No one would likely say that they don’t want to grow as individuals. We all want to grow in wisdom, in joy, in resilience, in strength, into who we are meant to be in God’s great plan.
However, we don’t always realize that growth of any kind, however good and wonderful, by necessity requires that we outgrow something else in our lives.
Nature and experience tells us this is always true. The chick must break free of the egg and discard it. The snake must shed its skin. The young tree seedling must split apart the shell of the nut. The young child must throw away the once favorite coat to get a new one that fits. And every one of us had to leave the womb that nourished and protected us to begin a life of wonder and independence that could only start outside of it.
It is no different for us today. Growth requires us to outgrow. It may be a habit or a belief. It may be a job or a career. It may be a house or a city. It may be a cherished friend or partner. It may be a small trivial thing or it may be something we think we could never part with, but it is not negotiable: you will have to outgrow something in order to grow.
We have to recognize that this is the price for growth, and that we cannot bargain to avoid it. We also have to have faith that if we are choosing wisely, that the thing we must outgrow will always be worth the price of its pain in the end.
When I changed jobs after sixteen years at the same office, I had to give up a lot that was very dear to me, but I had to have faith that the change and the growth would be worth it. And although the change was hard, much harder than I anticipated, the growth I’ve experienced has been worth it, and I don’t think it could have happened any other way without letting go of my old job.
When I ended a dysfunctional marriage, it utterly broke me apart, and I had to take it purely on faith that there was light at the end of the darkest tunnel I had ever entered. But that light ended up being more freeing and glorious than I ever imagined.
So, where do you need to grow? What do you need to outgrow? Think about it, and share your heart with a friend, and find the faith to know that becoming who you are meant to be is worth anything that you have to leave behind.