Ha! Did I get your attention??? Good.
So, the best friend and I were walking on the beach at Tybee Island last week. Although I am a beach bum at heart, I’ve mostly gone to Myrtle Beach. The things you see at Myrtle are completely different from the things you see at Tybee. Tourism and commercialism are probably the largest culprits. But that’s a blog for another day. At any rate, as we were walking along the beach, we came to the point where the Savannah River dumps into the Atlantic Ocean. And we noticed a horseshoe crab washed up on the beach. Well, lemme tell you, I’ve never come upon a horseshoe crab on the beach and I was fascinated! We then started noticing that there were many crabs on the beach! I didn’t actually count, but it’s safe to say there were well over a dozen. And they all seemed to be dead. We took pictures, poked a few with sticks (don’t judge!) and eventually left, wondering why on earth so many poor horseshoe crabs had given their lives.
Well, I must admit, my curiosity got the best of me. And, for those of you who know me personally, you know that’s not unusual. A common phrase between the best friend and I is “Google it!” So, after I mused out loud about a hundred times about the dead horseshoe crabs, the best friend finally said, “Google it!” And I did. Turns out that the crabs we saw weren’t dead, they were merely shells. Horseshoe crabs molt their shells approximately seventeen times in their first nine years of life. When they molt, the split the front part of their shell open, slip out and leave a fully intact shell behind. Which then washes up on the beach and fascinates people like me. But, the key here is….it isn’t what it seems.
Hmmmm…..sound like anyone you know? It does to me. In fact, it sounds a whole lot like the person I used to be. I was trying so hard to be what I was not. I was straining, striving to be “normal.” Whatever that is. I looked around me at the amazing examples of godly women and realized I looked different. So, I started making my outside self look like them. I was able to fake it for a while, most of the time. Only those closest to me could see the cracks in my veneer. Then, a terrible, horrible….no wait….wonderful thing happened. My shell cracked.
Let’s go back to the horseshoe crabs. We saw a shell that had been cracked open and we were shocked to find it completely devoid of anything that had ever been alive. No…nothing. Being human, we jumped to a conclusion. It’s an incredible trait we humans have. Except when we’re wrong. Which can be often. But, I digress. Our conclusion was that something broke it open and ate it. (Ewww.) But, the truth was….which I discovered only after Googling!….it was only a shell anyway. There was nothing in it because the inhabitant had left it behind.
That takes me back to me. And my shell. When my shell broke, a lot of folks made a lot of assumptions. Truthfully, I don’t know and no longer care which ones were correct. What I know is this: God needed me to see that I was made exactly the way He wanted me. Yes, including those things that I considered flaws. Unfortunately, I spent the better part of a year at the bottom of a pit to discover those things. But, looking back, I wouldn’t change it. As difficult as that year of depression was, I emerged with a clearer sense of who I am and, more importantly, Who God is!
I can’t lie. There are still days when I long to be “normal.” But, I’m not. I never was. If I had more money, I could probably be described as eccentric. Since I’m not wealthy, “weird” or the nicer version, “quirky” are probably more accurate. But. I’m who God made me to be. For better or for worse, I am me. And I can’t be anyone but me. And on those days when I wish I was a little less quirky, I hang onto the promises that my Daddy has given me….
God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Genesis 1:27
“Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. “But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. “So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows. Matthew 10:29-31
Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us… Romans 12:6a
And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9a
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature. 2 Corinthians 5:17a
For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well. Psalm 139:13-14
So. There it is. God made us personally to be who He wants us to be. My dear husband used to say to me, “honey, don’t try to be nice, just be yourself.” Ha! Actually, I think that’s excellent advice. Be yourself. Whoever that is. Because yourself is exactly enough.
Be blessed and tell someone you love them! Oh….and I highly recommend that you read ALL of Psalm 139. =)
*all scripture today is from the New American Standard Bible