When I was pregnant, at the beginning of each week (and all the days in-between); I would rush to read The Baby Center Essential Guide to Pregnancy and Birth. I loved that book because it would tell me how Zoe’s body was developing and how my body might “react” as a result of it.
For example, during Week 32 this FYI is given:
“As your skin stretches over your growing belly now, you may start to feel itchy or notice stretch marks streaking across your skin. Don’t despair: Most stretch marks fade considerably in the months following birth.”
Tips on how to deal with such situations were given and it was just nice to know that I was not an anomaly.
I remember that I would read waaaayyyyy ahead during the first two trimesters because I was so curious about what would happen next. It was absolutely fascinating to track the changes that my little one was going through to enter this world as a healthy human being and also comforting to receive tips on how I might best experience it.
Thank God, her development was what they call “typical.” She grew like she was supposed to at the rate she was supposed to and was born completely healthy.
I wish that adulthood were the same way.
I wish there was a book I could purchase (The Essential Guide to Adulthood, perhaps?) that would tell me exactly how I would develop each week. That way, I would be privy to the changes I would go through in advance and be prepared for how I might handle them.
That book does not exist.
You see, it is easy to write a book about a process that everyone goes through around the same time or within the same sequence. In fact, if you look at any child development chart, you can pretty much get a very close estimate of the rate at which your child will manifest certain physical, emotional, and cognitive traits. You can get a general idea of the milestones he or she should cross and exactly what they will “look” like when they occur; but, this is not the case with adulthood.
As you come into adulthood, at some point you start to realize that life is full of a series of problems. You are either about to have a problem, working through a problem, or delighting in the solution to a problem that has been solved.
Brian Tracy puts it this way:
….Life is a continuous succession of problems and difficulties without end. The river of problems is only interrupted by the occasional crisis, which makes the problems seem small in comparison. In fact, if you are living a busy life, you will probably experience a crisis of some kind every two to three months throughout your life. You will have business crises, family crises, financial crises, health crises, and other crises. The problems and crises never stop. They keep coming like the waves of the ocean. The only aspect you can control is your responses to these problems or crises. And therein lies the key to your success. Goals: How to Get Everything You Want–Faster Than You Ever Thought Possible, p.235
You see ultimately, as an adult, your growth and development or your maturity cannot manifest until you have been through something that causes it to come forth.
Think about this:
Have you ever seen a child or heard someone say a child is “mature for his/her age?” Why was this said? It was probably because given a certain set of circumstances or put in a certain situation, the child did not react or behave in a manner as typical children his/her age would have. Instead, the child reacted or behaved in a manner typical of a much older person.
Well, had that situation or set of circumstances not taken place, the compliment would not have been made about that child because the maturity would not have been evident.
It is the same way in your life.
The truth of the matter is that adversity is coming. And in case you did not know, adversity is the state, condition, or instance of serious or continued difficulty or adverse fortune. Yes! Adversity cometh.
I know that may sound depressing, but the truth is the truth. (Okay, don’t take it from me or Brian Tracy for that matter, take it from Jesus.)
John 16:33 says:
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
The interesting thing is that without adversity, your very best qualities cannot develop. You cannot become spiritually, emotionally, and mentally stronger if you are not tested or stretched in that area. You cannot become more courageous if you are not tested in that area. You cannot banish fear if you are never presented with something that would cause you to be afraid.
It is through your challenges that God “grows you” and this kind of growth can never be mapped out on a chart foretelling how you might handle it.
But, there is something that you can do to prepare for adversity. You can change your perspective on it. Do not look at it as Merriam Webster defines it—a state of continued difficulty or adverse fortune. Consider it as God’s way of giving you the opportunity to manifest your maturity.
James 1:2-4 says:
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (NIV)
Now, when adversity comes, REJOICE because you know that some way, somehow, God has his hands in it and that if you allow Him to, HE will utilize adversity to make you complete.
Peace and Blessings,
Branded by God Telestudy
Shall I make room for you on Sunday, February 24th? I hope so. We are going to have a great time at 8:30 p.m. (EST). In this FREE telestudy, we will focus on the Prophet Jeremiah’s assignment as it pertains to the calling on his life. We will go through an 8-part discussion/study that will allow us to apply the principles of his ministry to our own unique calls. Come be a blessing, share, and fellowship with other believers who are walking in their divine personal brand. Click here to register for free right now before you forget. I would be honored by your presence. Oh, and get your study sheet HERE.