My five-month-old daughter sprouted her first set of teeth this week. And I'm proud to say she's taking the process of growing them very well – um, well, as well as any tiny human would. There have been days of uncomfortable pain and tears and countless nights of struggle trying to make it through the wee hours. I found myself continually replacing her little fingers with a rotation of teething products in fear she wouldn’t have any more fingers left after this teething season. But through the many changes her body was enduring, she managed to find joy giggling, blowing bubbles, and playing with her toes.
Just like the process of growing teeth, creating a solid foundation for our dreams to take root requires us to practice patience and find joy during the days of struggle. And that is a process, a painful one at that.
In the first stage, the process of growth is tender and sore and after a few days it'll begin to throb. It's unpleasant and hard and honestly just darn irritating. How can you be cheerful and festive in moments when you just want to retreat, curl up in a ball and binge watch Grey's Anatomy for the fifth time?
Growing (something) is hard. Little humans know that process the best. Between discovering this new world, teething and hitting all their milestones, they deserve a diamond crown and a gold throne. But my Haven Belle settles for extra cuddles and many, many kisses. I wipe away her tears and give her another kiss, she makes a little huff and continues playing with her toys and blowing bubbles knowing all well that tomorrow her teeth will still be making its way through her gums before their glorious appearance. Because it’s a process.
Allow God to walk with you through the process of change and growth. Let him be the shoulder you cry on and the place where you gather your strength for the next day. Keep feeding on Jesus and his word. Do the work, trust the process, don't fight it, and most importantly don't rush it.
Easier said then done! I was an anxious mess constantly peaking in Haven’s mouth hoping to see the fruits of her labor finally coming through. Two weeks went by, then one month, then two more weeks – I was ready to see at least a bit of relief on her face, but she continued to giggle and drool. Wait, Mama. Have patience. They're coming.
If you're in the process of growing – in your work, in your dream, in your new venture, in your new project, in your development – just hang on. You're 2016 may be off to a slow start and that's okay. Strong and stable cannot be rushed. And if you worry and fear that this process isn’t working or the work is too hard, take a step back, breathe, maybe blow some bubbles, and trust your God that what you’re going through right now will produce a rich harvest. Doubt only hinders our ability to live a joyful, confident life.
Don't miss out on the giggles. The pain is not for nothing. You’ll see. So, stay the course. Do the work. Log the hours. Growth takes time.