I’m not gonna lie. I’ve been on this Woman Power, Girls-Rule-the-World kick for so long, that I was subconsciously on auto-pilot and forgot that though embracing the single season and rediscovering oneself can be beautiful and invigorating, it can also be difficult, uncomfortable and downright challenging. I’ve been so busy trying to rise above the emotions, that when I came down from my pseudo-high, I was literally overtaken with feelings I’d tried to avoid and….Well, let’s just say, more words came out of my mouth than a mere, “ouch.” Being humbled back to reality was a bit more painful than I’d expected.
I LITERALLY took a minute to stop and smell the roses recently, single-mooning at the Botanical Gardens. While enjoying the breathtaking view the gardens offered, I was gently reminded of a saying my seasoned co-worker once told me as she watched me toil with the decision to end my marriage and embark once again on this journey of single-motherhood. Clairvoyant and insightful, she just leaned in my office doorway, smiled and said, “Let it grow you.” That was it. Four simple words were all that she uttered before she walked away.
“Let it grow me?” I retorted! I WAS LIVID! Doesn’t she see my pain? Does she know that there is a void in my heart that may never be filled again? Doesn’t she see my shame, my frustration, my confusion? Doesn’t she see my worry about how in the world my household will survive with just one income? Isn’t this the fateful moment in movies where the orchestra swells and she comes in and hugs me and I crumble into tears as she whispers scriptures and tells me that though I can’t see it, things will somehow be okay “by and by?”
Obviously not, because the ONLY wisdom this woman had to impart on me was “Let it grow you.”
I scoffed. How could this pain be meant to grow me? Surely, it was meant to downright DESTROY me. That’s how I felt in that moment, faced with all my doubts and fears and hurt. All I could see was my circumstance; no matter how I squinted and stretched them, my fragile heart and mind just could not see any good coming out of this.
Standing over the spring blooms today, her words make so much more sense now. There’s an underlying action item in her phrase, a step I must take, something I must do! I have a choice. I can choose the let bitterness and loneliness consume and destroy me, OR I can choose to stare my past decisions square in the face, tell them, “You can’t break me,” and ask the pivotal question, “What did I learn from this?” What can I take from that experience to better prepare me for life or help me to avoid making that same mistake again? What can this experience carve out of me to better shape me into the dynamic woman I know I’m destined to become? What SEED will I allow to take root in me from this, to grow me into a wiser, greater woman, mother, lover, friend, and person? How can I, how WILL I grow from this?
Here’s the thing: life’s experiences are often excellent teachers if you allow them to be. The choice is yours. I encourage you today, whatever you’re facing, no matter how difficult, no matter how daunting, no matter how seemingly impossible: 1. Remember that you can and WILL overcome, 2. You are fearfully and wonderfully made and 3. If you allow it to, even this can grow you.