Packed In Between Sandpaper Sheets – Growing Can Be Uncomfortable

Posted: April 1, 2008 in Daily Blog

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Every once in a while I get this overwhelming feeling that I am packed in between sheets of sandpaper.  Not the super smooth kind that you use for finishing touches on a nice piece of furniture, no, this is definitely the really coarse kind with big pieces of sand that take large chunks out of whatever you are working on.  It starts in the back of my head and goes down my spine, surrounding all my nerves and eventually out my legs and finger tips.  I can’t sit still, I cant think straight, I just want to scream, yet there it is like wet toilet paper clinging to the trees you TP’d in high school, I can’t get it off, it has to wear off.  I was really angry about it last night, angry enough to stay up late and try my best to move past the frustration.  It eventually worked because I recognized what was happening – finally. 

 

I finally recognized this feeling from being in situations like this before.  Situations that are completely out of my control but knowing I have to somehow make it through successfully because people are counting on me, (including myself) and there is no escape.  I have to face it – and it feels like sandpapers on my nerves.  It usually doesn’t last long, that is the good part, because I cannot live like this long and neither can my wife (she can barely stand me at the moment.)  It is one of the hard parts of being a leader, the part we don’t talk about much; it is growing pains. 

 

Your capacity is not enlarged in a vacuum – it is enlarged in difficult learning experiences, in times of stress, and in situations that stretch you beyond your limits – real world situations.  To become a better leader we all must be stretched and challenged, and sometimes situations will take us right up to our breaking point.  It hurts.  It is a huge challenge, but without experiencing the edges you don’t know where they are.  It also helps us grow.  Once you reach your limit, you eventually become capable of operating at that limit as a routine occurrence and it stops hurting so badly.  Look at families; usually the first child winds up stretching the parents beyond any boundary they thought they could tolerate, so when the second comes it is not nearly as difficult.  The learning curve doesn’t start at zero and go up, it starts where your capacity was, drops down as you go through the growing pains, then accelerates up as your capacity and leadership grows.

 

I had an “Aha” moment last night, I realized that this sandpaper on my nerves feeling was because I am being stretched this month to be a better leader; capable of handling more challenges, a variety of situations and deeper responsibilities.  I realize that if I make it through this time of growth and stretching I will be better for it, my capacity will increase, I will have better tolerance and deeper maturity.  This week, and next, will be a time of increasing capacity.  I am looking forward to resting soon.  I have had quite a season of stretching and could use a little rest from it!  I hate sanding… but it does leave smother edges when it is over.

 

On another note:  My Niece just got her first Job!  She is finishing up college as a student teacher in Denver.  She had one interview in front of 10 people – no pressure there – and they hired her!  Congratulations – all that hard work paid off!

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Comments
  1. trish prouty says:

    THANK THE LORD YOU CAN’T LIVE LONG LIKE THIS! I LOVE YOU AND CAN SEE THAT YOU CAN
    HANDLE IT ALL EVEN IF YOU DON’T! I HEARD A VERY WISE MAN SAY IN HIS SERMON “DONT OBSESS REST” HMMMM COULD THIS APPLY HERE BY THE WAY IT WAS YOU WHO SAID THAT, DON’T YOU HATE WHEN YOUR WORDS COME BACK TO YOU.

    CONGRATS AMANDA! WHAT LUCKEY KIDS TO HAVE YOU AS THEIR TEACHER!!!!!

  2. amanda says:

    thanks for the encouragement! I’m still jumping around throughout the house excited about getting this meant-to-be job!

  3. coolchurchmom says:

    Wisdom is understanding the life lesson in the middle of the challenging circumstance…discipleship is sharing that wisdom from with someone else even in the midst of the steep growth curve ~ so thank you.

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