Let it Grow

 

by

Olivia Stepp

I was driving to work last week and had K-Love playing on the radio when something someone shared stuck with me: “I was in such a difficult season, and I felt God trying to shape me. So I asked Him to make me grow… and, immediately, it began to rain.”

Lately, I felt like I, too, had been going through a season where God was speaking to me about taking a step further into His purpose for my life, so I began to pray that same prayer. About twenty minutes later, I received a phone call from my mom, forewarning me that she was on her way to the hospital because she felt like something wasn’t right in her chest region—something we had been monitoring for a few days now... and were starting to grow concerned over. The next day, after hours of tests that came back negative, numerous needles that poked and prodded, and minimal exposure to sleep, my family was told by the head cardiologist that there may be an abnormality near the exterior wall of my mother’s heart, and that an angiogram and potential angioplasty would be the best medical plan for her physical well-being.

To say that I was devastated was the understatement of the century. I was lost, aimlessly searching for answers, and honestly felt like I might collapse from the stress that weighed on my shoulders. I asked God to make it rain only yesterday, and it felt like a monsoon had hit our family. I couldn’t breathe, let alone grow!

The next forty-eight hours were excruciatingly painful, but during that time, I tried to find healthy outlets to center that pain on. I listened to worship music. I called family and friends who I knew would let me cry it out (and boy, did I!). I had coffee with someone who made me smile, laugh, and eased that weight on my shoulders. I prayed—constantly. I wrote in my journal. And all of these outlets helped.

But what really softened my heart and brought clarity to my situation was Steve Carter’s sermon, “Your Body is a Temple.” As he broke down what it means to truly have E.N.E.R.G.Y. and give our bodies to God, I felt like this was God’s own personal gift to my family and me. This message was something that we all desperately needed to hear. It’s true that it may be difficult and uncomfortable to fully surrender our bodies to Our Father. But when you’re placed in a situation like the one that my family was in, you come to realize that our bodies are only temporary—simply vessels that are being rented, while our spirits make a home on Earth to fulfill God’s purpose. And if we don’t take care of those vessels, we’re essentially breaking God’s lease, His plan—for us and for our lives.

I felt God speaking through Steve that day. More than usual. So much so that I went to the hospital later that day and watched his sermon again with my family. It ended up speaking to my mom, too. I am beyond grateful that it is by His grace that my mom is home resting today. But I’m even more grateful to have discovered that, through this horrible storm, I’ve been able to truly see growth in myself and in my family.

My mom’s health will not be something that will resolve itself overnight. It is going to be a long journey with devoted time, effort, and yes, E.N.E.R.G.Y, in order to get back on track to where she needs to be. But she’s not ready to break the lease that she signed with her Father, and she’s begun to make renovations to restore her body back to not just a livable space but a holy temple. I don’t doubt that she’ll get there; just like I don’t doubt that God placed that quote in my life right before I needed it most. Rain or shine, I forever count the blessings that shower down on me. Because, regardless of what each day brings, I know He’s looking down on His daughter with love, continuously watching her bloom.