Gradually Suddenly

Gradually Suddenly–I love how Seth Godin put these two words together. He is a guy whose writing often makes my brain uncomfortable while being so right on.

And come to think of it, I have had many, many gradually suddenlies in my life. Like when I got out of debt. Each increment was ridiculously small, almost laughable, certainly not worth mentioning out loud, until one day, nothing else was owed, and I was completely debt free. That part was a “Suddenly,” yet it did not happen without all the graduallies that went before.

And come to think of it, all of nature is built on gradually suddenly. Butterflies and oak trees, and hippopotamuses and ant colonies…

And my God, He is a gradually suddenly kind of God. And the more I think about it, the more I am convinced that this whole concept was His idea in the first place. Because the changes He accomplishes in our hearts, they are at times so subtle that we don’t perceive them clearly until the moment where, seemingly all of a sudden, we notice that we don’t hate, or swear, or lust after certain things any longer, and we know we can’t attribute the change to our great efforts at all. We become aware that God did it in us, one instance at a time, until the Suddenly appeared. Yet we all know that it did not really happen suddenly; we just noticed it that way. My God, He takes a really long time to do things really quickly sometimes. 

And so it is with broken relationships and healed marriages, and shattered dreams and fulfilled goals, and weight loss and preparing for a marathon, and flunking school and graduating, and being pregnant and giving birth, and growing and dying and being poor or wealthy, and sunsets and sunrises…. Gradually Suddenly.

And so it is for the whole of our lives.

Cultivating Thankfulness with Ann Voskamp

one-thousand7#871 Being inside in an ice storm  

#872 Hot sausage soup 

#873 Phone Call with my friend

Sometimes, I link up with any or all of these wonderful writers: Hearts 4 HomeSDG, Hearts Reflected, WLW, EOA, Things I can’t say, Growing HomePlay Dates with GodMonday Musings, Hear it on Sunday,Inspire Me Monday, Tell me a Story, The Better Mom, a Mama’s StoryInto the WordIn and Around Mondays,OYHT, Gratituesday,Titus2Tuesdays, ExtraordinayLessons from IvyDenise in BloomSweet BlessingsFaith Filled Friday, Finding JoyWholeHearted Home, Mom’s the Word,



  1. Love that thought – gradually, suddenly. So like our God. As I read, I thought of how many times I have been driving & it is pouring rain & suddenly, there is the rainbow in all of its glory. So glad to have read this post today! Blessings!!


  2. And so it is for our whole lives.

    So grateful for the gradual suddenness of our God and all the ways He has worked to make my life His. Grateful for you too, Barb!! Thanks for linking up so faithfully to Testimony Tuesday.


  3. Thank you for this lovely post. It was such a blessing to read this morning. What a wonderful encouragement that all those little choices to try to move closer to God and loving others more do have a transforming effect in His timing. I am trying to be faithful and loving in the small details of life that seem so insignificant to me are the way God is changing me from the inside out. Thank you so much.
    Bless you,


  4. Barb, this is my first time finding you — through Jennifer’s place. I think I linked up after you, and really glad I came over to read. “Gradually suddenly.” I love that combo of words too. And love how God is so intentionally that way… how He leads us deeper into knowing and trusting His heart in all of it. Your words are a blessing — thank you.


  5. Suddenly and then gradually God is changing us from one glory to another! First a sudden change when we are born again, then gradually a remolding and shaping into His image. I loved your post! Thank you for sharing with us here at “Tell Me a Story.”


  6. I love the fact that you could put our experience with God to words: Gradually Suddenly! This happens so often in my spiritual life – something seems to be taking forever and then suddenly God lifts us up to an entirely different level. I always enjoy visiting and reading your posts!


  7. Gradually Suddenly – I love this! I’ve seen God move in this way many times too.
    Thanks for linking up at Essential Fridays.
    Mel from Essential Thing Devotions


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