The Process Isn’t Pretty

Being a mother of four I rarely have five minutes of quiet time, especially when I am in the car. It’s like being strapped into a swirling vortex of fart jokes, crying, yelling and this low hum my son makes when he’s looking out the window, a sound that could be used as a form of torture. I learned to drown out the sound (by “drowning out the sound” I mean adjust all of the sound in the car to pipe through the front speakers so I can’t hear anything else). However, this one afternoon my daughter was telling me about her day, the stickers she got, sang me a song she learned then proceeded to tell me that we needed to buy her new underwear and socks. I knew the reason wasn’t because she had a lack of underwear and socks because I spend roughly 73% of my life doing laundry, so I am fully aware of the inventory of her underwear and socks. I hesitantly asked her why. Her response? Because I am turning five soon and I am going to get a bigger butt and bigger feet that day so I need bigger underwear and socks. That makes perfect sense!

This was an amusing thought process because we all know people don’t grow that fast and her fear of outgrowing her underwear and socks overnight was not realistic because growth is a process that takes time. Unless you are 30, then you can miraculously gain five pounds in a day. Sometimes we are guilty of having this same thought process when we look at our lives. We desire to be a better mother, friend, wife or student. We can have the desire to learn a new language or a new hobby, we can desire to be healthier or lose weight and we want to see the results immediately, but we get frustrated when we don’t see immediate growth or progress and often times we quit before we achieve our goals.

I think that is why all of these get (rich, skinny, pretty, smart) quick scams are so popular because the natural process is hard, inconvenient, messy, frustrating, exhausting and every other emotion under the sun and it’s hard to keep going until we see the results we desire. However, it’s when we go through the process and through the trials of life that we become stronger, wiser, and more resolute in our beliefs.  We become bolder and more confident because through the process we learn more about what we are made of and what we can accomplish when we don’t give up. In Romans 5:2-4 (NLT) it says, “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.” Life is a process of continual growth, I don’t think we ever arrive, but life is a journey filled with change, ups and downs, times of trial and times of peace and we grow through it all.

We are guilty of seeing others’ glamorous ends and comparing our lives with theirs, but we didn’t get the luxury of seeing the small beginning and the sloppy middle. When I set out to write a book the process looked messy and dysfunctional. It wasn’t glamorous or easy but it was worth it. And there were many times I wanted to give up and quit because it was inconvenient, I was insecure and afraid of what people would think, but to hold a dream in your hand is worth it. There is so much God placed inside of you so don’t quit, the trials and discomfort will be worth it.

Maybe life has not been kind to you. Maybe you feel defeated but I want you to know this too shall pass;  this is a season and you will come out on the other side stronger. You are capable of much more than you think. You are strong. You are smart. You are bold. You are fearless. You are a good mother. You are a good friend. You are a good wife. You are good enough. You have the strength to walk through each season and go through the growing process step by step and day by day. Don’t give up in the middle of the process; keep going! When you look back on your life you will see how strong you were, how brave you were and how you grew to become an even more beautiful and strong woman whowill inspire and encourage others.

Rama Mauriello