I was fortunate to have a mother who took her faith seriously, and I must confess that I took full advantage of all her hard work. As long as she was alive, I could neglect my own Spiritual Growth. If I had a question about God, I could go to her. She had the answers I yearned for. But when she died, my lifeline to God died too.
She was young, and so was I. The trauma of losing my mother, at the very time I was becoming a mother, threw me into a tailspin. She left with so many of my questions, unanswered. I felt so alone, and so stupidly ignorant of my own faith. I knew I would need answers to my questions as I entered motherhood, so I began seeking God on my own. I had no choice.
A humble change occurred in me, I transformed from an aloof, comfortably disinterested Christian, into a sponge, soaking up every bit of knowledge I could find. Her death devastated me, I was desperate, and in that desperation, God met me. I have found that when I set my heart and mind to seek Him, He delivers on his promise to be found.
Along my journey, I have discovered many people who are hesitant to pursue spiritual growth. The truth is, as long as you are alive, you are growing. The growth is either active, into the warm, likeness of Christ, or passive, further into the cold, likeness of our broken selves.
There are many misconceptions about Spiritual Growth; What it is, or isn’t? Is it even possible? And how do you maintain momentum amid the demands of life. Time is a big issue, but Spiritual Growth has two chief enemies; time and attitude.
There will never be enough time for Spiritual Growth, and time is essential. Just as a seedling needs time to sprout, pushing through the hard dirt, we need to allow our new selves time to sprout and push through our hard hearts. We must MAKE or TAKE the time to focus inwardly, intentionally, and allow growth the time it needs. It is not a quick process, but it is a process, not a destination.
Spiritual Growth also demands a specific attitude, that being – humility. I was never interested in growing spiritually until my mother died. Honestly, I didn’t think I needed to grow … but in her absence, I was faced with a choice; strike out on my own, in the ignorant confidence of my own abilities and understandings, or admit that I needed what I did not have; inner strengthening.
And what is the purpose of this inner strength? Is it merely to give us the ability to cope with what life slings at us? No, although it helps us cope with life’s issues, the real purpose of Spiritual Growth is so that we may know fully the breadth and length and height and depth of the love of Christ, a love that truly surpasses understanding.
Spiritual Growth has been my life’s focus since my mother’s death, 30 years ago. I look back and I hardly recognize the person I was. I learned in a very dark season, that you must take your own spiritual growth seriously, for no one can do it for you. God does not want to love us through another person, he desires an intimacy with each of us, an intimacy that can only be developed over time.
Join me, as I share what I have learned.
9 thoughts on “A is for ATTITUDE”
This is true–no one can do it for us, as much as sometimes I wish they would! Thoughtful, and thought provoking post.
I thought my mother could do it for me, and consequently, I thought I could do it for my children … thankful I’m not living under that illusion any more.
Your post makes me think of not just faith, but all the things I take for granted that others will just “take care of.” If course, they won’t, but I’m lazy too often. Thanks for spurring me to action tonight.
So true, we can get into patterns of depending on others. Everyone deserves the right to be their own work.
Yes, I’m still UNlearning what others taught me, both directly and indirectly, about God. I need to do that learning on my own.
Unlearing – yes, an important movement forward.
My spirit feels like it is shrinking from a lack of attention. I’m going through a drought, so to speak, and know what needs to change when it feels like God is far away. It is I who has moved, not He.
A confounding comfort, that God doesn’t move from us. Still we search and worry where is He?! Praying for rain in your drought.
Thank you Valerie. I’m working on it.