Have You Grown this Year?

Curve ball. This is typically asked at the end of the calendar year but because this month marks the end of a series my community group at church has been doing, our group leaders are asking us to be prepared to answer this question this week when we meet and because it’s being asked of me, I now ask it of you. So tell me, how have you grown since May 2010? You know, emotionally, spiritually… What has challenged you and how has it changed you? What did you think you knew last May that you realized you have no clue about? What do you understand better about God? Or what’s less clear about God? That can be a sign of growth too, I think. Realizing the things you don’t know.

For me, it’s been a year of growth—as all years are–but not exponentially. Of course this is all relative. When I lived overseas for a year, I was learning about the countless cultural nuances of the English, fighting against sunless days, missing milestones occurring with my friends and family back home. I was growing daily and feeling the pains of it.

This year’s growth has been much less dramatic, much to my disappointment. But when I look at it closely, I see many changes. My thoughts on a few issues are either in the process of changing or have changed and dramatically so: God’s sovereignty, contentment and my struggle with it, the importance of community and accountability—just to name a few.

Sometimes growth does not necessitate intention, like when you’re living abroad or going through a crisis. Your circumstance provides enough soil. But often growth does require us to be intentional about it. I know if I had told myself every morning since last May to be alert to growing opportunities around me, I would be a different person today.

Perhaps May 2012 will be a product of this mindset.

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7 thoughts on “Have You Grown this Year?

  1. Well, this is the perfect timing for this post. I can honestly tell you I am not at all where I thought I would be- even a year ago. As of this weekend, I’m a college graduate. An unemployed college graduate at that. One who’s headed to China this sumer to teach English and then job searching. But spiritually, it’s been a longer journey. A journey that’s far from over. One that has included countlessly repeating, “I just want to write” and finding graduate school opportunities to do that. And God saying, “Not now.” Now waiting, praying, crying, hoping… As I seek to be used no matter where I am, even if it means living in my childhood bedroom for a few months until He decides He wants me to go somewhere else. Even though I do not enjoy this limbo one bit, I do realize that God’s doing something with me in this time in between. He’s teaching me obedience and trust if nothing else. Imagine the faith I would have if I didn’t go through this… it definitely wouldn’t be as strong.

    Katie

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    1. I always love hearing your thoughts, Katie. The post-college years are tough but wonderful. And loving to write is also tough but wonderful. The great thing about writing is you can do it anywhere at anytime, even if it’s not your source of income. Of course, praying for that to one day be the case helps too. I hope you enjoy your time in China and write about all of the growing you’re doing while there.

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      1. Thanks, Andrea! The fact that I don’t need a degree to write has helped a lot. It will definitely be a coping mechanism during this transition time just as much as it will be a pleasurable way to escape.

        Katie

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    2. Wow, going to China are ya? That’s awesome! I don’t know you, never heard of you but you’re now on my prayer list. If you’re working in the field in which God has provided you your education you’re certainly in the right garden for God’s will and your purpose to come to flower. There is nothing more beautiful than God given flowers in a Christians life. Every Christian has had to go through some sort of limbo, waiting time in their life. Your not alone, you’ll never be alone. Carefully read the entire chapter of John 8. Going to China to teach, I really envy you. I’d love to do that too.

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      1. Thank you very much for your prayers! I definitely appreciate them! My friend and I are going this summer. We’ve set up a blog in case you’re interested in following our journey. TheChinaAdventures.blogspot.com. I don’t promise regular updates while we’re there (internet may be a challenge), but I do promise updates as possible and plenty as soon as we get back, I’m sure.

        Katie

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  2. Andrea tnx so much for ur posts, I’m always so blessed by them, I knw u asked this question in may and right nw its august but its something I have bin ponderin on too for a wyl, dis year for me has been very challenging especially financially and emotionally but somehow I knw dat I ve grown, not in d way I expected to but its growth all d same and I am grateful.
    P.S: I wld also like to add that I am a huge fan of your dad’s books 🙂

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