Willing to grow

Willing to grow

I was reminded this morning how difficult it can be to actually be willing to grow. Growth brings change, and we are comfortable where we are.  Others are comfortable with us where we are.  Sometimes it feels like growth ruins everything.

And lets face it, pregnancy and parenting is definitely a time of growing. I was challenged to see things in a new way, experienced “problems” from a new perspective.  My understanding was broadened.  But it wasn’t easy.

I wrote this to a friend who actually brought this topic to my mind this week:

I’ve found so much of my understanding of Christianity has evolved over time — which I think is normal and healthy and just the reality of maturing. The downside is the tension I feel living in a world that still defines Christianity the way I understood it as an 18 year old. 

I get it, the “collective” Christianity needs to be accessible to all. 

There is a book I had to read my first semester of nursing school – about the process of becoming an expert. It seems in all fields the novice begins with strict rule following because the level of understanding is really basic. As a person becomes more experienced, they start to recognize the nuances to the rules and can understand the full principles behind the rules.

So to me, it feels like “collective” Christianity is stuck at novice, but as we grow we all mature and become more expert. While in other areas a more through understanding is appreciated, celebrated even, in Christianity it is beaten down for not sticking to the novice rules. So rather than becoming expert at knowing God, we become expert at making the rules more strict.

What do you think?  Do you live in a tension as your faith matures?


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Jennifer Vanderlaan CNM MPH is the author of the BirthingNaturally.net website. She has been working with expectant families since 2000, training doulas and childbirth educators, and midwives. She has worked with midwives in Central America and Sub-Saharan Africa. Her interest in public health grew in 2010, and she is now a PhD student in a nursing program learning to become a producer of knowledge.

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