We had a great time in Maui. It was so much fun to spend time with my family and to have Clara meet my grandma for the first time. I’m glad Clara was able to hold it together for that first meeting with my grandma, because for the most part she was having a hard time during our trip. Clara got three new teeth while we were in Maui, which meant a lot of drooling and a lot of fussing.
As he parents, Alycia and I knew that what she was experiencing was a normal part of her development. In fact, it’s a good thing that she was getting in some molars because they’ll enable her to eat and enjoy different kinds of foods. For Clara, though, she was just miserable. Her mouth hurt and she couldn’t do anything to make it better, which led to some fussy times in paradise.
I often feel like Clara. There are parts of my normal development with Christ that I just don’t enjoy. God knows that I need to experience seasons of stretching to really grow, but I’d rather not go through them. God knows that if I really want to have an authentic faith, that faith needs to be tested in a storm every once in a while. God knows that if I really want to be a disciple of Jesus, that I’m going to have to take up my cross.
Stretching, storms and discomfort are natural parts of growing with God. In order to move past her baby foods, Clara needed to grow some teeth. Those teeth may have hurt when they were coming in, but now she’s at a different place in her growth. We may not enjoy everything that we go through, but we can trust that God is using every situation for our benefit.
Last Wednesday Alycia and I put down a holding deposit on an apartment that we thought we liked. The leasing office told us that we would be able to move in this past Sunday, which would have been great for us. Over the next two days, though, the leasing office dropped the ball on a few things and told us that we wouldn’t be able to move in that early. It was frustrating, but Alycia and I were able to see them for how they really were; if they weren’t going to take care of us before we were residents, how much less were they going to take care of us when we were? Thankfully we were able to find another apartment with which we are much happier.
That experience was like Clara’s teeth coming through: uncomfortable and frustrating. Once we got through it, though, we realized that Jesus had our back the entire time. We were able to get out of situation that wouldn’t have been great, and ended up someplace much better. Again it was a frustrating experience, but God used it to remind us of his faithfulness.
Clara’s made it through this round of teething, but we know there are more teeth waiting to poke through. The same is true for any season of stretching that we experience. God is going to stretch us and grow us even if we don’t really like it, and then he’s going to do it again. But any amount of frustration and discomfort is better than not growing at all.
How do you make it through frustrating and uncomfortable seasons of growth?