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There Is No Filter for Spiritual Growth- It Isn't Always Pretty

I was having a conversation with one of my friends this afternoon and we were discussing our spiritual growth. The conversation was so positive and powerful, I wanted to share it with you. The more we discuss our growth, the more we all grow. The more candid we are about our hurt, the more we can give others hope. The more vulnerable we can be, the more valuable the connections become.

My friend and I have been more intentional about staying connected to the light and in doing so we have reached new heights spiritually, mentally, and physically. Awesome for us now, but thinking back to where we used to be, not only did we not understand ourselves, but we also didn’t understand God. We didn't strive to know God intimately. Well, at-least I didn’t. I would pray and call it a day. I didn’t have the tools needed to fight life, so I let it beat me up. When life was done punching, I would come up for air and beg God to be there. I would pray when things were bad, but I wouldn’t praise when things were good. I forgot God when things were good. I didn't pray because I was a Christian, I prayed because I was in crisis.

I have since learned that the spiritual journey isn’t about being, it is about becoming. It isn’t about wishing; it is about doing. It isn’t about perfection; it is about progression. It isn’t about being the best, it is about being better, every day and in every way. Being spiritual doesn’t mean you don’t have problems. Being spiritual means that you take God with you into those problems so you can successfully make it out.

I got saved at a very young age and in doing so, I thought I was protected from anything bad ever happening to me. Boy was I wrong! When life started “lifing”, I didn’t know how to manage the stress and found myself becoming easily anxious and depressed. Often, I thought my life was over, every time to be exact. I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel because I accepted the darkness of the moment as my forever truth.

Now that I have matured in myself and in my spirituality, I understand so much more and yet, I know I still have so much more to learn. I don't know who needs to hear this message, but your spiritual journey is not going to be easy. You are going to have to fight for the light, but it will be the most rewarding victory of your life if you can see your way through the strife.

Below are some practices that have helped me stay present with peace while in problems:

Change your perspective to always think positive. Your thoughts create your reality so be mindful of what is in your mind. Always remember, something good is going to come of this situation and sometimes that good is growth. Problems are preparation, not punishment. You survived the last problem, keep your peace in knowing that you will survive the next one as well. You cannot escape problems, but you can properly manage them.

Instead of worrying through your problems, worship in them. In the storm, thank God in advance for the peace that is coming. Thank God for the solution that is on the way. Thank God for the grace of not making the situation worse. Put on a good gospel song, my personal favorite is Praying for You by William Murphy and give God thanks. In doing so, you shift the energy from low to high. You will immediately feel hopeful instead of hurting. As the elders say, "you confuse the devil" when you praise through pain. You are unshakeable, walk and live in that confidently.

Pray through your pain. Every time you want to focus on your problems or your pain, begin to pray. Talk to God like you do your family and friends. Tell God how you are feeling and pray for the strength, guidance and wisdom to overcome. Lay all your burdens down so God can pick them up and lighten your load. Pour all your hurt out, God will never be too full for you. After you are done praying, accept the relief and know that God is nearby.

Figure it out. If you have a problem, research how you can solve it. Trust and believe, you are not the only one experiencing this hardship. There is someone out there that has solved the same problem you are enduring. Browse YouTube videos, do a Google search or visit a local community center to get resources for help. You are not alone, don’t let your pride keep you from your peace.

Travel in grace. Be gentle with yourself. As spiritual beings having a human experience, remember we are learning how to be human, but we were born a spirit. The spirit is our foundation, and the spirit does not have to be found, it has to be listened to. We must build our house on spirit because if we don’t, our house will not be sturdy, and life will always create opportunities for us to fall. The truth is, we are all going to go through hardship, but what really matters is how we rise. Rise with a smile! You are in this game of life, how beautiful. You are not going to be perfect, but you can be better and do better. Give yourself time to get there, it is not a sprint, it is a marathon.

Many blessings on your spiritual journey. You got this!

Love Always,

The Heart Helper

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