You know that dull or sometimes extreme throbbing ache in your leg that almost always kept you up at night as a child? Although these pains were in no way enjoyable it had to happen in order for growth to take place. All those sleepless nights had to happen in order for you to be where you are today.
I think we can compare those growing pains that we had as a child to the growing pains of life that we experience each and every day. I am 21 and I am just beginning to realize that growing pains are not just a physical ache that I experienced as a child but I feel them every day in my marriage, my relationship with God, my relationship with friends and family, our family business, and my health and fitness journey.
With every day brings new hope and new opportunities but there will also be pain, temptation, sadness, obstacles, scary health diagnoses, negative thoughts, disappointment, fear, and you name all the other negative things that we could encounter in the blink of an eye. Its scary to think about all that could go wrong, or at least it is for me! These "pains" come in waves or all at once and at different levels of severity but they all benefit us in the end. I'm sure you have heard the commonly used saying, "No pain no gain" and although this quote is often taken out of context, it is so true! The growing pains of life help us stand taller and keep our head above the water, and they allow us to jump over the crossbars of life!
"More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us."-Romans 5:3-5
GROWING PAINS & MARRIAGE
My husband and I have been married for almost two years now and I would be lying if I said everything has been groovy and lovely since the day we said "I DO". Our marriage has had some hard hits and the devil won't stop trying to attack what my husband and I have. Every time we win the battles between Satan and our marriage we become a more skilled, stronger and loving couple for Christ. We also remain confident, knowing that we can overcome the future battles against our marriage because we have the greatest leader on our side, and his name is Jesus. In the name of Jesus, Satan flees and what God has joined no man or thing can seperate.
"The enemy runs at the sound of your voice. When you stand up, the nations flee!"-Isaiah 33:3
When I think back to each and every one of our arguments and disagreements, I get a bitter sweet feeling because even though there were many tears and harsh words said, the one thing that remained and grows stronger even today is love. When two people decide to get married they do not fit together like a perfect puzzle, it takes time, shaping, and a little chizzling away and the growing and learning never stops!
GROWING PAINS & FAITH
Not only does pain help us grow in marriage but the pain we experience helps us grow in our relationship with God. Sometimes, God has to put us through trying times so that we can realize our need for him.
"God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging."-Psalm 46:1-3
Not only do trials in life reveal our need for Christ but by facing the battles of everyday life and carrying our cross daily we are doing the very thing that Christ did when he lived on Earth and the more we strive to be like Christ the more we begin to understand him, abide in him and trust him. Aside from the fact that the growing pains of life help us grow closer to God, when we carry our own cross and handle problems the way God would handle issues then others will begin to see God through you. When we become imitators of Christ, we become less and he becomes greater and that must be our purpose and ultimate goal in life, for others to see Christ in and through us!
GROWING PAINS & HEALTH/FITNESS JOURNEY
In addition to growing pains in our everyday life, marriage, and faith, we also see growing pains in our health, fitness and wellness part of life. If you have created fitness or nutrition goals of your own before then you REALLY know that there is no gain without a little pain. Burning fat is HARD. Building muscle is HARD. Finding a routine that works for you is HARD. Learning to love your current body is HARD, but it is not impossible. When you are working out and contracting muscles you are literally causing microscopic damage to your muscle fibres and while you are healing 24-74 hours later you may feel some soreness but it is part of the healing and growing process.
I don't know about you but not only have I experienced fitness-related growing pains, but I have gone through a lot as far as my nutrition goes. I have tried every diet under the sun. I have starved my self for days, I have tried the 1000 calorie diet and binged time and time again, I have been super skinny and I have been heavier. I do not recommend the years of mental torture that I went through to anyone. I look back at my teenage years and I had life so good, why was I so obsessed with food, exercise and being skinny? If I could go back and talk to my high school self, I would tell her that she is so beautiful, she is so loved, she is perfect just the way she is, she doesn't have to do it all on her own and she doesn't have to change for anyone. All though I struggled a lot with my body image and fitness and nutrition obsession I wouldn't change any of it because it made me the Woman that I am today. The pain and hours of crying over the scale are part of my story and now I get to share with other women about how special and worthy they truly are. I am made worthy. The scale does does not not define me because that's what God does. I am a daughter of the King and that is greater than anything!
I could go on and on sharing examples with you about how growing pains are seen in our everyday life and how they can actually benefit us, but i think you get the point ;) . Just like when we were a child and had to go through the aches and pains in order to grow tall and strong we have to go through these trials now so that we can face what is to come, so that we can be more like Christ and closer to him, and so that we can learn in our marriages, relationships, and health/fitness journey.
Pain has a purpose.
"Without pain and without sacrifice, we would have nothing."-unknown
Thank you for taking the time to read this and I hope that this left you encouraged and ready to take on this beautiful gift called life!
Sara M Weisbrodt