Are you showing signs of Growth?
I saw a lizard shedding its skin yesterday. I know they shed their skin because they are growing. Normally lizards run away when you walk near but not this one. Ever noticed when it doesn’t move it’s because it is shedding? Well, for those of you who are afraid of lizards you probably run away, but I always wondered why they seem dead when shedding? So I did some research regarding the process of a lizard shedding its skin and I found some interesting facts. The shedding process is something we all do, animals and people alike. We as human beings are constantly shedding old skin cells and making new ones. But I want to talk about another kind of shedding. Shedding of our old habits, old mindsets, and old way of doing things.
So here is the analogy; As we go through our growth stages we should be maturing, naturally and spiritually. But sometimes we don’t see growth because we are impeded by things we may or may not be aware of.
First, let’s talk about the signs that indicate you have begun the shedding process.
- Dulling of your color. I would liken this to a feeling of loneliness because no one can do the shedding for you, and sometimes no one understands the process; you feel fatigued because it takes focus, concentration and work to go through changes; Weakness, because you have exhausted so much energy to the process and the fight to not give up and at times don’t feel like you have the strength to continue; you feel vulnerable and unattractive, because let’s face it, we don’t like the look of shedding skin, it makes you look like you have some kind of disease or ailment. You look like you’re going through hell which may be the case but we don’t want everyone to know it and you don’t look as vibrant or as happy as you were the month or week or day before.
- Irritability; you become sensitive to everyone and everything around you; you are in discomfort; and certain topics make you defensive. This causes you to push people away because you don’t want them to reject you first, you’d rather go through it alone as if you could, without any help (but you really need support). You are just being stubborn and prideful.
- Loss of Appetite; the things you had a craving for no longer seem needful, important or attractive. You kind of feel like you are in a clean sweep mood, getting rid of all the junk. You want to clean everything from your closet, your house, your finances, your credit…everything. You are making room for new, getting rid of the old.
But let me show you reasons that will hinder your growth (shedding);
Your shedding might be disturbed by:
- External parasites – people who don’t understand your process and want to suck the life out of you while you are in this vulnerable state. It could be old relationships that you have been carrying around for too long. Your past could be haunting you. Anything that is coming against you physically or spiritually is a parasite.
- Lack of vitamins – You have got to get your daily feeding of God’s word and positivity. Whether it be through reading, music, etc. Renew your mind!
- Inadequate humidity levels – This kind of ties in with vitamins, because you need to cultivate the proper atmosphere and conditions for growth. When you are in a dry environment, without God’s presence you will stay dry and your growth will be slow which causes you frustration because you know where you need to be but are not there. But on the other hand, humidity levels shouldn’t be too high. You cannot be so heavenly minded that you are no earthly good. There has to be balance, a false balance is an abomination to the Lord. You have to put in some work! Take the time to sow into your inner being, your true self. You can only prosper on the outside to the degree that your inner man is prospering. Your outer world is a reflection of what is going on inside your inner world. As a man thinks in his heart, that is who they become.
- Stress – What are some of the things that add stress to your life? If you do not have the proper conditions for change you become susceptible to illness which makes you weak and this causes your shedding process to be stifled because you consume extreme amounts of energy when going through the process. When your heart is overwhelmed and you don’t know what to do, you need to get to that secret place in God and dwell there. In other words hang out with God and shut every distraction down around you. Don’t focus on the unpleasant surroundings but focus on Him and His plans for your growth and life. God will never put more on you than you can bare. With every test there is a way of escape. But remember God does not tempt us to do evil but allows us to go through the test so we may go from one level to the next.
- Lack of moisture – lack of anointing, lack of power, the power to transform.
- Improper handling – Stay put! Stop hopping from church to church, running from conference to conference looking for a word. It’s good to go visit different churches and conferences, but when you are in that vulnerable state, you don’t need others to improperly handle what God has anointed your Pastor to handle and cultivate. Trust that God will speak to your Pastor regarding your situation. They that are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish. Stop jumping from job to job. Get stabilized and see what God wants you to learn from where you are and watch him exalt you in due season!
Everyone is not against you!
Lizards need stimulants at times to rub their bodies against to remove the skin that is shedding to help it fall off. Let’s face it, sometimes we have people in our lives that can act as sandpaper for us to remove that old stuff from our character, our situations and mindsets. No one wants to carry around dead skin! Whether we want to admit it or not we need that sandpaper to help us shed and mature. How better to get promoted than to be trained to handle the promotion?
It’s similar to when a woman has hormonal changes during her monthly cycle, she feels on edge and it seems like everyone and anyone can get on her nerves. It’s important to understand when you are in those seasons of change to get in that quiet place of safety so that you won’t lash out and offend someone. Although that is NOT always guaranteed, you may have casualties along the way but always ask for forgiveness that you may continue to grow and not stunt your growth. There’s nothing worse than a deformed or distorted animal. You may lose limbs if you do not shed properly. In other words, you may lose some people or things for a while but just as the lizard has the regenerative ability to regrow its tail, you as a child of God, made in His image and likeness, have that same regenerative power within to restore, resurrect and regenerate what was lost!
Lizards shedding begins in parts throughout the body, not all over at the same time. Thank goodness God allows us to grow in stages and does not demand for us to change all our idiosyncrasies at once. We would definitely fall apart! Interestingly enough, for a lizard, shedding starts at the head and then moves down the spine, ending at the tail. We too must begin the process in the mind. As it is with the head, so it is with the body. Your body will follow what your mind tells it, so it behooves you to renew your mind so that you may renew your body. What does renew your mind mean? It means change the way you think and perceive things and your ideals. Line your thoughts with God’s thoughts and they will be elevated. You will begin to see clearly from an aerial view. Looking from the eagles vision instead of the chickens’ view.
So are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:9
With that being said, I hope you are allowing yourself to be shed of your past, your old negative deeds and mindsets and be transformed by the renewing of your mind into the amazing person you were destined to be! Don’t stunt your growth. Be strong and very courageous.