The Process Leads to the Promise (Untucked Column #6)
If you have ever had a major surgery of any kind, most will tell you that the procedure itself is not that bad compared to what comes next: the rehabilitation. The time it takes to regain the use of what was damaged is a pain staking process. Trained professionals have opened you up to repair what was broken. You are told over and over that you will get better but it will take time. Accepting that healing rarely happens overnight is difficult to accept because we inherently do not like to wait. The time in which we live now – where access to information and gratification is simply a few taps of our phone screen away – the idea of process becomes more and more challenging.
There are some things in life that can only be understood with time. There are things that can only come to pass with time. No matter how much we try to wish it into existence, we cannot speed time up. Although it may feel like time goes by faster and faster with every year you are alive, it is still the same 24 hours every single day. If you are in a season of waiting; a season of preparation; a season of healing; or a season of rehabilitation of any sort, time can be your ally if you allow it to be.
Consider seeds we plant in the ground. I know very little about gardening but what I do know is what that seed is supposed to become over time with the proper care and environment. I wish that seed would produce a harvest overnight but it has a process to growth. A seed will not stay a seed forever but it needs three things to grow: water, correct temperature (warmth), and good location (type of soil). Are we really so different?
What kinds of things are we doing to “stay hydrated” during our season of process? This is no time to get complacent and angry that we are not where we want to be in life; it is a prime opportunity to soak up as much love and knowledge as we can while we continue to wait. The truth you store up in silence comes back to you when the storm comes.
The sunshine and warmth that a seed needs to flourish often comes by surrounding ourselves with a small group of people where we can be open about our struggles – a place to be transparent and vulnerable. Transparency is allowing someone to see what’s going on inside of you. Vulnerability is allowing someone to see inside AND speak into your life. Both are necessary for growth and healing.
Finally, the type of soil where we decide to plant is of the utmost importance. Gardeners will tell you this is arguably the most critical factor in a seeds’ growth. The greatest growth happens not so much when the gardener is doing their part but when the dirt is doing its part. Let the dirt do its work. In this case, lets consider dirt as an acronym: D.I.R.T. Disappointment, Insecurity, Rejection, and Trouble.
Every bit of what sparked this season of change in your life, every circumstance that led to this process that you are walking through, allow it to be a part of your growth. Betrayal is something that others do to you – bitterness is something you do to yourself.
Don’t just go through the process – grow through the process. You cannot speed up your growth process but you can slow it down. This will require building a fence around those seeds you have planted in the garden of your growth process.
It is going to be extremely difficult to stand firm and believe for the strength to let go if you’re still entertaining the thing or person you’re trying to break free from. You cannot heal in the same environment where you got sick. If you never heal from what hurt you, you will bleed on people who didn’t cut you. This is all a part of the process. The process hurts but that doesn’t mean the results won’t be fantastic.
So many get stuck in their process because they constantly want to be somewhere else. If you are going to thrive in the process, you must not rush it. It’s easy to compare where you are with where you want to be, and to feel a ton of pressure and fear to close the gap in between. Fall in love with the process and the results will come.