Life can be funny in that sometimes it takes a storm or two to bring out hidden parts of ourselves we didn’t even know existed. Being a slow learner, it usually takes several more than two for me, but the point is that in order for some types of growth to happen there must be also be pain.
I was reminded of this earlier while cooking green beans for this evening’s festivities. I was blanching them actually, which means boiling the beans long enough for their green color to pop and then quickly dumping them in cold water to stop the cooking process.
From extreme heat to very, very cold, those poor beans went through quite a process, but it was the only way for them to become perfectly suited to what I needed them to be later; bright green and undercooked so they could be sautéd just a few minutes before dinner and be served nice and hot.
The thing is those beans had no choice in the matter. I held all the power, they just reacted naturally to the circumstances I put them in. We humans however are different. We can’t always choose what will happen to us, but we can certainly decide how to react. Unfortunately for many of us that means shutting down when things get tough, just stuff the bad feelings and hope they go away. TI could have written the playbook on this and trust me when I say not only does it not work, but the consolation prize is often a cold plate of bitterness.
This past year has brought a fair amount of loss for me with my dad’s death, along with a couple of beloved pets and a house move. The cut to the heart has been deep of course, but the healing process also transformative, as I’ve allowed myself to feel bad emotions and process things I think in a healthy manner. Much more so than I’ve ever done in the past anyway and for that I credit allowing God to take over and lead me through some pretty uncomfortable places.
I’ve gained a perspective on things I don’t think would have been possible otherwise. Life is more raw but in a good way and relationships have greater importance. I understand better that the difficulties we have with other people have much more to do with what’s going on in our own hearts than anything else and that yes, not only is it possible to enjoy the company of others who may not see the world the same way, but we should strive to do so in our relationships.
I know many others who have or are currently going through some excruciatingly painful things and I would never pretend to understand exactly what’s going on inside their heads or what’s best for them. One thing I can say though is that renewal and regrowth are God’s specialties and there will eventually be relief if you allow yourself to feel the pain.
I’m not happy for the losses I’ve had, but am truly grateful for the brighter, more vivid way I now see the world. I am deeply thankful for my wonderful family and friends and even the difficult people God has brought in to my life. And of course what would I do without all you amazing bloggers out there who have taught me so much.