About 15 years ago, I was starting my college experience at Lee University in Tennessee. I started as a Music Major, but after a year decided on a different path. I ended up studying psychology, the study of human behavior. In developmental psychology, we were given the definition of growth. To paraphrase, the definition of growth in developmental psychology was positive change over time. The fact is that from birth, we are in a constant state of change. Either it’s positive change (growth), or negative change (atrophy, death, deterioration). Let’s embrace and strive towards positive change. If you do not embrace and seek change, change will find you on it’s terms.
It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory.
~W. Edwards Deming
I believe that a person who never faces resistance will not be able to accomplish anything. In the past, I kept a small tomato and pepper garden. I found that if a seedling is not exposed to wind, it will grow fine until it reaches a certain size. As it reaches maturity, it will not be able to remain upright. It will fall over like a wet noodle even without wind blowing. The wind actually stiffens the fibers of the stalk of the little seedling, like resistance builds strong muscles and bones of the human body.
When a child is never presented with any problems, is never told “no”, and is completely sheltered from anything that would be difficult, that child will grow fine until a certain point. As the person matures and is exposed to real life situations, how will that person be able to stand up on his or her own? I believe that through adversity and tough times, we develop the ability to stand stronger and stronger.
An old saying that has a grain of truth is “Pain is weakness leaving the body.” So while nobody wants to go through adversity or hard times, through our difficulties we grow stronger. In our successes we can look back at our struggles and know that God knew what we needed even though we didn’t want to go through it. I am not asking God to send me through the ringer, but I thank Him for the lessons I have learned and the growth that he has allowed me to achieve through Him.