Last week I was on vacation with my family. One of my most favorite things about family vacation is the luxury of walking on the beach each morning around sunrise. It gives me time to think and process without a distraction really. It also provides some good God time where He can speak to my heart and I will give Him my full attention.
Last week I posted on how our pasts are like zombies sometimes, when we’ve not dealt with issues they seem to rise from the dead. Someone took offense to that and I felt the need to remove the post. It is now back up because the very thing I was writing on was coming to life and I was choosing to hit delete. One morning as I was walking I noticed a shell in the sand and it got me to thinking more on the topic of our past.
At first glance the shell is ugly, misshapen, and cluttered up. Then as I began to look further at it, I thought it resembled how my heart and life had taken shape over the last few years. I had collected pieces onto myself from relationships, interactions, and situations. I carried them on the outside of me much like an armor. They provided protection and safety, so I could hide underneath and avoid the elements, avoid eyes and being chosen in any given situation.
Those pieces of me latched on and became part of who I was, who I am. They defined me and soon I became proud to wear the mess on my exterior. It was a badge of honor, to be seen as my circumstances because I feared what I looked like underneath. I doubted anyone would want to know the real me, the one full of insecurity and fear. The one who hadn’t had a successful relationship and struggled often with her weight.
It’s an amazing thing when God starts using people to pull away the pieces, or when He pulls them away Himself. It’s painful to have your armor, which has embedded itself into your own skin get stripped away. It shows you who you truly are. I don’t like some of the parts of me, and that people can actually see that. However I am seeing that people embrace you with love, kindness, and caring when you remove pieces of yourself you thought would bring that by keeping them on.