• Tara Banks

The Becoming...

Have you ever had a day when you looked in the mirror, and maybe you even blinked several times because all of a sudden you realized you were different? Your hair was longer - seemingly overnight. Or your eyes looked tired - especially today. Or your clothes were fitting juuuuust a little differently. Yes - been there.


The funny thing about growth and change is that it's difficult to see it happening in the moment. Physical growth just happens. We do not have to will our bodies to grow and change; it is the way we are designed. Over time, we simply grow. The perspective of the day-to-day makes it hard to see physical growth because of our proximity to it, but it's happening.

(Proof: I recently found this pic of my youngest when he was 5. Hello highwaters.)


Spiritual growth, however, is an intentional choice to grow and change. It usually starts with a decision and comes from the slow-growth process that is a product of daily walking with Jesus, showing up, and choosing Him day in and out.... or not. (That's a decision, too.)


In the same way that no one ever just happened to become a world-class musician, and you will never hear "Oops, I accidentally became an Olympian," no one just happens to become more like Jesus. Instead, spiritual growth is an intentional and purposeful lifelong journey to follow after him.

Additionally, our growth to become more Christ-like does not happen "all of a sudden." It takes time and is meant to be a becoming, not an arriving. Even in an age of convenience and we-want-it-now, and same-day Amazon, truly, there is no drive-thru version of Godly character.

Just like it takes years for an acorn to grow from seed to sapling to shade tree, Godly character is no different. You cannot simply 'become' after a 6-week class, conference, app download, or great sermon series. While all of those things are great supplements and are excellent encouragements, spiritual growth takes time. There is no substitute for a lifelong chase of Jesus in the day-to-day.


Like physical growth, spiritual growth can sometimes be hard to see in ourselves because we see ourselves all the time. And while it can also be hard to see while it's happening, our 'becoming' can be just as noticeable when given the right perspective. Step back and look closer, and you'll see it. It's often the blessing of distance, time, or a season, that allows our eyes to finally focus on it and see it for what it is. If you'll watch for it, it'll be those times you run into a friend you haven't seen in weeks, or when you're talking on the phone with a relative you haven't spoken to in a while, and you will -


- hear yourself say something in a way that feels different... better

- feel a nudge from the Holy Spirit to say something encouraging or hard.... when you would typically not

- react to a situation differently than you have before... because you see it with more compassion


And you realize... you are different. You believe differently now than you did before. Your mindset has been shifted by the encounter you've had with the Lord in this last gap of time. You've learned. You've survived the season. You've leaned on Jesus. You know Him better. It's happened. You've grown.


Fellow "Wait-er", the question of the day to pause and consider is who are we becoming? When we look out over the arc of our lives - all that's been said and lived and whatever will be remaining - what do we see? Are there patterns, daily habits, and intentions leading us towards growth? Are the practices we're putting into place today leading in the direction we want our lives to be marked by when we're looking back?


At the start of this new spring season, I'm reminded again I'm so grateful for them: spans of time in which life happens so that growth can be seen, marked and celebrated. If you're in a season that's been challenging and the next steps seem like all is frozen-cold still, be reminded that all the beauty of the earth sits nestled beneath winter's quiet and is just waiting to show off in the spring. If it feels like the winter of your soul is still hanging on, be encouraged growth will happen, seasons change, and so will this. Step into the promise of the spring of your soul with intention. Lean into Jesus. Take one step closer to Him. As you do - you'll experience surprise growth, and as you look back on this time, you will be able to see Him helping you grow as you pause to hear his voice and listen to hear what He is saying.


-TB


"My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me." - John 10:27




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