Posted by: JennyRain | May 14, 2010

Zoning: Sheryl O’Bryan

We are finishing up our 2 week Guest Blogger Series on “Newness” @ the Rain, how y’all doin?

Thank you SO much for journeying with me and these AMAZING ladies… I have had a blast and I hope you have too. Right about now we are probably flying over the ocean on our way back home… or we are enjoying the safari in Kenya (depending on when you read this). Pray for quick recovery times, good health, and joy as we return and begin to share our stories with all of you.

Today’s blogger is Sheryl. Remember that season of my life when I was supposed to go to Kenya and finish my degree? Well, I had been approved to be a missionary for World Venture (still my favorite sending agency). Sheryl was one of my trainers and was one of the main reasons I have survived this entire process without crumbling into a million tiny pieces. Her words of encouragement and challenge have seemed to come at JUST the right time and God has used her in integral ways in my spiritual growth.

Sheryl rocks  y’all and I know you are going to love her post!

Guest Blogger: Sheryl O’Bryan

Her blog:

New stuff fascinates me.

I am not a Mac. I’m a PC who is intrigued by all the iStuff. I want to play with an iPad, but I don’t think I’ll get one. My laptop is officially old by computer standards, but I’m reluctant to trade it in—even for a new PC. I have a binder full of new recipes to try, but 97% of the time I go back to the old stand-bys. The gym has new machines, but it will be a while before I give them a try.

Here’s the thing. I know newness doesn’t mean everything is shiny and happy. I can’t think of a time when a new thing didn’t bring some pain with it. Granted most of the pain doesn’t last, but it’s still there. I don’t know about you, but I’m not a big fan of pain.

Every truly new thing takes some getting used to.

I call this the Groan Zone. You know, the period between doing things the old way and adapting to the new thing and the way it requires life to be lived. In the space between discarding former habits and learning new ones—in the process of growth—there’s groaning.

Transitioning from a Big Wheel to bike meant learning a new skill set, lots of skinned knees, quite a bit of groaning and more than a few tears. A new baby brings lots of joy with her, but she also brings many hours of interrupted sleep to her parents. Moving from Windows XP to Windows 7 is sure to elicit more than a few exasperated moments. Changing the kind of car you drive, be it an SUV for a sedan (who remembered they were so close to the ground?!) or a standard for an automatic (where did the clutch go?!?!), produces groan-worthy moments.

I think it’s the same way in my spiritual life.

When God is at work growing me into the next part of maturity there’s groaning to be done. I realize I’m not as humble/generous/kind/accepting/loving/ _____ (fill in the blank) as I thought I was. Rarely are these pleasant realizations. God knows I need these epiphanies. They are essential to me becoming who He created me to be.

Growth is hard work. Pregnant women groan as their body changes to accommodate the new life growing inside them. A chick that doesn’t persevere through the hard work of getting out of the shell never reaps the benefits of life. Having a tumor cut out so healthy tissue can develop isn’t fun, but it’s necessary for good growth and good change.

When I hear myself groaning, I have to stop and ask, “Where is God trying to grow me now?”

Knowing groaning can lead to growth doesn’t make the process easier, but it does make me more aware.

The good news is we don’t groan forever. It happens in different seasons. We move from the frustrated and sometimes painful sounds of the Groan Zone to a new growth zone, Refinement. Growth continues here, but it’s more like “Look what I can do!”

Are you in the zone? Are you groaning and growing or are you refining and growing?




  1. i loved this statement, sheryl: “When I hear myself groaning, I have to stop and ask, “Where is God trying to grow me now?”” i need to get better at pausing, quieting my heart, and looking for God in the midst of the growing pains…

  2. Thanks, Alece! I find the hardest part of doing that is quieting myself from the groaning enough to ask the question.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: