Where Are You Growing?
Recently, I had an epiphany. The situation might seem trivial to you. But here it is…. Has God ever used your being ostracized and rejected to open your eyes? Sometimes that is exactly what it takes for you to realize the true cause of your frustration.
Suppose you found out, after the fact, of not being invited to a group outing. Maybe a friend lied to you about why they left you out. How would being overlooked affect you? Would you feel hurt and rejected? No? Just keep reading. Yes? If that’s you, I have news for you to ponder. Let us unravel this knot.
Some times the pain you feel from the way someone treats you overshadows logic. You think your feelings are hurt; and you fail to see what is really happening. But after you calm down, you realize your feelings are not hurt. You are actually disgusted with yourself for allowing a grown person’s deception bother you. Has that ever happened to you?
There is a difference in being frustrated and having hurt feelings.
What if you discovered a supposed friend purposely left you out of something? Did the dagger of rejection twist in your gut when you uncovered how they lied about the situation? Yes? Don’t fret. Sometimes you need confirmation to what’s been in your spirit a while; and unfortunately, it comes through pain.
But could you have avoided the pain? Maybe! Especially when you have seen little signs of their deceptive ways. A disregard here; or an “Oop I forgot” there. You have heard whispers in your spirit; “that person is not your friend.” Feelings of discontent pop up when you are around them. You see their unexplained irritation with you. You even notice how differently they treat you around certain people. Wake up, my friend and smell the coffee.
The sisterly (or brotherly) bond you thought you had with that person does not exist. The forced smiles. The subliminal competition. The inability to congratulate you on your new home, new car, new job, new career opportunity, ministry elevation, or other life accomplishments. The low-key hater remarks. The undermining of your convictions about how you live for Jesus. The attempts to make you feel bad about what you do not have. All those direct and indirect jabs have purpose. But how do they affect you?
How do they cause you to grow?
Recently, I went through a situation like the one mentioned above. At first, I was frustrated, and overwhelmed with pain from rejection. But, I thank God for my being left out and lied to. I initially fretted because of the hurt; but the inward turmoil unveiled a reality for me.
Reality hits when God’s Word and the Holy Spirit pricks your heart.
One afternoon, I sat home awaiting a call from a person who told me they would contact me. I was looking forward to going with them and some others. That morning, I went to my grandson’s basketball game and came straight home to change for the outing.
You know how it feels to wait. After a few hours, and no call; I thought, “They’re not coming.” I worked on a lesson to kill time. I kept my clothes on; so I would be ready if they called. But it never happened. All kinds of defeating thoughts crossed my mind. I went from being irritated, to feeling hurt. The attack was great. I wondered why this small seemingly trivial thing bothered me so.
So, I rebuked the negative thoughts, prayed, and quieted myself to hear from The Lord. The Spirit of the Lord uttered, “Rochelle, your feelings are not hurt. You have known for some time; this person is not your friend. The pain you are feeling is not because you discovered a faux bosom buddy; or you were left out. You are grieving the loss of your daughter. …June 3, 2017 marks the third anniversary of her death. Your true earthly friend died when your daughter died. You are not hurt from rejection. The yearning you are feeling is for your daughter; not for people to want you around them. Actually you could care less. You are comfortable reading your Bibles and books; writing your manuscript and blog posts; preparing lessons; teaching; pushing towards a PhD; and enjoying your family. The reason you are sad is because, you miss your daughter. You miss your genuine friend. When so-called friends throw you away; it’s just a reminder that your true earthly friend is dead.”
Wow! Thank you Lord! Those words of correction really straightened me out. They helped me grow. The enemy of my soul wants me to seek the closeness I had with my daughter through people. It is not going to happen. I love my sons; and the Lord is strengthening our bond; but they are sons. They love me; and try their best; but they are sons. Sons don’t fill the void of daughters being gone; just as daughters don’t fill the void of lost sons. But, make no mistake. My sons and I have wonderful relationships; second to none.
Presumptions are real in where you are growing.
My friend, why would you presume a pseudo friend is a true friend? Especially when you have experienced their salty ways in the past. Some people do not have the ability to be a friend to you. That is why, when they disappoint you; shake it off, and forgive them. When they let you down, the question is…….
Why are you surprised when certain people shun you?
Unless the Lord is preeminent in a person’s life; their unlovely ways stay. No matter how much a leopard might try to camouflage, it doesn’t change its spots. A back stabber will remain a back stabber. A person who lied to you unnecessarily in the past will do it again. Anyone who listens to your idea; and uses it for their own gain is not your friend. So see the situation as a lesson learned. Grow up!!
Where are you growing?
The imperative phrase, “Grow up,” insults some people. Not me. I like that phrase. It beats growing down. When told to. “Grow up;” you are really being pointed in a positive direction. I would rather go towards up; and not down.
Again, where are you growing?
Think about it. Childish emotions create childish patterns. You have two choices. 1) Continue to fret into stagnation; Or 2) Grow….
1. Sulking and fretting….
- Only weigh you down. Do not spend unnecessary brain time on irrelevant people or situations. You have way too much to do. I read a quote that says, “You see a person’s true colors when you are no longer beneficial to their life.” Shake off the dismay; enjoy seeing new colors. Think about it; seeing things for what they are is a sign that your growth has taken flight. Rejoice, my friend, and….
- Grow through it. When you grow through something; you draw closer to the Lord in the midst. The problems you plow through are minute compared to the life lessons you learn. This lets you know, you are heading up.
- Grow with it. When you grow with something you are at your God-given pace. You do not have to compete. Yet, when people do not want your presence; realize there are more fish in the pond. Take your scissors out and break ties with unhealthy alliances. A pruned grape-vine allows for fresh grapes to grow. Get rid of old played out relationships. Allow new to enter your life. You are prospering on your job; in your education, career and ministry. So keep growing,
- Grow to it. When you grow to it; you push towards where God is causing you to grow. You grow to the realization that you are an eagle.
My friend, I pray you are growing in your everyday life, relationships, career, ministry, business. I pray you are growing to where God is taking you. Just grab hold to Philippians 4:13. “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
Thank you for joining me today. I’ll leave you with the question; “Where are you growing?” We will talk soon.