I don't know many people who do what I do, but I have a personal hashtag that governs the current season of my life. It is #thrivingoversurviving. You might be curious as to why I chose this to represent what's happening in my world. Well, I'll put it to you like this..... It's one thing to survive. It's another to thrive.
There are multiple times when we are going through challenges in life where mere survival is the order of the day. We survived a test. We survived an altercation. We survived a root canal. We survived the heat or the monotonous speech or a never-ending, meandering movie plot. We survived. We got through something. We remained alive after something happened. We endured. And don't get me wrong....surviving is vital. It is also a key step toward thriving.
Years ago, I planted small fruit trees in my backyard in my pursuit of expanding my greenish thumb. I staked them and babied them, trying to get them to grow. Sure enough, they began to show signs of growth and survived their first winter in the ground. They remained alive. They continued to exist. They endured in challenging circumstances. While I was glad of that fact, I knew that simply surviving would not be the end of the story for my young trees. See, the end game was for them to produce fruit. In other words, my plan for them was not just to survive, but to thrive and truly live out their design by producing fruit.
I moved out of my home temporarily, which meant that I was unable to tend to my trees. I soon forgot about them, only thinking of them from time to time and wondering if they were still growing. Recently, I had an opportunity to visit the house. In doing so, I went into the backyard and received a shock! Although two of the three trees did not survive well over time, one tree did. Not only did it survive, it was thriving. It had grown taller, spread out its branches, and even produced tiny apples. This tree defied all the odds by growing and remaining through countless seasons without direct care. This tree demonstrated its ability to thrive over survival.
Well, if you're reading this right now, on some level, it's fair to say that we have survived a very tumultuous 2020. We lost so much along the way. We were inundated with much grief and changes that we didn't initiate or approve. We were blindsided and disappointed. Yet, through the grace and mercy of God, we remained. With His strength, we endured. As we step into 2021, we are still in survival mode, tentative about what will come next. I want you to know that survival is a key step toward something rather than the end game. We were not built to break. We were built to thrive! It's our divine design! God's Word says, "For we are His workmanship [His own master work, a work of art], created in Christ Jesus [reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, ready to be used] for good works, which God prepared [for us] beforehand [taking paths which He set], so that we would walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us]" (Ephesians 2:10).
I encourage you to lift your head up. In light of all that we've lost this past year, we've also gained so much. A major part of that gain is the understanding that our survival is a precursor to our ability to thrive! If you have dared to dream again after loss, you are positioned to thrive. If you cared to address your own emotions and mental state, you will thrive. If you chose to look for the rainbow after the rain, then you want to thrive more than you want to survive. If you simply took it day by day, you are in a place that will facilitate thriving over surviving. It's never easy. So, I applaud you! I have much respect for you! I support you! Cheers to you and your desire to thrive! More on thriving over surviving to come!
You can call me Jenn. Let's sit on the front porch, grab a tall glass of sweet tea, and chat about life. I communicate through writing and I so enjoy the conversations that squeeze out of my thoughts and words. I especially look forward to hearing your responses to my thoughts and words that spark other conversations, peak interest, and inspire change.