From Childish to Childlike: The Value of Transitions

Over the past few days, I have been talking about transitioning from childish to childlike.  But what are the benefits of going from childish to childlike?  If our goal is to be spiritually mature, why would we want to explore life as a child?

From the time I was seven years old until I was about sixteen, my life was chaotic.  My childhood was taken from me by divorce, stepparents, responsibilities, hidden emotions, and anxiety.  These events are still pretty tough for me to discuss, even though they happened nearly ten years ago.  When normal children were having fun and playing, I was in my house, trying to sort through how I felt.  I balanced taking care of my sister, seeing my parents, and entertaining a bipolar stepfather, while attempting to figure out why I was so anxious all the time.  My stepsisters made fun of me whenever I acted my age, despite the fact that they were only two years older than me.  They constantly compared themselves to me.  As a result, I put away childish things.  I grew up, forgetting the joy and peace I felt as a child.

During my college years, I was scared of growing up.  Whatever chance I had of going back to my childhood was over.  I cried a lot over the loss of opportunities.  I journaled about my fears and concerns, like getting a job or having my own family.  Because I missed my childhood, I did not feel safe about going into the future.

When I went on that retreat and played on the challenge course, I thought a lot about my childhood.  I remembered the fun time I had in kindergarten.  I remembered the embarrassing moments from elementary school.  I remembered my friends and the activities I enjoyed doing.  Honestly, although that time I had on the playground was short, it was helpful to grieve my childhood so that I could look toward the future.  It was not possible for me to grow up because I desired a childhood that I didn’t have.

As you walk from childishness to childlikeness, do not be afraid to grieve.  If you did not have a childhood, take some time to play. Humble yourself.  Take a break from work to do what you love.  Spend time with friends.  Look up at God and thank Him for the life that He has given you.

This blog post concludes my series “From Childish to Childlike.”  After a quick break this weekend, I will continue to discuss the importance of transitions.  Come back on Monday to read my new series. Thanks for your continued support.  Be blessed!

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