My Life with God

The Fire of the Past Year

The past year has been a refining fire. It has revealed a lot of good things—and a lot of bad. I’ve been thinking about it lately. A refining fire destroys what is temporary and leaves behind what is most valuable. What has the past year revealed to you? Perhaps more importantly, what has the past year revealed in you? How you begin your list might be an indicator.

  • How open are you to exploring and changing the areas in which  you need to grow, the vulnerable areas of your life that need to be broken down and rebuilt?
  • Do you prefer to point out the strengths you have and stand on them?

Not that knowing and standing with your strengths is a bad thing, but our strengths can stagnate into pride if we’re not careful. While we’re focused on all the good we have, we allow erosion to decay the weak areas. We all weak areas. In order to grow, we need spiritual and emotional maturity. That seems counterintuitive: we need maturity in order to invite growth, and growth yields maturity. But it’s not as complicated as we sometimes make it.

Maturity winds through and around us as we grow, when we grow in secure, authentic ways. That winding growth serves as a sort of rebar of our lives. It is stable yet flexible. It can fracture when we build the wrong things around it or leave it exposed and unattended. No matter where you were when you started, the past year has bumped and bruised you. It has jostled your mind and heart. It has broken and connected you. It has refined you. What you do next matters. How you heal matters. How you rebuild matters. How you face where you’ve been as you move forward matters. How you reconnect with others matters.

You cannot get back some of what has been disheveled in the past year. Will you ignore it and try to build around it, leaving shaky piles to collapse at any time, or will you spend the time sorting through the rubble and repurposing the important remnants while clearing the rest in preparation for new growth?

What grows next is, in part, dependent on your response.

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