My youngest daughter is so much like me.
There’s this fieriness to her, this loudness, this tenderness, this bent toward wanting to scream and then cry when someone wrongs her; she is so dear and so thoughtful and so… worried. She’s worried she won’t be able to control her temper, find peace in conflict, or just breathe long enough to not yell at her brother when he irritates her. She thinks she’ll never change.
“Oh sweet Caroline, you are so much like me,” I tell her as we drive, just the two of us.
“No, mom, not really.”
“Why do you say that?”
“Because you know how to control your anger and I don’t. I’ll never be able to.”
And there it is, the lie that she’ll never change, the start of a downward thought process that can lead to despair if not corrected in truth.
“Care, how old are you?”
“Well, I’m 37, so I’ve got some years on you, and through those years God has helped me to have self-control, and He will help you too, but give yourself time to grow and learn and surrender and wait as He helps you. You can have self-control. Here, I’ll share some of what I’ve learned…”
I take the time to share with her the simple truths of walking away when you’re angry, knowing that anger isn’t so much the problem as sinning in your anger is, patience, forgiveness, talking it through…all the things that have helped me through the years. But most of all, of course, believing that as I submit to God, as I stay in His Word, He tenderly and gently does the work of making this new self, this new soul, mature.
He does the work, whatever it is that needs to be done, and I surrender to it.
I have learned over the years that giving myself time to grow and stretch into my new self is a form of trust. When I am gentle with myself, when I believe that the Holy Spirit is working good for me, I am trusting God that this is His deal. I am His creation, His clay, and He does the work. I can no more mold myself than a lump of clay can mold itself.
So today, whatever it is you’re struggling with, remember to give yourself time. There is a grace and a gentleness to the wait, to the maturing, to the stretching. But it’s happening, this growth, so hold on to that truth today. God is doing a good work in you.
– Sarah Mae