Growing Pains

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After a growth spurt (whether up or out), inevitably my clothes don’t fit in the same way. Sometimes they are too short, sometimes they are too tight, and sometimes they are just plain wonky.

Most of the time I am too stubborn to accept my current reality.

I naively stuff myself in, doing whatever it takes to seal the deal.

“They’ll stretch out. Surely, they’ll stretch out,” I whisper repeatedly in hopes of convincing myself. But inevitably as the day wears on, I realize that, they, in fact, WILL NOT stretch out.

And I feel foolish.

Foolish for not realizing that I have grown. Foolish for not realizing that my clothes have stayed the same size. Foolish for not realizing that it is time to say goodbye and move on.

Unfortunately, my issues go far beyond my bulging closet.

When I experience growth, whether it be physical, mental, or spiritual, I am reluctant to accept my new reality.

I continue to stuff myself into old behaviors and patterns. But just my gaping shirt, what used to be a perfect fit is quite snug, what used to be comfortable is now constraining.

And I feel foolish.

Foolish for not realizing that I have grown. Foolish for thinking I can still fit into old molds. Foolish for not realizing that it is time to say goodbye and move on.

Have you experienced what I now affectionately refer to as  “growing pains”?

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Lindsey has a sincere love for her precious dogs Molly and Maisy, a good red wine and the Delta Sky Club. She spends her days (and some nights) laboring to end childhood hunger at Feed the Children and to gather, equip and unleash women at IF:Gathering.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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  • ha. I do that, too.

    “Maybe it’ll fit at the end of the day as it stretches.”

    Reality, it seems, should always stay in the same place. Yet, how boring would life be if it did?

  • Deb

    Oh absolutely!! Somehow, I know I've grown. I've changed. But I think that means certain other things will change (the ones I want to) and others won't (the ones I don't).

    Then God starts pruning. 😉
    And I smack myself upside the forehead going, "Well of course!"

    The hardest ones though is when it's about people — the people I assume will be running at the same pace as me, who I want to stay — who don't because they're comfortable and aren't ready or whatever other reasons……

    Totally. Get. It.
    Love!
    deb

  • Yes, yes, yes and another emphatic YES! I love this post. It's perfect for me for today….just the right fit. (I couldn't resist). I have experienced growing pains both ways- the clothing way and the spiritual way. And I can identify with the way you accurately describe the ensuing emotions.

    The clothing dilemma I've been struggling with for years so it doesn't phase me as much anymore- but the spiritual I-don't-fit-into-these-habits-anymore struggle is a slightly newer one. I feel like when I was younger I grew spiritually and hit a plateau for, oh, let's say years. Funny, just this morning I was telling God that I feel that He's grown me more over the past six months to a year than He has in a long time (because I was the one unwilling to change…not Him) and I'm seeing that the growth happens fastest and best when it's accompanied by the shedding of old habits. There's a definite correlation. And while I look longingly back on the things that used to identify me (to me), I am happy to embrace what He's calling me to be now.

    It's no accident that I read your blog today! Thank you….
    My recent post losing a good friend

    • It's interesting…sometimes the lack of fit is the only way I realize I've grown.

  • Yes, I am in this place called denial right now… all my pants are snug since getting married – grr… I do the exact opposite of you – I don't try and smush myself in – I just buy clothes that are bigger.

    And bigger.

    And bigger.

    I wonder what that means metaphorically about how I handle change?
    My recent post Man Week @ The Rain

  • Amy

    Totally!!! It's kind of like being "in between" things all the time to not let go of the old and move on with the new. Funny things is how the older I get the more set in my ways I find myself, so much so that even when I reach goals set for myself that require change, I fight it or ignore it. I've become quite the pro at ignoring the inevitable.
    My recent post Black Bean Open Faced Omelet

  • It doesn’t make sense, yet I embrace the chafing confining bits of what I have because I’m scared of what the new will look like. Stupid of me – but I’m not sure what next step to take, so I haven’t taken any.

  • Susie

    aw, don't let that enemy steel away the new ground by telling you you are foolish. have a quiet chuckle with jesus, catch his gaze, and enjoy your new wardrobe fit perfectly for you!

  • Really good post Lindsey! Going through my growing pains now. Learning and accepting what I'm bringing to my new Christian table from my old life is really hard. I feel challenged every day, and learning to incorporate Christ into figuring out those challenges doesn't come as easy as I thought it would. I really have to work at it.
    My recent post Filling My Bucket…

  • I agree. Figuring out the next step can be challenging.

  • marina

    I've become better at recognizing the growth taking place – while I might fight it, ignore it, wish it to go away, I am finally able to accept it and be thankful for the process. What is most challenging for me is to not let others try to stuff me back into my old clothes. At times I allow family or friends to rob me of my progress, just for an evening or a weekend. During that time, I'm miserable as I try to please and be who I used to be or who they think I still am. Crazy, foolish, frustrating, but working thru it anyway and definitely seeing progress! Great conversation.