A Conversation Over Coffee & A Lesson On Maturity

Post Grad Duck #3

“People don’t change, but they do mature.”
These are words that a friend of mine told me this morning. He’s a good one and I’m so excited about what the future holds for him. When he said this though, at first I paused, but the more that I thought about it, the more it began to resonate with me. Change is a funny word. When it’s used in reference to people, you often think of someone becoming completely different than they once were. The older I’ve gotten, the more I’ve struggled to believe that in full. People are who they are, and they always will be. Overtime though, due to certain life circumstances and situations, there is a level of maturity that takes place in all of us. I’m not becoming someone totally new, I’m maturing into the person I’m meant to be.
It’s the pace of maturity that we often have a problem with, though. When you’re five years old, the lens through which you look at life is specific to bubble gum, jumprope, hide and seek, and popsicles. When you’re fifteen, your lens changes, you probably still love bubble gum and popsicles, but you don’t see the world through the lens of those things anymore. (For me it was the Jonas Brothers and purple eye shadow). But at fifteen, it was okay if someone found me when we played hide and seek. As a five year old, I may have thrown a tantrum. Did I change? No, not really. I was still unhappy to be found, but I was mature about it because I understood the rules of the game. However, sometimes it’s hard to remember being five when the person we’re playing with doesn’t understand as much as we do. The five year old doesn’t need to change, the five year old needs to mature—and they will, eventually.
That’s another funny word. It’s a word that requires patience, perseverance, hope, and more patience. We all mature at different levels. Sure, I’m way more mature than I was 5 years ago, even 5 months ago, but I still have more growing to do. And I’m sure there are people that I frustrate because my maturity level is not quite to the level of theirs. That happens. But a part of this inevitable but eventual maturity process is realizing who I am. There are certain parts of Jayna that will always be, parts of me that will always exist. That’s not a bad thing. By the grace of God I am what I am, but that doesn’t mean that who I am is meant to be stuck in one place. The parts of me that are impatient need to mature towards patience. The parts of me that are prideful need to move toward humility. The parts of me that are insecure need to stand confidently. I can’t change the fact that I struggle in certain areas, but I can move towards maturity and recognize how to lean on the Lord to guide me when things get hard.
I think that maturity is knowing when to say I’m sorry. I think maturity is recognizing that you need help. I think maturity is knowing that it’s not all about me. I think maturity is knowing when to stay, when to go forward, and when to walk away. I think maturity is knowing that sometimes you just don’t know. And we can have hope in the fact that we will mature. The Lord loves us too much to leave us where we are. Sanctification is a process. Maturity is a process. Living is a process, but we have to participate.
Don’t get me wrong, being five was pretty sweet and all, but I’m really jazzed that I graduated from kindergarten 😉
[Jesus. I believe that You’re good, help my unbelief. Thank you for the ways that you’re growing me and maturing me. Give me grace when it’s hard.]

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