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Updated: Apr 5, 2023

The English language is such a strange beast. Well, maybe all languages are. I only speak English, so it is my only reference. The particular oddness to which I'm referring is that so many words have multiple meanings.

Someone sent me a text message today that had the word "become" in it. The rest of the text was interesting, but this was the word that stood out to me. Become....becoming.

Think about this. The word becoming can have at least three completely different meanings.

1. appropriate; proper

2. beautiful in a suitable way (having a pleasing appearance)

3. growing into; turning into

As I read the text, my mind leapt to a memory from when I was 5 years old. "Patria, that's unbecoming," I heard my mother's voice as if she was just that moment saying the words. Those words came after I had been sitting with other little kids on the steps at the front of our church. The pulpit stood tall to my left. The other children were surrounding me. We were all leaning in and intently listening to the voice of an intriguing storyteller. When I went back to my seat, mom chided me for sitting with my knees moving back and forth - toward each other and then away.

"Patria, that's unbecoming." I was unaware that when my knees moved away from each other, the congregation could see up my dress. My mom was doing what moms do - she was training me to be appropriate in public. But I was ashamed, as if I should have somehow already known this important thing.

Unbecoming. It was quickly clear that whatever becoming was, I didn't have it.

When I heard the word today, however, it brought with it a sense of multiple meanings. It was almost as if a telescope was being opened and within each section that unfolded, another part of the meaning of becoming was revealed. It was healing. I heard the Voice of Truth gently whisper, "you are becoming." That voice is so kind. When I heard the whisper, my mind naturally tried to hold onto the original meaning, "unbecoming...inappropriate," but that voice, THE Voice reframed the word and reminded me that I am on a journey.

I'm on a pathway that leads to higher places, restful places, softer places. I am becoming something I am not yet. Whatever becoming is, I am doing it.

This helps me to remember that while I am farther along the path today than I was yesterday, there is still more life yet to live, more learning yet to come, more wisdom yet to gain, more love yet to give.

I can rest in that. Shame from failures (perceived or real) loses its grip and slinks away. My body feels a sweet release. I sigh and take a deep, cleansing breath.

What a relief to realize that it's okay to have not yet arrived. My 5-year-old self also sighs in relief. I'm sure I hear the Voice say to her "How could you have known, little one?"

With renewed hope, I feel anticipation for the becoming.

I hope that you have a deep sense that you are also becoming. I don't know what mistakes or shame you may be wrestling with, but may you experience some measure of rest today.

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