But, friend, it is not your job to keep the world spinning. We already have a God who does that, and He does a much better job than you do.
I hate change. Especially big change. In fact, I once cried when my family decided to move the Christmas tree into the dining area instead of its traditional living room corner. Why did I shed tears over this? Because it was change, and I wasn’t comfortable with the unknown, even if it was for something as small as a Christmas tree.
What I didn’t realize until my 20s was that growth is synonymous to change. You cannot have growth without change. So, as you might have assumed, I hate growth equally as much as I hate change. Don’t get me wrong; I love the hindsight of it. I bask in the endgame of seeing God’s faithfulness and how He has molded me into a better human. But in the nitty-gritty of growth, when the seed is breaking through the soil, I don’t think about the big picture and the benefits of that season; all I can think about is the hurt and how uncomfortable I feel.
With that said, I am here to tell you that it is okay to grow. God made creation to experience change. Just as the tree gets taller and the sun rises and sets, you are made to grow and change. The hard part is trees don’t have to cut some people out of their lives to experience metamorphosis, nor does the sun have to break routines and patterns to rise.
When we are young, and our bodies are growing taller, we experience growing pains, just as we do when our seasons of life are ending and changing. For a person in a sinful world, growth is uncomfortable, both literally and mentally.
It’s Okay to Outgrow a Job
Sometimes your 18-year-old self had different plans than your 30-year-old self. And please hear me when I say that just because you like your coworkers and they are depending on you does not mean you have to stay at a job or in a field that you loathe. If you choose to leave your current workplace in order to do something else that will truly enrich your life, your coworkers should be happy for you. People-pleasing is a weed, threatening to choke and destroy your growth.
It can be hard when you feel like the weight of the office is on your shoulders. But, friend, it is not your job to keep the world spinning. We already have a God who does that, and He does a much better job than you do.
Jesus wants us to have an abundant life (John 10:10). While everyone holds different opinions on this, I believe that means Jesus would not want you dreading the hours of 9-5 on weekdays and living for your weekends, only to be saddened when Sunday night rolls around. Now, I am not saying to quit your job tomorrow. Jesus gave us common sense, and sometimes, the dreams and passions we have require hard work and time. However, it is okay to allow change into your life as long as it is God-honoring. So, chase that dream (maturely) and be okay with accepting that you have simply outgrown the comfortable workspace.
It’s Okay to Outgrow a Person
Oh, this is a hard one. Out of all the things we outgrow, I believe this is the one that harbors the most pain. Now, outgrowing someone and tossing them to the curb are two different things. Outgrowing might mean that your goals in life change and, therefore, your paths simply no longer align. It also could mean that you have decided to positively change your habits and cannot be in a friendship that negates those changes. However it may look, outgrowing someone does not mean you must no longer love that person. It might simply mean that you don’t allow their actions to have as grandiose an effect on your well-being and decision-making anymore.
This also can open the door for restoration! When one party begins to pull away or fall silent, another might approach and ask, “Why?”. This can lead to a conversation that helps the relationship grow stronger, or it can lead to a healthy agreement that maybe the relationship is no longer beneficial.
It’s Okay to Outgrow Your Clothes
Ladies, we have all been there. Those jeans from high school don’t fit anymore, or that shirt from freshman year of college now looks like a second layer of skin. There’s something that they don’t tell us when we’re young, so let me tell you now. Your body is not finished changing at 18 years old. God made women intricately so they could go through multiple phases of life and be equipped for each one as they approach it. This means that your belly may not look like it did when you were 15. However, at 15, your body did not have the wisdom and strength it carries now.
I know it can be hard to shake the cultural mentality of how beauty should look. We are constantly told to fight growth! We have to fight the wrinkles, the belly fat, the greying hair, etc. But each wrinkle is another day that God allowed you to live! There are thousands of people who would love the chance to stay on earth with their loved ones long enough that their bodies would begin to wrinkle and their hair would begin to grey. When you see signs of changing and aging, it is not a bad thing, but the very opposite. You are growing into a new season with new plans that God has for you.
Take time to appreciate your body and all that it has gotten you through. Many people would give the world to have a body that is healthy enough to worry about little things like belly fat.
It’s Okay to Outgrow a Dream
When you are a little kid, you dream of being a rockstar. While some people quite literally go on to be rockstars, others may keep that dream and simply modify it. You may not be a rockstar, but you do play in a band at weddings or teach music to kiddos at the local elementary school! Some dreams are so special that they stick with us in one way or another.
But sometimes, you can outgrow a dream. I have only been out of college for one year, and my dreams have already shifted. Sure, I still long to see some things come to pass that I dreamed of in college, but God lets seasons change for a reason. In one season, a certain dream may push you to be better. For instance, in college, the dream of being a CEO will push you to study harder and give the classes you take your best effort. And God might will you to be a CEO! Or maybe He wills for you to get that degree and do something even more divine and purposeful, but you needed that dream to push you. Reader, I am not saying that God works that way because I truthfully do not know. But I do know that His works are mysterious and that He loves to make things grow in unexpected ways.
Reader, never forget that it is okay to grow. We don’t like growing because it takes up space and time that we do not think we have or deserve. However, you are allowed to inhabit those things as you blossom into God’s wonderful will for your life.
Photo Credit: ©Unsplash/Markus Spiske
Olivia Lauren is a graduate student passionate about Scripture, particularly the Book of Romans showcasing God's grace. Outside her studies, she enjoys teaching her dog new tricks and finding quicker ways to silence the smoke alarm after trying a new recipe.