When I was a kid, maybe 9 years old, my mom brought home a pair of secondhand boots for me. I absolutely loved them. They were black lace-up, just above the ankle, with a low heel. But they were too big on me.
I knew that I’d grow into them, but I just didn’t know when. So I formulated a plan to ensure that the moment my feet were big enough, I’d be wearing them. So every Sunday after church, I’d sit down on the porch floor and pull them on.
Mom would lovingly chide me, “Your feet didn’t grow in a week!”
But I knew that growth was happening. If my feet were growing, then they would be growing each and every week. Even if I couldn’t notice it.
Every Sunday, I tried on those boots. And every Sunday, they were too big for me. It seemed that change wasn’t happening.
But one day, I fit those boots.
Inner growth is a bit like that, isn’t it? We may be trying to be more patient, more tolerant, more courageous. We may be making effort to be more spiritual, intentional, and disciplined. We may be trying to grow into the boots that God made for us. And that is incredible.
But it’s imperceptible for the most part. It’s frustratingly slow. We try, but we fail. We fall off the tracks. We snap. We slip. We stumble. We don’t notice the growth. No one notices the growth. It may seem like all the effort is for nothing.
But you are growing.
As long as you’re still in the game, you’re growing. Don’t give up. Don’t lose heart. When you fall down, sure, you can lay in the dust for a little while, but then get back up, dust yourself off and keep plugging along.
It’s hard work, this inner growth. But it is the most worthwhile work.
Because one day, one day, you’ll notice.
Maybe you’ll get your windshield peppered with gravel and realize that you didn’t freak out.
Perhaps your most precious dreams will be ridiculed and you’ll marvel at how you just chuckled it off.
One day, you’ll be shocked at your own tolerance, patience, and courage.
You’ll be amazed at the way you handled a situation with grace, ease, and flow.
You’ll inspire yourself at how far you’ve come to fit those boots that seemed so big so long ago.
You are growing. Chin up.
Here’s to Conquering Stress,
The Stress Experts
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Practical Strategies to Deal with Daily Stressors
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