When my kids were younger I would often find myself in conversations with other mom’s, talking about our kids, their milestones, and what we felt made each one unique. In these conversations it was common to hear statements such as,
“This is my outgoing one.”
“She’s so creative, but he’s more of an organizer.”
“I could see him acting some day, he loves to make people laugh, but not her.. she doesn’t like the limelight”
Although these comments were fun and innocent ways for us to try to figure out the kids God blessed us with, I found that as my kids grew older they seemed to jump out of every box I ever tried to place them in. My quiet one, who didn’t seem to enjoy the limelight as much, acted amazingly well in a church small group video. My seemingly unorganized one, is diligent at school about getting his work in on time and manages his responsibilities well.
Seeing this growing up, work in progress, progression in my kids has made me more aware that labels and boxes are our way of trying to understand our world and those around us, but because God is so big and always at work in His kids, it really is impossible to think we have anyone all figured out. Once we try to put someone in a box, God can break them out of it. Once we assume they can’t do something, God can empower them to do it in a way that blows our mind.
Philippians 1:6 says, “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” Only God truly knows what He has placed on the inside of each of us. Only He knows the glory that is awaiting His name as He breaks us out of molds and labels and boxes placed on us by others and the wounds of our pasts. Only He can see where we are headed.
One of the greatest gifts we can give our kids and those we love, work with and interact with, is room to grow; believing the same box shattering, label defying work of Jesus is at work in each one of our lives. One of the most heart breaking things we can offer those we love, is the belief that who we have seen them as, is all we believe they will ever be.
Today, choose to believe in and speak life into the transforming, growing, shaping work of Jesus in those you love. Believe the best, and expect to be surprised at what God does as He lovingly shapes and molds His kids.