Growth Is Simple: Part 7

Growth in Every Season

I hate kale. There, I said it. Wooo! That feels good to finally get off my chest.

While kale isn't my favorite leafy green vegetable, there is something incredibly unique about it - aside from its tastebud-killing flavor.

Kale Is exclusively a cold weather crop. It can grow in below freezing temperatures up to -4°F and can be harvested while under complete snow cover. Imagine visiting the snowcapped Rocky Mountains and you stumble over a line of kale in the ground!

Have you ever experienced a season where it felt like the environment wasn't right for growth? It's easy to believe the lie that when you feel like growth isn't happening it's because growth isn't possible. This is also when you have to remember that growth is possible in any season.

When our second daughter was born, she chose the introduction of the 2020 pandemic to make her appearance. Tensions were at an all-time high, everything aired uncertainty, and because of my position as a spiritual leader in the church, I was slowly becoming a target for people's outrage. The environment wasn't ripe for growth in my opinion.

One of the hardest things I went through in 2020, however, wasn't all the cultural events that took place (although they did set the environment). It was the rejection I got from our newborn daughter. I had experienced it before with our first. I'm Daddy. I don't have a newborn needs to feed. So, our daughters were very attached to their mom for the first six months of their lives. But, what made the relationship with my second daughter different was that our entire life was locked down. The government had shut down businesses - including our church. There was major uncertainty about being around groups of people, including our own extended family. My wife was on maternity leave, and our family was shut in for four months, with nobody but us. Yet, even with all that time in her presence, she did not want anything to do with me. Rejection reigned supreme.

This led to an all-out battle to gain her love and trust. I had nothing to offer her except snuggles - snuggles that were denied daily. Blood-curdling screams erupted any time I held her. I'd go in to kiss her and she'd cry all the more. It was frustrating. It was draining. It was heart-breaking.

It's hard to grow in a season where you're emotionally drained. But, growth still happened even during the shunning I received. While I didn't experience much intimate growth between my daughter and I for the first six months of her life, my capacity for grace, patience, and prayer grew.

Here's a simple idea that will help you grow, even when you feel like the environment isn't conducive to it:

Growth is possible in any season, but not everything grows in every season.

Your responsibility is not to control the season you're living through - it's to discover what can grow in this season.

So, next time you feel like the wind chill of life is -4°F and you're ready to go find warmer weather, remember that if a disgusting vegetable like kale can grow there, you have something better that can grow there too.

Oh, and by the way, our now one-year-old loves me and my snuggles...most of the time.


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