There are ways you’ve grown that others may not, cannot or will not ever choose to fully see and acknowledge. I call that kind of growth root growth.
I’m not talking about hair roots, although I am a staunch supporter of healthy scalps. I’m talking about the root growth that happens below the soil, off social media, behind closed doors, in your heart and in your mind.
It’s that you and Jesus growth that you might not fully realize until the depths of your roots are tested. It’s the kind of growth that holds your tongue instead of being petty, knows when to engage and disengage from certain situations, isn’t afraid to apologize and take ownership, and navigates life’s turns that would have taken you out in the past.
Growth looks different for everyone and manifests in different ways throughout our lives. So why don’t we honor this growth more? Here are my thoughts:
Root growth isn’t always glamorous, and it can be slow.
Root growth comes with growing pains, and they are rarely ever cute.
Root growth is NOT perfection.
Root growth isn’t linear. Although it might appear you’re moving forward one day, there are twists and turns that can feel like setbacks.
Root growth it’s for an audience. So if you’re trying to be seen, you might start feeling inadequate without anything to show.
Root growth doesn’t always feel praiseworthy.
Root growth can be messy. Ask me, I’m a new plant mom.
Root growth doesn’t come with instant recognition or gratification. You may never get kudos.
And as a society (talking to myself), we tend to judge people based on where and how we last saw them. I promise I’m not coming for anyone’s wig, BUT it is the truth. I’m just going to leave it there because that, my friends, could be a mini sermon. For my Bible scholars out there, I hear you on the root-fruit connection. We shall know them by their fruits.
But what we can’t see are the roots. There is so much activity underground that we aren’t privy to. In some cases, although we might see a spoiled crop, that doesn't mean small and positive changes aren't happening below the soil of someone's life. Sometimes we barely recognize all the changes happening within us, let alone others.
How might we begin to honor, cultivate and add value to root growth — first in our own lives and then with those around us?
I’ll leave you with these encouraging words from the book of Job that sum up the beauty of root growth:
“Though your beginning was small, your end will increase greatly.”
Rooting for you and your growth — always.