life and faith living with M.E

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. Jobiska 14th November 2012
    • Joy Lenton 17th November 2012
  2. Lynda Alsford 14th November 2012
    • Joy Lenton 17th November 2012
  3. Anita Mathias 15th November 2012
    • Joy Lenton 17th November 2012
  4. Stephan J Myers 15th November 2012
    • Joy Lenton 17th November 2012
  5. James Prescott 17th November 2012
    • Joy Lenton 17th November 2012
  6. Tanya Marlow 17th November 2012
    • Joy Lenton 17th November 2012

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