When I was about nine I had bad growing pains in my legs.
My legs were growing really fast and my body was having a hard time keeping up with the rate of growth.
For awhile, it seemed like my young body was literally two-thirds legs and one-thirds torso. A little awkward. And painful.
There was nothing I could do to stop the growing. It was a good and necessary development. But it in that season, it just kept growing and growing and growing and then when the pain got overwhelming and I couldn’t escape my body, I’d lay on the cool sheets on top of my white, IKEA bunk-desk bed, and just cry.
That’s sort of how I feel in life right now.
For the past few years of my life, I have been growing and growing and growing. It seems that I haven’t even finished absorbing the first lesson before the second and third and forty-seventh start pushing at my heart.
My eyes never stop observing and my heart never stops feeling. Even when I try to make them stop. I am constantly aware of the lessons life is teaching me. I am constantly processing the experiences surrounding me and involving me.
I love processing. I really enjoy learning lessons. And although it can hurt, I don’t mind that much when my eyes are opened about my flaws and I’m the one that has to change.
But the fact that I haven’t taken a breather from new lessons for lots of years keeps catching up with me. There are times when it's overwhelming.
Sometimes it’s painful, like my leg-growing pains. There are times when I can’t get away from it and it hurts and I just have to cry. How can I reconcile all these new ideas? How can I know what truth is if I was sure something was true and I find out it's not? How can I trust when trust has been broken?
But sometimes, this process is glorious! Everything I am constantly learning is showing me more of who Jesus really is and there are times when I feel it all bubbling up inside me. I can feel my joy and gratefulness growing deeper and deeper inside me.
And just when it seems I couldn’t take more joy, I’ll see something beautiful, like when I'm driving down the freeway and beholding a gorgeous evening sky with puffy pink-and purple-hued clouds and the sun behind it all illuminating the colors and streaming out beyond the edges. Those are the moments when my tears again pour out and spill down past the biggest smile my lips can form.
Maybe this is how life will always be as an adult. It’s been my only experience of adult-life so far. Perhaps I will get more and more used to these constant growing pains.
But I wouldn't rather trade the lessons and the joy and the deep satisfaction when God finally illuminates the answers for anything, despite all the pain involved.
Has God been expanding anything in your heart lately? Do you ever feel overwhelmed with observations and lesson-learning in life?