on the branches of trees, babies learning to sit, walk, and run, these are all signs that growth is occurring, and I love to watch it happen. 

I see growth happening in my children as they learn how to do new things in their school work-reading becomes smoother and less choppy; addition and multiplication facts become second nature instead of a difficult concept; gathering information for reports is no longer overwhelming.

Growth is good; it means things are changing and developing and alive.

Sometimes I get frustrated with life and the process of growth.  It’s easy to forget that growth is a process and takes time.  Or maybe it’s not so much that I forget that it takes time to grow as it is that I don’t want it to take time.  I want instant growth and results.  I get impatient and don’t want to persevere thru the challenges and changes that growth demands I go thru.  When I choose to resist the changes and growth that is trying to happen, I become angry and disillusioned, and the entire process takes much longer and is much, much more difficult. 

As long as I’m breathing, growth is trying to happen, but I can choose to resist it. 
My oldest child turned 11 several weeks ago.  He’s almost as tall as I am and is totally loving that.   While I’m not sure when the last 11 years happened, I’m loving this stage!  On his birthday, hubby and I were reminiscing about when Alex was born and how it majorly shifted our lives.  As I thought back and lived thru the memories of becoming a new mom, the growth of the last 11 years became very obvious. 

When I became a mom, God showed me so many things about His relationship with me and how He feels about me as His child.

It was an overwhelming season full of changes, but God became a dear Friend of mine through it.  When I got up with Alex in complete exhaustion at night to feed him,  I started to understand, since there was no way that I was going to ignore my son’s crying when I just wanted to pull the covers over my head and go back to sleep, that God cared for me in ways that I hadn’t even begun to realize.  God used that season of my life to show and teach me many things about how He felt about me. 

Fear is fear even when it seems like we can justify the reason that we are feeling it.  But fear is not from God; it’s one of the biggest weapons of the enemy of our souls.

When I became a mom, I was afraid.  Afraid of many things really.  Afraid of change, of being responsible for a little person, afraid that I would get things wrong, afraid of letting people down…just afraid.

When I heard teaching on the quote, “Every decision we make in our lives is based in either love or fear,” it was life-changing for me!

I knew that many decisions I made and thoughts that I was thinking were based in fear of some kind.

Change is often difficult for many of us. 

Very often, change stirs up fear, but without change, growth won’t happen. Growth facilitates change.  Or change facilitates growth. 

Growth and change are “hand in glove.”

The following letter written by Marin Van Buren, governor of New York, to President Jackson about a wicked development threatening the nation demonstrates perfectly how we resist change yet how necessary it is to embrace it.

January 31, 1829

To President Jackson,

                The canal system of this country is being threatened by the spread of a new form of transportation known as “railroads.”  The federal government must preserve the canals for the following reasons:

1.        If canal boats are supplanted by “railroads,” serious unemployment will result.  Captains, cooks, drivers, hostlers, repairmen and lock tenders will be left without means of livelihood, not to mention the numerous farmers now employed in growing hay for the horses.

                2.    Boat builders would suffer, and towline, whip and harness makers would be left destitute.

3.       Canal boats are absolutely essential to defend the United States.  In the event of the expected trouble with England, the Erie Canal would be the only means by which we could ever move the supplies so vital to waging modern war.

As you may well know, Mr. President, “railroad” carriages are pulled at the enormous speed of fifteen miles per hour by “engines” which, in addition to endangering life and limb of passengers, roar and snort their way through the countryside setting fire to crops, scaring the livestock, and frightening women  and children.  The Almighty certainly never intended that people should travel at such breakneck speed.

-Martin Van Buren, Governor of New York

 It’s rather amusing, isn’t it?

The big advantage we have reading this letter is that we are reading it many years after it was written!   Hindsight is always easier to understand than foresight!

Growth is a process that takes time and means change, there’s no way around it.  

Change is often difficult and messy and has the potential to be fear-inducing, but it means that there is life.

Fear is the enemy’s tool, and it is the opposite of trusting in our heavenly Father.

Almost constantly, when we embrace the cycle, we are growing and changing.  In whatever area of life that God is working in to break, mold, or strengthen you, are you yielding to Him, allowing Him to bring change, growth, and life?  Are you trusting Him rather than giving in to fear that can threaten to choke or immobilize you?

Growth is worth it.  You can trust Him.

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