“I am the vine. You are the branches. If you remain joined to me, and I to you, you will bear a lot of fruit. You can’t do anything without me…When you bear a lot of fruit, it brings glory to my Father. It shows that you are my disciples.”
John 15:5-8, NIRV
For the month of September, I have been writing as well as meditating on this piece of scripture. I love the Autumn and Winter seasons of the year. Fall is full of bountiful harvest, the work put in has paid off in time. Winter shows that there is beauty in death and new life will always spring forth again. When I look back over the years, there have been many struggles and trials. Some came from a lack of maturity and believing I knew all the answers, and some came from places I could not control whether it was words spoken over me or being unable to shake off the idea others had of me.
I like to write these little journey updates in order to be transparent. I’ve had this blog for such a long time, it feels as if it is a full extension of me. This can be difficult on the days where I pour out my heart and believe my words will affect so many, but the views are not nearly as where my mind wishes they could be. In all of it, I love being able to look back and see what God has taught me, so that I can then share it with those who read this. I like adding the journey update because I am able to show how what I write has changed my own life; I will always put things into practice before sharing it with you.
One thing I have learned is that growth is not easy. Growth requires one to shed their old ideas of how to live, it requires being active in the relationship with God so that He can change and alter you into the best version of yourself. Growth is not easy for several reasons, but one that is especially difficult is changing to the people who are around you. For years, I had a solid community of people, they liked me at the time of high school and into college, but God began to change me and shape me to be closer to what He has designed for my life. In that, people wanted the old me, but that version of me has changed. Fighting expectations is never easy.
I think this result of growing is okay; there are people in our lives for a season and we should cherish these moments, but we cannot force someone to stay the same when God is working a new thing in their life. Some relationships will grow together and some may grow apart, but that is how life goes.
I think about the growth my dear Danielle and I have been going through, the picture of life when we were married was much different than what continues to play out; yet in all of it I am thankful to be growing, always.
This past week we spent our third anniversary in New York City. It was a fantastic time together, we spent time thinking about the ways we have been protected and blessed, as well as what we would like to move towards going forward. The future cannot be planned out, as much as we would all love that, we must begin to dream but have faith in the direction God leads. You have to move forward and remain faithful that the right doors will open.
As I continue to grow, I want to remain faithful to where God leads. That’s been my word of the year, faithful, faithful to where God is taking me and having trust in His working something new in me. I’ve made mistakes and there are events I wish never happened to me, but I have to move forward and be growing, always.
As September ends and the fullness of Autumn rolls in, take time to journal how you have grown and areas you need to keep growing in. Write it down and choose to harvest the things that God has been growing inside of you. You are meant to change and it’s okay to not stay who others want you to be. Be who God is calling you to be above all else.
For the month of October, I am excited to write my favorite tradition; lessons on facing fear from spooky b-movies. I love this series because we all have fears, but we have a bigger God than we can possibly imagine. Plus, I get to share some of my favorite corny and spooktacular movies, perfect for any movie night where you can laugh at the screen with some friends. I hope you have enjoyed my ramble of a journey update, but God has been growing me so much, and I hope you too, will step into the growth that has begun in your life. I will see you next week, so prepare your garlic, that’s the only hint you get for it! Oh and, be sure to share this blog in your life, I want these words to help people, so share it around and God will send the folks who need it here.
About the Author: Joshua Thomas is a writer by day and superhero by night. When he’s not writing and crimefighting, you can find him reading a good book, sipping warm tea, taking pictures, or dreaming. The young writer doesn’t fully know what he’s doing, but is enjoying the journey of it all. You can follow his hipster photos and Jack Kerouac musings on Instagram @joshua_thomas__