Sometimes I’m a feet dragger. When things grow uncomfortable or seem to be too much, I hide in my skin and slither away. Because let’s face it, life isn’t always ice cream and syrup (or peaches and cream). Sometimes it’s more like walnuts, and I strongly dislike those.
This week a group of us have been at NTS (Never The Same) Camp with students from Radiant Life Church. I’m mainly the photographer and video catcher, but I do get to lead a small group of young ladies who are nearing college much faster than they would like.
There have been moments of deep belly laughter and moments of gut wrenching tears. There have been hundreds of conversations; some that make perfect sense and some that make absolutely no sense because sleep was little the night before.
But God has been here.
Santes Beatty (our speaker for the week) has been declaring we are all witnesses for Jesus. We have been encouraged to show up, speak up, and told to not give up. Each message has been moving and if applied to your walk with Jesus, could be transforming. Last night, eleven students applied that to their lives and committed to following Jesus. People all over the worship center cheered and cried and prayed. The Spirit was there and everyone seemed to sense it. Students were confessing, praying to be made new and shedding old skin. Shedding skin is an amazing thing to watch. Not always pretty, but powerful.
Pastor Beatty shared a story about a man who said he felt like a snake. He felt like a snake because he was shedding old skin and being transformed, putting on new skin in Jesus name. I LOVED that analogy. Mainly because the caterpillar turning into a butterfly is the go to analogy for being made new. But shedding skin doesn’t mean your changing your whole self, it means you are transforming bit by bit and putting on new skin. And as Laurie Northrop shared at breakfast, “It’s not a one time thing. Snakes shed their skin over and over again.”
I am SO thankful that we never stop growing and learning and that the Father doesn’t stop teaching even when we resist the shedding. The skin I wear now looks completely different than the skin I wore when I first met Jesus. I had coffee with mentors this week and took a walk down memory lane to when I first met them. I’m the same person as I was then, but walk in completely different skin (thank you Lord)!
To those of you who may feel as those you are hiding in your skin, don’t be afraid to shed it. Let Jesus walk with you and in the midst of what is uncomfortable or terrifying. Exposing yourself isn’t ice cream and syrup (or peaches and cream), but it is freeing. It’s freeing to know that who you are now, isn’t who you have to be. It’s freeing to know that when you are rooted in Christ, the Father continues to make you new, over and over again.
“Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.” [Colossians 3:9-10English Standard Version (ESV)]