A dear friend recently said this about me:
If you were to tell me that someone could be a strong, vibrant, talented, opinionated, beautiful woman and a humble, submissive, respectful, honoring wife before I met Darlene, I wouldn't have believed you. I wouldn't have, I promise you. I thought you had to be one or the other. Darlene teaches me that a woman is most fully alive when she is being exactly who God created her to be, without exception.
So I guess that's one perspective, one impression. And I must admit, I like it. But who am I, really?
I have been found in Christ, soaring free, moving with grace, daily changed and currently being made into who I am momentarily by His Spirit -- ever since giving my life to Him.
Before? A creature shaped by sin, circumstance, daily in bondage to and being formed by the enemy of every human soul. Burdened, misshapen, crippled. Functioning? Quite. Successful? Yes, according to many. And I thought I was choosing and creating who they all saw me to be. The charade was working. It was fooling even me.
But then He began. He challenged me to the core of my existence, meddled with who I thought I was. Asked hard questions. Asked hard things. And, in time, I said yes to the questions, the requests.
I was no longer. I ceased to exist. At least it felt that way. He was removing the falsehoods, the pretense, the pride, the rebellion. And there was nothing left, so I thought.
Then a gentler, kinder me came into view - but strong still, and more confident than before, free-spirited and soaring. Did He take away the stuff He had made? No. Was it released to be what He had designed. Yes.
Remodeled. That's what I say. By a master.
A work still in progress, by the way. The polishing continues, the gentle shaping. Nope, He's not done yet. I'm in His hand forever.