An Unveiling Change (Unveiled Beauty)
I’m in a valley tucked in-between two mountain ranges. Lavender, with its clean laundered sent, stretches as far as the eye can see. I run calloused hands over tender bud. Walking up the hill, I see the expanse of the valley wide. The edge of night lightens to purple. The mountains are stoic, as if taking in a deep breath before glorious waking sigh. The sun crests – burning amber. The rich colors streak across the sky, deepening everything in a warm blanket. As light dances higher, life opens. Birds call to another; sing-song and playful. Field mice, hares, chipmunks peak out of holes and boroughs. Deer languish on moss kissed by morning dew. Daisies open, turning face toward sun proudly extending tiny peddles toward warmth & life.
Jesus whispers in my ear, “This is what I have for you!” …
Oh, Wondrous Soul, change is a many splendored thing. Clichés can make the word feel monstrous. There is nothing to fear. We all experience its effect, as tide to the moon. It draws us further in. Change is the catalyst for growth and transformation. Jesus does not invite change as the world does. It is a slowing savoring process. There is pain, but in the light of being brand new it is worth it.
“God is unveiling who you we truly are…But God is a God of process, and he has his eye on eternity. His plans for us aren’t for a quick fix but an eternal transformation. Slowly. Carefully. Intentionally. The unveiling is taking place.”
- Becoming Myself, Stasi Eldredge, p.21
“It’s a mess. And God is in the mess. He is about transforming our inner mess so he can transform the rest of the mess. Our transformation begins when we believe we are loved.”
- Myself, Stasi Eldredge, p. 21
Our Lord Jesus seeks to invite us into a transformative change that unveils beauty. The masterpiece unfolds in His hands – a thing completely breathtaking. And this change takes precious time. It does not unfold quickly. Anything worth unveiling must spend ample moments surrendered to loving hands. It can be frustrating not to see fruit bear on a tree that has been lovingly tended and pruned. There is an ache and questions amidst the waiting. The uncertainty of ever seeing the change take place can feel desperate. There is loss, laying down, picking up, tethering oneself to false idols, untethering from said idols, loving God, hurt, pride, anger lain aside, as well as trust that the unveiling is indeed happening. Change is the fruition of a life well lived.
We were not designed to walk this confined road. If desires to change aspects of your heart arise, then is that not a tell-tale sign your authentic self isn’t coming through?
What do you do with this information? Take a breath.
“The very fact that we long for the change we do is a sign that we are meant to have it. Our very dissatisfaction with our weaknesses and struggles points to the reality that continuing to live in them is not our destiny.”
– Becoming Myself, Stasi Eldredge, p. 15
I so often want to run before I even begin to crawl. The sweetest things come from a maturing in Him. We cannot rush the rose to bloom.
Last year in my “Captivating” bible study my beautiful small group leader, Kelli, gave me a delicate white rose with a word she felt the Lord gave her…for me! I wrote these words the night she gave it to me:
Fearless. I cannot express in earthly terms the weighty impact that word had for me. If she had been led to put beautiful, captivating, gracious, kind…they would have been good, but God didn’t lead her to share those words. Fearless. The word that makes my heart skip a beat. A hope. A promise. My journey with fear is real & heartbreaking, but I powerfully believe that God has called me fearless, and He is going to help me live out every syllable of that word…
And, oh how a bud has bloomed. I want to capture in minute detail all the wonder that I see lade before me. I’ve always viewed life a bit moony-eyed. There is a richer fair below the layer of childish fancy. It is forged in refiner’s fire. It holds true through every shifting sand.
“So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.” – Deuteronomy 31:6
“I want to be a Jedi”, is scribbled, haphazardly in my leather bound journal. I think it speaks to my desire for adventure. Of course, I want to be captivating, but not as a pretty little thing that sits on a shelf. I want to captivate and allure with passion and tenacity. The spaces I offer can foster a journey I can embark on, holds danger, love, compassion, & a transformation which changes – soul deep. I want someone to be captivated by the depths of who I am.
We are needed. We have a story that is worth telling. Sin and arrows create wounds that need to be lanced & bandaged. For me, it was the process of getting to the root. Finding that source of hurt that couldn’t heal. A festering wound that oozed. Anxiety was bred from the fear of rejection. A fear of laying myself before those who would run in revulsion. There were systemic reasons for this fear. Working through those feelings of unworthiness, taking them to Jesus – again and again – began to heal those stinky wounds. The beauty I have is worth unveiling even in the face of rejection. I offer it before the Lord, in worship and praise. He has done great things.
“And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” – 2 Corinthians 3:18
I know I’m not where I want to be, but I am most certainly not who I was. I relish this unfolding. I’m not faking it until I make it anymore. I’m awaking again and again to new life. The hull has cracked wide open and I’ve grown outside of its boarders. This change will cause me to revisit old wounds, share in His wounds. Yet, I’ll be more pliable. I ease into what He has for me.
I will allow Him to hew a life refashioned. There will be less worry, fear, striving to make all happy with my choices. There is something wonderful unfolding. A life without conditions. Conditions make life stifle and falter. Looking people in the eye, lending kindness, embracing love, & speaking truth are true facets of a life well lived. As in the latest Cinderella movie, “have courage and be kind”. I want to become fully what God has designed me to be. To His glory. All I need. All I care for.
“Protect your precious, beautiful, beating heart from the harsh bitterness of this world. For out of it springs life – life that will affect others.” – Psalm 4:23
One of my favorite biblical stories is of the woman who touched Jesus’s robe. Coming before Him, knowing He can transform, being transformed by Him. Jesus doesn’t merely heal. He tenders compassion. He changes her willing heart, completely. Change unveils true beauty…
“Now a certain woman had a flow of blood for twelve years, and had suffered many things from many physicians. She had spent all that she had and was no better, but rather grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment. For she said, “If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.”
Immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction. And Jesus, immediately knowing in Himself that power had gone out of Him, turned around in the crowd and said, “Who touched my clothes?”
But, His disciples said to Him, “You see the multitude thronging You, and You say, ‘Who touched me?’
And He looked around to see her who had done this thing. But the woman, fearing and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth. And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. God in peace, and be healed of your affliction.”
- Mark 5: 25-34