Before my family moved to Mexico in October 2009, I became convinced that our eight months in Mexico would be an amazing time for me to grow in my walk with God. People told me before I left what a great growth experience it was going to be for me, and I had even worked it all out with God that I was going to grow so much in my faith while we were there.
But a month or two into the trip, I found myself sitting on my little bed, writing in my prayer journal by the light of the flashlight app on my iPod.
“What happened to this being a time of growth?” I demanded. “I thought I was going to come here and grow and really become more like You while I’m here!” I told God. I felt ripped off and rather frustrated with the failure of my growth mission.
But then, as I sat in the dark and listened to the neighbor’s dog bark, I suddenly realized that I was growing; my very motivation to grow indicated an increased desire to become more like Christ. In other words, that I wanted to grow was growth in itself.
I scribbled this realization in uppercase letters across the page, then paused as God brought another thought to my mind. Sometimes, the times that feel like I’m struggling the most is when I am growing the most. Growing more like Christ is not all rainbows and butterflies; God helps me, guides me, and protects me, but sometimes it’s hard. Sometimes I don’t do a great job. And a lot of the time it doesn’t even feel like I’m going anywhere.
But I trust a God who promised to not quit on me until He’s all finished, which will be when I get to Heaven. He’s not giving up on me and He’s not giving up on you.
So that’s good.