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  • Renata Joseph

Am I grown yet?


Talking with Eddie and several of our friends, there's a sense that we should be grown by now. Instead of feeling like we've arrived at a state of done-ness, there's a feeling of unbalance or uncertainty. By now (my 40's) I want to be the person I imagined myself to be as a child. I want to have arrived. I want to feel settled, no longer searching for meaning or trying to "become."


In relationships, in careers, in ministry and internally, we are constantly growing. Or should be. As a young person, I never thought of that. I never looked at my parents as works in progress. To me they were static entities that were stable and dependable. To think that as I struggled and searched as a young person, they were doing the same, is weird to me.


To be honest, coming to grips with the fact that I will never "arrive" is a little disappointing and a bit overwhelming. I don't want to keep working at things. I want to get my life where I want it and have it stay that way. I love the way Mr. Incredible described it in the Disney movie, The Incredibles:


"No matter how many times you save the world, it always manages to get back in jeopardy again. Sometimes I just want it to stay saved! You know, for a little bit? I feel like the maid; I just cleaned up this mess! Can we keep it clean for... for ten minutes!"

My life needs fixing constantly; constant maintenance, constant effort, constant pruning. When I don't keep up with it, things fall apart. My health deteriorates, my relationships get strained or distant, I become a mess. And when I do, I don't feel like I have it in me to pull it all together again.


Philippians 2:12-13 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.


This passage reminds me to keep on. Continue working out my salvation, continue to put in the effort, continue to figure out who and whose I am, and what the heck I'm here for anyway! It is God who works in me to will and act. If I can't summon up the will to do what I'm called to do, He will work in me to get me there. He will light a fire in me to get me moving when I'm tired and my progress has ground to a halt.


I need to have grace for myself. To let myself have bad days or "off" weeks. I need to acknowledge that I'm not done growing, but the growth I'm walking into will require God's strength and presence in my life.


I'm grown enough to know that much.

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