Becoming

becoming

 

Go on, you know you can’t resist it. You just have to sneak a look. Who doesn’t want to at least check on their appearance from time to time? If only to have a running dialogue with themselves such as:

  • I look a fright
  • My hair’s a mess
  • Are those toothpaste smears?
  • Oops, that’s not straight
  • Where did THAT come from?
  • Oh bother, lipstick on my teeth again
  • Must be the light, I can’t look that bad, can I?

Who knows, it might be one of those flattering mirrors that don’t leave you looking zombie-like or washed out and ill. Rather it enhances your natural radiance and perception of how you appear. If Only.

Living as we do in a world where everyone and everything is judged on appearance, it is all too easy to feel unlovely and irrelevant if we fail to match up to society’s ideals. Instead of simply cleaning the mirror, we may want to erase the unwanted image we see reflected there.

But that’s not the full picture. The REAL you isn’t found in the mirror. That’s just your face and body.
 

In our youth and beauty oriented and celebrated society we often set such store on appearance that we miss what is Really Important. This is something I have to remind myself of on a regular basis.

Having had chronic illness for over 20 years with M.E and other conditions, there is no doubt that the side-effects are clearly visible in my external appearance.

I seldom look into a mirror these days without lamenting about where the person I used to be has disappeared to. How I look on the outside doesn’t match how I feel on the inside. My spirit still feels young and vibrant.

I grew up feeling insecure because I had a dysfunctional childhood and our parents made unfair comparisons between my non-identical twin sister and myself. She was dubbed the ‘pretty one’ while I had to be consoled with being the ‘clever one’. Both of us struggled to live up to and then overcome our labels.

Shaking off inferiority, insecurity and early years conditioning was painful but necessary and only achievable for me when I came to faith in Christ and began to see myself as He sees me.

“The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” ~ 1 Samuel 16:7
 We tend to major on external things whereas God wants our focus to be primarily on internal ones – our heart, soul (mind, will and emotions) and spirit. He has already paved The Way for us to come to know Him through having a relationship with Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour. Then the radiance of Christ begins to reflect in our lives as we grow in knowledge and experience of Him and His word.
 
Amazing as it seems, God sees us as:
  • Acceptable
  • Beloved
  • Complete

This is who we are In Christ. It is a gradual awakening that unfolds as we place our faith and trust in Him and continue to surrender every area of our lives to His Lordship.

“So we’re not giving up. How could we? Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without His unfolding grace….there’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever”  ~ 2 Corinthians 4:16 -18 The Message

Back to the mirror. It may show our current outward appearance but doesn’t fully reveal our inward state. What we are becoming, day by day by God’s grace, gives us encouragement to believe for greater change to come.
The process of becoming Christ-like can feel painful. It’s a gradual process of transformation as our minds are renewed and lives surrendered to God. Exposed to the mirror of His word, we see our faults and failings in greater detail. He works relentlessly to achieve His purpose of making us Christ-like, little by little,  carving and shaping us with tender hands of love and grace.
“And we, who with unveiled faces 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

‘Becoming’

You’ve broken through,
infiltrated the carapace.
I feel You invading
the space
I’d called my own.
Working away purposefully
from the inside out –
yet I evade Your touch
throw off spasms
of irritation
as You make
the place
Your home.
Chafed by events
beyond control
resistance persists in me
though a softer yielding ensues.
My naked exposure
tenderly covered by
Your mantle of Love.
I am remade, renewed,
pearlised, polished,
strong and true.
Breathing out my fears
I settle
into the frame
for which I was made –
a worthy container
for You.
©JoyLenton2012
Over to you:
How do you feel about the process of transformation that God is doing in your life?
 
What can we do that impedes or advances it?

You’re very welcome to join in the discussion.

12 Comments

  1. Thank you for your beautiful perceptive post, Joy! What a blessing you are!

    I think we also often slip into the trap of looking to others as a mirror. Sometimes even friends say what they think we want to hear and reflect back their own very different agendas onto their perception and reflection of us.

    Your poem sums us so lucidly and hauntingly how nestled close to God's heart, we have the tender, honest mirror that shows us not only who we are, but who we're created to be:
    "I settle
    into the frame
    for which I was made -"

    Blessings and love to you! xxx

    1. Thanks, Joyce. I am so pleased you liked it. It's true that we can also hold others up as a mirror and want to see only good things reflected there. Nestling close to God's heart is the best way to overcome our insecurities. xx:)

  2. I love that poem. It speaks of the 'push me pull you' sort of thoughts I have towards the changes God makes in my life.

    This post is particularly apt for me having just been set free from compulsive over eating, an eating disorder (like the other eating disorders) which touches all those issues you raised.

    It is learning more about the love of God for me as I am now, and His grace at work in me through the Holy Spirit that brings about the change for me. I think before my crisis of faith I tended to try to earn all that God gave me. It doesn't work. You can't earn it. I needed to relax into how much he loves me.

    In a prayer room at a conference I went to I saw these words on a prayer board.

    Beloved
    Be loved
    Be transformed.

    They have been such helpful words for me and are so true. God bless you Joy

    1. I appreciate your reflective comments, Lynda. As we grow in our love for God and understanding of His love for us it helps set us free from early patterns of thinking and behaving. Grace is unearned favour indeed!I love the words you shared. 🙂

  3. Lovely. I find it so helpful to see my identity as the beloved, loved with my Lover in the dance, him breathing his Spirit onto me. It sets me free from my trivial concerns, and helps me feel happy!

    Anita
    anitamathias.com

  4. Truly reflective words and a wonderful poem that so aptly captures the internal dialogue within. For me the quest must always be the pursuit of ones true self. Reflecting upon ones physical form and learning to move beyond its limitations is the first step towards finding ourselves and our rightful place in this world.
    As always you blog posts are a pleasure to read Joy.

    1. I am grateful for your comments, Stephan. It means a lot to know the words I share have resonated with you. Thank you for your perceptive thoughts. Your words are always a pleasure to read! 🙂

    1. Thanks, James. How sweet of you to stop by and respond to what you have read. I am humbled by your words. God is my inspiration and He deserves the praise if anything I write touches someone else. 🙂

  5. Hurrah! I can now comment on your blog!

    Fabby post – this is so much where my heart is at these days – longing to see transformation internally. It feels so slow at times!
    Much love to you xx

    1. Ah ha, it worked! Instinct rules over technical incompetence. Lovely to see you here, Tanya. I can really relate to the desire to see change and transformation when nothing much appears to be happening. Our hearts simply have to be content with trust and surrender – time after time. Love and blessings to you :)xx

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