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Alone in My Shell

My Friend Debbie     Have you ever played the ice breaker game where you have to associate an animal with your name that begins with the same letter as your first name to help people remember who you are? I was always a turtle. Not because they were cute or slow or even innately herbivores, despite my love for salads. I was always a turtle because I was so far into my shell that no matter how many people remembered my name, I was determined not to come out. And even today, many years later, in tough times, I find myself crawling back into that shell not wanting people to come too close, to know me too well, and most importantly, I don't want to be vulnerable in need of help. God forbid that I would be so vulnerable as to be hurt again, like I've been hurt before. No, no. I like it better here in my shell where it is safe and out of the storm, where no one can see me, and no one can realize how desperate and hurting I really am.

     Of course, there is no food in my shell. No water. No sunlight.

     But if I can just stay in here long enough until my friends stop knocking and they go away, I think I'll be able to come out and still be alone. It's been days now and my friends are still knocking and my shell of dysfunction, dehydration and disassociation is beginning to get a little uncomfortable. But what I really miss is the sunlight.

     If I could just peek my head out a little bit I could feel the warmth that makes me feel accepted and unconditionally loved. If I could just extend my hand out to be held...I believe there are people out there who are worthy of my trust. And even if people do see me as I really am, and choose to hurt me, or inadvertently hurt me, there is nothing more assuring than the comfort of the Sun.

My Friend Debbie     In the same way, if we can just reach out to the unconditional acceptance of Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God, He promises that He will not fail us. He will complete the good work that He started in us before we were born. Not that we won't have struggle, but He promises to carry us through, and we have no choice but to come out of that uncomfortable shell and believe in His promises.

     After all, it is the beaming rays of the Son's light that are warm and life-giving... and ultimately help us grow into all that we were created to be. As we stand with dim and withered hearts, let us turn our faces upward to the Almighty so that the warmth and radiance of His countenance can shine brightly on us once again.


     "Dear Lord, only you know how desperate that I feel. You, alone, know how lonely and afraid that I am. I give my fears to you, Lord, because I know that you care about me. Take my darkness away and shine your light into my life. Allow your warmth to surround me. Speak life into my hurting heart and shine your radiance upon me. I thank you that I'm not the only one who has ever felt this way. I thank you that your words say that "this too shall pass." I thank you for helping me! In the name of Jesus! Amen."

Copyright © 2008-2015 Patricia Vera

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