5 Ways to Engage GrowthOct 26, 2022
Blog by Gem Fadling
There is no such thing as a Christian life hack. That idea is an oxymoron. I’m stating that clearly up front because I’m about to list five ways to engage growth. But you know me and Alan well enough to know that we do not hand out easy or pat answers. Transformation takes time, and engaging these ideas will be no different.
Now, bear with me. I know I use a corny rhyming pattern in what follows, but I couldn’t help myself. I’m hoping it helps you retain what I’m sharing.
It’s time to FEEL. Feel your feelings. Don’t push down or deny what’s occurring inside of you. Feelings simply call to be seen and acknowledged and felt. Then they can pass on through. We’ve all experienced the process of a good cry. Don’t stifle your need to express your feelings. If you suppress them, they can grow larger and more unwieldy and may erupt when you least desire them to. To help with this you may want to spend some time journaling or to process with a safe and trusted friend.
It’s time to be REAL. And I mean real with a capital R. What are you calling “reality”? Is what you see on the news or on your social media feed reality? In the sense that it exists, yes. But in the sense that it holds sway over your well-being, no. Our reality lies within us, not outside of us. You are a beloved child of God. This is the ultimate reality and it does not change. Let Reality with a capital R shape your vision of your life.
It’s time to KNEEL. This is a call to prayer—and not the kind where you perform a monologue at a distant God who doesn’t see what’s going on. No, not that kind of prayer. God is as close as the air on your face. Ann Lamott crafted a book around three great short prayers: Help, Thanks, Wow. Allow these words to emerge from your lips over the course of the day. You can kneel in your heart at any time. Remember, your body is a portable prayer room.
It’s time to HEAL. To heal your heart, mind, and body. Yes, all three work together. What might it take for you to move toward greater health in any or all of these areas? Keeping it simple, is there one that floats to the surface for you—heart, mind, or body? What is one step you can take in that area? You might begin by seeking some help. A coach, spiritual director, or therapist might be a great next step. You don’t have to go it alone.
It’s time to make a DEAL. A deal with yourself. You get to decide what you will think about and what you will do. You get to set healthy boundaries in your relationships. You get to acknowledge and feel your feelings. You get to find the help you need to take your next steps. You get to pray throughout the day with a God who loves you and is surrounding you. Make a deal with yourself and take discerned action.
It’s time to…
- Get real
- Make a deal
I told you it was a corny rhyme. But there is nothing corny about taking care of yourself—body, mind, and soul. Give yourself the gift of taking one small step today.
- Which of these five dynamics is calling out to you today?
- How might you lean in and take a next step?
- Allow a heartfelt prayer to emerge from within. What do you want Jesus to do for you?