Growing Pains

Tonight I have growing pains.  That’s not a metaphor.  I have actual real-life growing pains in my legs.

 I’m reading a book right now called “Walking With God Through Pain And Suffering” by Timothy Keller.  It’s the kind of book that makes you want to read each chapter twice and write notes in the margins, because you know that the first time around you missed as much as you understood.  It can feel at times, that life bears more pain than comfort, more sorrow than joy, more heartache than love.  Maybe that’s true.  Maybe it’s all perspective.  Maybe it’s 1 in the morning and I just need a good night’s sleep… The western secular culture tells us that pain is an adversary to be avoided at all costs.  That you are meant to be happy, and that anything standing in the way of our happiness is wrong.  But I’ve seen the beauty in their faces as I’ve sat with loved ones while they struggle through the heartache of growing up, of losing love, of encountering the aimlessness of suddenly being set “free” of the structure and predictability of youth.  And I’ve drudged through my own winter of discontent until my feet are numb and I can barely speak through the iciness of my lips.  We are glued to our devices, craving connection.  We buy things we don’t need in an attempt to elevate our social status… Discontent creates depression, creates hopelessness.  My mom said to me a few days ago, “it’s a short way to go from feeling like you don’t have enough, to you don’t do enough, to you are not enough”. But through the struggle, and through the ache, I have found two things to be undeniably true.  That the point is actually IN the struggle.  And, that it is our choice.  To be consumed, or to stretch.  To allow the pain of the world to swallow you whole, or to allow the suffering that is unavoidable as beings living on this earth to refine our spirits into beautiful, relevant members of the human race.  

I’m not preaching, and I’m certainly no authority on the matter.  Mostly, I’m just trying to remind myself.  Pain is good.  Pain is important.  Pain reminds us that we are alive.  Okay.  I guess it was kind of a metaphor.

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- Lauren -