Saturday, August 16, 2008

growing pains.

these past few weeks, christian has been complaining about how his legs get a painful feeling from time to time, especially after playing his basketball games. at first i thought it was just muscle cramps, but after researching about it online, i found out that he was going through growing pains.

i talked to him about it after, telling him that it wasn't anything he did to himself that made the pain happen. i found myself telling him that his body needs to go through that, coz this is a part of the process of getting taller, which he needs to do in order to grow in a healthy way. i told him to continue to play sports, stretch, drink milk & vitamins to help his growing body get everything it needs for this season of his life.

now, i have no idea how it feels like to have those growing pains in a vertical manner, because i am short & i am not blessed with height. but in the recent months, i have made horrible choices with my food intake & lack of exercise that i have experienced these growing pains horizontally, meaning i'm gaining weight & i've developed a back ache and chest pains because of it. i too, like christian, also have grown, only in an unhealthy way.

2 different kinds of pain - 2 different kinds of growth - 2 different results.

VERTICAL PAIN - i've always wondered why painful things have to happen to people, especially those closest to my heart. it breaks my heart to see good people in pain, especially if they "did nothing" to deserve it. but i needed this analogy of chino's growing pains to show me, that although heart wrenching, we sometimes need pain in order for us to grow in a healthy way. just like my son & his aching legs. he needs for his muscles to stretch, his ligaments & tendons to grow, in order for him to "reach his full height & growth & remain healthy". as a parent, i don't want to see him in pain. but i know it is essential.

did he want to be in pain? - NO.
is it beneficial for him in the future? - YES.
is it beneficial for me & others? - YES

vertical pain is much needed for our healthy growth. although unasked for and unwanted, it is absolutely necessary for us to go through with it. to stretch everything that is within us in order to grow taller & stronger. does our Heavenly Father like it when He sees His children in pain? I doubt that. i believe He felt just the same as me, with not wanting to see my child in pain. but He also knows that there are things that He allows that we must go through in order for us to mature & to be a better person, for our benefit & for others too.

HORIZONTAL PAIN - is likened to the pain we feel when we've made poor choices in life (in my case,its like like laziness & over eating..LOL). most of the time, it comes back to haunt us. this pain is not good & sometimes harmful. more often than not, aside from the pain, it comes with other bad consequences for us & for others. it's funny because most people who deliberately choose to do what they're not supposed to do, continue to do it anyway & will get themselves & others into trouble in the long run. in the end, people end up miserable, hurt, and they find themselves further & deeper into the problem. no good growth, just a lot of "excess" things to get rid off so lighten the load (or in my case, my weight).

but hopefully, this pain of weight gain will compel me to CHOOSE to change & make it right. i can stay here and allow myself to get fatter & develop different sicknesses, or i can use the pain as an inspiration to grow and turn it around & become healthy.

do i want to be in pain? - NO.
is it beneficial for me in the future? - NO.
is it beneficial for others? - NO.

2 different kinds of pain - 2 different kinds of growth - 2 different results.

healthy pain is necessary for growth. unhealthy pain is not necessary, but if we choose to, it can cause us to wake up & turn things around. i've had a mix of both, some because i've made poor choices, but some i can truly say i did nothing to deserve it. what i do know is that the pain (either good or bad) that was felt from both situations were very vital in making me who i am right now.

and i've learned, through the process of pain, that i am such a softie on the inside. i never thought that my heart could be this pliable. i am more vulnerable, more loving, more patient, more understanding, more compassionate. but i have also seen these shoulders of mine carry weight that i never thought i could possibly do. i am also more of a fighter, a warrior, not willing to back down at the slightest pain inflicted by life's trials.

i am definitely clothed with a graceful, tenacious strength. and it is a gift i am grateful for. and i would never have been able to say that without undergoing all the pain that was and still is being sent my way.

dear reader, if you are going through some type of pain right now, i pray that whatever life throws your way, you will learn to take it in, learn & grow from it. if it is horizontal pain, i pray that you will choose to change your mind set & your lifestyle and let go of the "unnecessary weights" that you may grow in a healthy way. it will be good for you and for others who you love the most too.

if it's vertical pain, hold on to His hand, and trust that He will give you His strength to withstand the pressure. know that no matter how painful your circumstance, He will give you the faith to help you go & grow through the pain. and in the end of it, you will come out like gold. just like mayo clinic says: "Remind your child that growing pains are normal — and they won't last forever". My friend, it wont last forever

1Peter 4:12-13;19 Friends, when life gets really difficult, don't jump to the conclusion that God isn't on the job. Instead, be glad that you are in the very thick of what Christ experienced. This is a spiritual refining process, with glory just around the corner.So if you find life difficult because you're doing what God said, take it in stride. Trust him. He knows what he's doing, and he'll keep on doing it. (msg)

1Peter5:8-11 Keep a cool head. Stay alert. The Devil is poised to pounce, and would like nothing better than to catch you napping. Keep your guard up. You're not the only ones plunged into these hard times. It's the same with Christians all over the world. So keep a firm grip on the faith. The suffering won't last forever. It won't be long before this generous God who has great plans for us in Christ—eternal and glorious plans they are!—will have you put together and on your feet for good. He gets the last word; yes, he does. (msg)