Yesterday evening I returned home following a gathering of friends, my mind and heart full from a handful of hours packed with intentional, providential conversation. The kind of conversations we are built for, as one friend put it. Amidst the veggie tray, plastic cups and chocolate cake one simple, vulnerable question was raised and just as an opened window in early spring does, the fresh air of relationship was ushered in.
As I walked into our house brimming with thoughts and gratitude, Rob relayed the events of his evening home with the minis. He told me how Emma cried before bedtime and through her tears told her daddy she feels so different- and she doesn’t want to grow up, she wants to stay little forever. Our parental hearts tender toward her, we wistfully joked about her budding emotion and bracing ourselves as she matures into puberty. At some level however, the struggle of her sweet 6-year-old heart resonated with that of my 33-year-old heart. I feel her growing pains, for my own aches and stretching are actively kicking my butt. Everything that grows must change. And yes, I welcome growth in one breath, but in the next do I curse the very change that accompanies growth? What areas in my life am I sitting on the bathroom floor over- crying to my Daddy, “But I don’t want to grow up! This is too hard, this is uncomfortable!”?
This morning as I blearily wandered to Emma’s bedroom for the early wake-up routine of coaxing her up and out of bed for school, I noticed the light was on. I opened her door to find she was already dressing – a minor miracle in and of itself. As she turned to wish me good morning she told me she got up early today to get herself ready. She’s a “big kid now, and as long as I can help her with her jumper zipper she can get ready by herself.”Throughout the morning preparations for school she relayed her own version of the previous evening’s events to me, and then told me how she woke up today wanting to get herself ready because she is growing up after all. I was left admiring the growth in her, the change she allowed to take root in her heart overnight, and her fresh perspective as she awoke.
I think back to those providential conversations, a mere 18 hours ago- how the departure from our default of small-talk over the veggie tray refreshed my soul. The change was a gift…As the clouds in my soul clear a bit, I understand anew – change is uncomfortable, difficult at times- but the promise of a changed life gives purpose and perseverance through the toughest of growing pains.
May you be changed today friends.