stretch marks.

In the past month or so I have truly seen the blessing that was placed in the midst of storms that I have experienced. I feel like I have been through a lot in the past year or so…graduating college, leading a middle school ministry, being released from my first ministry position, getting engaged and planning a wedding, then postponing the wedding, finding a new job….the list goes on. Needless to say, it’s been a stretch. And I am thankful for every ounce of it all, because it has made me who I am today.

I believe that our lives are made for so much more than what we think, but I think only a small percentage of us actually strive to reach that something more. We hold ourselves back in fear of struggle and uncertainty, because let’s face it, our natural human instinct is to maintain safety and comfort. In order for us to be used to our greatest potential, it is inevitable to gain stretch marks in the process, it is a give in to experience struggle, pain and hardship.

God wants us to reach a level of ourselves that we never thought we could reach. To discover the strength we never thought we had or the courage we never thought we could ever display. To find these things in ourselves we must be pushed out of our comfort zone, and that is where God steps in. He strategically places us in situations that require us to extend ourselves.

I see the hardships I have endured in my life, and at the time I didn’t see the payoff,but looking back, I am so incredibly thankful for every ounce of pain I experienced. My stretch marks have exposed attributes in me that I never thought I had. The stretch has allowed me to extend myself to a new level of dependence on God and a renewal of personal discovery.

May you see the good in the stretch marks that you have gained over the course of life. May you see God’s blessing in the midst of struggle. And may you embrace your trials as a step to your something greater in life and as another extension to your purpose in this world.

Stretch marks are painful and ugly, but in the end the stretch is worth so much more.

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