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To My Tired Sista,

Being stretched is no fun. I mean think about it. Just before you start that bomb workout, what do you have to do? Stretch! The stretching maximizes our flexibility. I call it the calm before the storm of sweat and, if done right, maybe even a few tears. Just like with working out, this is what God does to us before we receive that big blessing we have been praying for: he stretches us. Believe me, it hurts. Sometimes I just want to scream and cry because it is downright uncomfortable.. But I have settled in my soul that the stretch is for my benefit because it happens just before my faith is strengthened. Look sis, I know you want to give up. I know you are tired of fighting but I want to encourage you to hang in there. You got it!!

   

 I wrote this blog to bring something to you. I wanted to share what I have been told as I walk through this difficult season of stretching. I love this quote that I recently read, “God cares MORE about the development of the dreamer than the actual dream itself. He cares MORE for your personal growth than your final destination. Because if you are not developed or matured, you will ultimately MESS UP the dream and final destination when you get there.” So if you feel uncomfortable, that stretch is working, girl. Instead of tensing up, embrace it. There is an enhanced version of “you” on the other side.

     

Before you compare your stretching season to those around you, I need you to know that everybody’s stretch looks different. You may be thinking, sis, how do I know I am being stretched? Well let’s see, that job you have been praying to leave but God said stay right there. You’re being stretched. That new relationship that seems to test the boundaries between your nerves and your sanity but somehow you don’t feel peace about breaking it off. Stretched. Or you always seem to have an encounter with that same family member who tries it and tests your patience every time you see them. Stretched. When you don’t know why things just are not working out and it seems God is slamming doors shut left and right. Stretched. Guess what?! It is “stretching season” girl so grab your yoga mat and put on your comfiest workout clothes.

   

I thought of stretch marks when I wrote this blog because it is a beautiful analogy to what I feel God is trying to do to us. Stretch marks happen when the skin is PULLED due to rapid growth or stretching. They are common around puberty after you hit a growth spurt. I love to call them our “tiger stripes.” While the world has painted them as ugly, I see stretch marks as a beautiful thing. See sis, the stretching you have been experiencing may be painful, uneasy, and downright unpleasant but it is a sign. The stretch marks are a sign that growth is imminent. So grab your popcorn because you are going to have a front row seat to God moving on your behalf. And maybe, just maybe the growth has happened but you haven’t even realized it yet. Sis, you’re on the brink of rapid growth and there’s no telling where God is about to take you.

   

 Just like stretching wakes up those unused muscles, it is a sign that God is looking to use those untapped talents and gifts that you have kept buried and hidden. Stretching is a sign that God wastes nothing, even those “warm ups”. God will use any and every thing in your life. Let God use the circumstances and situations in your life for your benefit. Think of a slingshot. In order for it to reach its greatest potential, you have to pull it back and then release it.. That is how God sees us. It may seem like God is stretching and pulling you to the point that you feel like it is a setback. But I am telling you,  it is only to propel you further than you ever imagined towards your destiny. So sis, the next time you look down and see those hard-earned stripes a.k.a. stretch marks-- instead of rushing to grab the cocoa butter, stop and admire them because they are a reminder of what God has brought you through and where He is taking you to.

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