Take Time to Flourish

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It’s easy to hold on too tightly to something. When that something is a someone, that can push them away as easily as negativity, judgmental words/looks, and word vomit (or terrible jokes).

It’s not easy to relinquish control. I like to hold the reins, to know the outcome before I do something. But that’s not how relationships function. People need space to grow, to flourish, and to become themselves.

The struggle is giving them that room but showing them that you’re willing to be there beside them. Or as close as they’ll let you.

People can be skittish. It’s hard to open myself up to someone new. Or someone old. What will I finally do or say to push you away? I still have that worry, but my good friends have broken my shell. Now, I’m too willing to open up…at least once you’ve become one of us.

You have to peel back the layers of the onion slowly, at a pace comfortable for the onion. If you cut right into it, you could hurt the onion or leave it feeling resentful.

Letting someone go isn’t easy. What if they don’t come back? What if someone else snatches them up? What if they do come back but don’t like who I’ve remained? What if we’ve both changed too much? But, it could work out for the best.

True lasting friendships and marriages are built on trust. If a husband fears his wife will cheat on him, he constantly worries about the state of their marriage, grows jealous, and wants to control every aspect of her life. We can’t do that.

Without good soil, a flower can’t brighten someone’s day. A patch of weeds chokes the beauty the world needs. Shallow roots prevent the person from enduring. Smothered flowers don’t grow.

You take all the time you need to find yourself. To find what makes you content, joyful, and the wonderful person I know you to be. I see it within you, even when you don’t. I know it’s there.

I may not be the one to coax it out of you like a flower blossoming in springtime, I may only see the flower from a distance or in pictures, or I may be fortunate enough to see its beauty up close. It makes no difference. I’ll find peace knowing you became the person you were searching for.

Maybe your journey takes seconds or minutes, hours or days, months or years; I’m fine with that. It’s your journey. Honestly, I don’t know what it’s like for you, what’s in store, or where you’ll go.

I’d rather walk beside you–if you let me–but either way, know I’m rooting for you.

It’s not easy. I don’t think I’ve completed the journey. Authentic personhood is a lifelong process; it’s seeking to know yourself fully, to know God’s will for your life, and live with purpose bathed in grace, truth, mercy, and love. It’s pouring out those things (grace, truth, mercy, and love) to everyone you encounter. It’s knowing the beauty and dignity of yourself and your neighbor and acting on it. It’s continually picking yourself up and dusting yourself off after every stumble, every failure, and every fall. It’s consistently pouring over God’s Word and constantly meeting Him in prayer.

The journey looks different for everyone. Mine seems to take the form of a prodigal son: running back to God after turning my back on Him.

Sanctity, holiness, and sainthood might be the goal, but the world doesn’t want us to get there. If the purpose of marriage is to help your spouse attain Heaven and to show the world a visible example of the love of God for His Church and His people, shouldn’t a husband and wife strive together toward holiness and, obviously, to guide their children on that same path?

But what about friendships? Are we called to do any less than to do the same (that is, strive together toward holiness) in every nation (Matt 28:16-20)? We should, therefore, seek to bring our friends closer to the saintly ideal.

First, however, find yourself. I’ll wait. I’m here for you whenever. But, you already knew that. You’re worth the wait. Not because of who you’ll be, but because of who you are. Right now, in this moment. I like you for you. And, I’m excited to see you when you let me bask in the fullness of you.

But, you don’t have to let me in. There’s no pressure to take me up on the offer.

Remember, God holds out His hand to you, no matter what you’ve been through. No matter how far you’ve gone, He’ll take you back with open arms.

His love letter is personal to you. He wants your heart, but He won’t force you to accept and love Him.

God loves us in our imperfect state. We don’t need to be perfect to be able to approach Him (Romans 5:8). The only way to become perfect is to surrender your will and follow God’s lead, allowing Him to work through you and change you.

You can change the world. One person at a time.