Discomfort and Growth

I was reading a devotional on the Holy Bible app from the 7-day study plan “Right People, Right Place, Right Plan: Discerning the Voice of God”, and the first day’s devotional was called Forced to Fly. It compared how a mother eagle makes the nest uncomfortable when she wants her eaglets to learn to fly, and how God does the exact same thing for us. His tool of pushing us towards greatness and towards the right path is discomfort.

If you’d relate better to a quote rather than a devotional, think of it in one of these ways:

“A smooth sea never made a skillful sailor”


– credited to FDR, English and African proverbs

“Growth and comfort do not coexist.”


– Ginny Rometty, CEO of IBM

“No rain, no flowers.”


– unknown

In any of the cases above, the claim is that without discomfort and hardships, we cannot grow. Think of learning to ride a bike – we all fall at some point, but that’s when we learn to get back up, wash that scrape on our knees, and try again. And without failure, without that pain or discomfort, we don’t try again. If everything was easy, what would be the point in trying?

The beginning of this year – for about the entire month of January – was definitely a large period of discomfort in my life. I was struggling with health issues (going in and out of the hospital multiple times a week), struggling with loss of close interpersonal relationships, and struggling with problems in school. It was a really tough time, and while I was trying to make the best of it, there were a lot of days where I simply wasn’t feeling like life was on my side, or that God was on my side. (Spoiler alert: I was wrong.)

It turns out that because I had problems with scheduling my classes originally, I was pushed into an organic chemistry class where I actually learn well from the professor (despite my efforts to specifically avoid this prof), and I was even able to pick up a class that highly interests me – forensic psychology – that I wouldn’t have been able to join this semester otherwise. Because of my health issues, I was able to see how amazing the close friends I do have in my life are, and I was able to experience that love and care that they extended, as well as be able to ‘weed out’ other people who simply didn’t care. In terms of relationship issues, closed doors come along with open windows – while the windows may be a bit scarier to jump out of rather than simply walking through a door, I have found stronger, more genuine relationships where God is present. All the discomfort and pain and general gross-ness of January led to positive changes in the end.

This, along with the very timely devotional message, has just given me further proof that discomfort leads to goodness. It can be used to either strengthen or redirect you (and sometimes it’s hard to figure out which one is the intended outcome), but in any case, the end of it brings greatness.

If you are in a season of discomfort, I pray and hope that you will find the greatness from it soon. I hope that the metaphorical scrapes heal, and that you get back on your bike and ride off into the sunset – a stronger, happier version of you that has grown through these experiences.

Krys Kestrel (@kryskestrel on ig)

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