Monday, January 5, 2009

Weakness and Growth

I seem to be writing about growth a great deal lately, don't I? Perhaps it's because I've been needing to grow so much.

Lately, I have realized with my yoga practice that I have been doing much the same thing every day. That isn't necessarily bad, as the poses that I do daily are extremely beneficial and help me a great deal. But I haven't been stretching myself. I have begun to feel weaknesses in certain parts of my body, and I have been surprised by them, because I didn't think I had been weak in those areas before. I felt bad about it, but I knew that the poses required to strengthen those muscles are more difficult and would be more challenging. I have been struggling in my mind and heart so much lately that I didn't feel that I had it in me to attempt to strengthen those weaknesses. So I continued on, content to be where I was at already, without going through the pain of more difficult or less familiar routines.
I realized yesterday after talking to Matt that I have been doing much the same in my own life. I have been painfully discovering weaknesses that I didn't even realize I had. I have seen the need for submission and growth, yet I knew that choosing to grow and strengthen those weaknesses would be extremely painful and humbling. I just didn't know if I had it in me. But I want to grow. I want to change. I don't want to tell the Lord, who is lovingly showing me what I need to strengthen if I want to be more like Him, that I just don't feel like I can stretch that far. So I went for a walk last night, looked up at the sky, and promised Him I would grow however He wanted me to.

This morning, I decided to grow with my yoga, too. I knew my arms had been getting weaker, and I haven't felt like putting forth the painful effort to strengthen them, because I have always struggled with arm strength, and I knew it would be hard to get those muscles where I wanted them to be. At the end of a painful but exhilarating practice, I felt not just pain, but joy as I already felt strength coming back to my arms. My scripture study shortly after led me to this:

And Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him.
-1 Sam. 3:19

Growing is painful, but the Lord is with us. We don't have to do it alone. We can't. But if we keep reaching for Him, He will turn our weaknesses to strengths and help us to grow.


Chani said...

You never cease to amaze, astound, or inspire me. You are such a good person, always trying so hard! I hope you know how full of light you are!

Libby Olenslager said...

Amen to Chantile! Ann, you are AMAZING!!!

Jason Calton said...

I love the fact that we can use this type of communication to help aid in our personal growth! I always turn to your site for those awesome inspirational words of wisdom that always seem to be there. I can't thank you enough for your strength as one of God's children, I am truly blessed to call myself your friend .

Tara and Dan said...

Well spoken! I have waaay more to strengthen than just my arms... physically AND spiritually!

PS- you are a hot yoga instructor. Nuff said.