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Semi-recently I heard a pastor tell a story to illustrate a truth about the Christian life. But I’ve found over the past few weeks that the same truth applies in all aspects of my life so I wanted to share it with all of you.
Once upon a time, there was a family that decided to adopt a child from a different country. They traveled to that distant land, visited an orphanage there, and spotted the little girl that captured their hearts. After a lot of prayer, expense, legal red tape, and waiting, the day finally came when the adoption was complete and they brought their daughter home.
A few months later, a friend ran into the father at a restaurant and asked how it was going. The new father smiled and replied, “Well, she is a Smith and she is becoming a Smith.”
What he meant was that this girl was legally identified as a member of the Smith family. Nothing could make her less an official Smith. Or more. Yet, she was also in the process of discovering what it meant to be a Smith as she adjusted to the customs, habits, language, foods, rules, and relationship dynamics of the Smith family.
As a follower of Jesus Christ, I both am and am becoming a Christian. By accepting the gift of salvation, I am saved, adopted into God’s family, and my name is written in the Book of Life. I am a Christian. But I am also on the journey of discovering what that new status means in my daily life. How do I respond to family members and how do I represent the family name to others I meet? How many family stories and instructions do I learn in the Bible and how many distant relations will I meet around the world?
I am and am becoming a mother. I gave birth three times, so I’m a mom. But I’m still figuring out how to nurture, correct, direct, and launch these very individual people.
I am and am becoming a wife. I said “I do” nineteen plus years ago and am legally married in the eyes of God, society, and the IRS. Yet, I’m still working at the “two shall become one” thing to create a partnership that reflects God’s love to those around us, especially our children.
I am and am becoming an author. Right there on my publishing contract it states that I am the author, so it must be true. (Yes, some days I still pinch myself in case this is a dream!) And yet … I am still becoming an author as I practice my craft, learn about better storytelling techniques, develop a marketing plan, and glean from other writers.
I am also a daughter. A sister. A friend. An employee. A volunteer. A teacher.
I am and I am becoming all of these because life is a journey. Enjoy the adventure!
What about you? Is it possible to both be and be becoming at the same time? Do you have another example to share? Do we ever stop growing?