I didn’t know just how lost I was until my life fell apart. I had no idea that Life was making a way for new growth—and new fruit—in my barren life. How was I to know it would become the gift that keeps on giving?

I was a good mom. I was a good wife. Having 4 kids in 6 years didn’t allow for a lot of private time and my secret longing was an opportunity to focus on my own needs. I thought I might have to leave my marriage to meet that need but I wanted to try other things first. So I determined to create the life I needed within my marriage. That didn’t go over very well. It’s interesting how the dynamic/premise from which a relationship starts permeates it, sometimes forever. It was expected that I would serve husband and family. Period. It hadn’t occurred to anyone (including me for a long time) that I had legitimate needs of my own that had to be honored. Those weren’t allowed.

Honoring My Needs

Driven by something deep in me I proceeded anyway. I developed a social life, including a few special friendships. One became like a childhood friend that I’d never had. (I grew up on a lake in the Colorado mountains away from any type of civilization.) We played together, laughed together, labored together. I learned things about myself I’d never known. We were like the cartoon characters Calvin and Hobbes. When that important relationship ended, which surprised me to my core, it unraveled me. I didn’t realize how much I’d come to count on it. That loss unzipped me allowing all my stuffing to pour out all over the place. I was left with the task of putting myself back together…only I wasn’t “enough” to even know where to start. I wasn’t strong enough, wise enough, or savvy enough. Hell, I couldn’t even stop crying for more than an hour at a time.

That was then. And this is now.

That was nearly 20 years ago. That unzipping along with several others that followed, has been the gift that keeps on giving. Just to survive it, I was forced onto a quest of self-discovery that ended up having great rewards. I eventually became “enough.” God/Spirit, with my cooperation, has used the pain/chaos/unknowing to grow me up—to become strong enough, wise enough, and savvy enough to navigate life’s upheavals in life enhancing ways as opposed to life destroying ways.

New Growth. New Fruit.

Even though it was painful as hell I wouldn’t trade the experience. I love the person I have become in the process. (Although I wouldn’t mind if the pace of it eased up just a hair.) I’ve learned that life isn’t about being comfortable. It’s about growing. And not just growing in some haphazard way, but growing into our full, and unique, potential. Sometimes it takes a few knocks to loosen the old, crusty, lifeless and useless parts so light and air can get to the roots and produce new fruit. For me it has been completely worth it.

Is Your Upheaval Your Answer?

I’m wondering…have you in some way been asking for bigger, brighter, tastier fruit in your life? The answer never comes in the ways we expect, or even want sometimes. But if you’ve been asking…maybe your current upheaval is your answer.