Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Expect (07/11/13)
TITLE: Life is Like an Egg
By Cheryl Hayek
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It's semi-smooth, outer shell appears to be a blank canvas on which we are often tempted to paint our own image and expectations, or accept the image that someone else would like us to adorn. Birth and creation are ways that God chooses to reveal himself; both to us, and through us. Every life is a unique blend of the genetic code that produced it. We cannot change its design, but with anticipation and respect for what is sacred, we can come along side of God and partner with Him to be nurturer's. Growing up is a process, and transformation takes time and patience.
Like the egg, life is fragile. We have all felt the frustration of measuring up to unreasonable expectations and harsh treatment. Growing up, I felt the pressure to conform. I tried to make myself into what others wanted. I sacrificed authenticity and exchanged it for their approval. Once I started wearing the masks given to me by others, I became addicted to the validation of false appraisals that dictated who I am.
Like the masks I wore, the egg has two sides. The truth and depth of what's inside is hidden by an outer shell. For a time, I needed its walls to protect me. A well-meaning friend tried to share the beautiful light of God's love with me, but I was not ready. What was a blessing to her would have destroyed me; as she tried to crack my shell. Breaking out happened; but only when I became uncomfortable, and outgrew the walls that once protected me. The question always echoed, "Will she still like me if I remove this mask?"
I learned that God is gentile. His presence is warm and soothing, and much to my surprise, His gift of friendship didn't come with a mask that I should wear. In the moments of quiet, self-reflection, God told me who I was. His Word confirmed it. He was seeing me even on the inside, and His acceptance was more powerful than my addiction to falsehood. Hope rose up within me. "Could I dare to see who I really am?" Each visit of the Holy Spirit strengthened my resolve to believe Him.
It takes courage to have faith in something yet unseen, but faith is given as we decide to hope. It was no easy task to challenge my familiar structure; but each failed attempt strengthened me for the sharp edges as I emerged from this solitary confinement.
There is no joy that compares to celebrating life with the passion to be all that God says you can be. He didn't call me based on the beauty of outward things. He knows my doubts; my fears and self-centered tendencies. He's heard me mumble, "I can't" yet still believes I can. As I have dared to see the difference between a mirror reflection of myself, and the completed version that God sees, I am filled with joy; unwrapping each new day with the knowledge that nothing is impossible with God. He turns my self-centered limitations into a growing passion to look outward and share this good news; that we are all more than what any two dimensional image can show us.
Resist the beautiful masks others want you to wear. However attractive, they will only conceal the more radiant light of your true self. This outer shell is only a temporary structure from which the real creation must emerge.
Be gentle with yourself and others. Do not judge what you cannot see for the mystery and evolution of growth take place in secret as our creator molds each of us with great precision. Be patient and encourage one another. If you crack another's shell even though the beauty of light spills into their darkness they will not be strong enough to endure the world and its hardships. Instead, bathe the hardened shell with warmth and compassion. Respect the process; do not do for them what God has ordained them to do. Instead, pray, love, and protect them. Trust God who works secretly, in unseen and hidden places. Expect the transformation that only He can bring; and give thanks at all times. For in due season each masterpiece will be revealed.
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