See Beyond the Shell

Jitters

A conversation took me back.

And I remembered once again.

First day on the job.

Nervous.

Sweaty palms.

Written in my eyes.

Newbie.

Green.

Vulnerable.

That first week.  Getting cussed out numerous times.  Called fat.  Mocked and belittled by teenage girls.

Their words and actions hurt.

Sometimes I went to the bathroom and cried.

104/365 cry

I thought about looking for another job- but God wanted me there.

He closed doors.

Then one day I realized- I love these girls.

God gave me compassion.

An outpouring of love so strong it felt like a tidal wave in my soul.

Suddenly all the negativity fell on deaf ears.

All I saw were wounded girls, desperately clinging to control, longing for love.

My heart broke for them.
Heart Broken

And God showed me how love transforms.

His love changes hearts.  The fear of wounds left me.  My desire to show them love overcame every obstacle.

God gave me peace.

He gave me courage.

And out of His outpouring, I served eagerly-recognizing for the one of the first times in my life how profoundly God can use us to touch a life when we love sacrificially.

It cost me.

Drained me.

Called me to endure beyond what my own strength could supply.

To wake up in the middle of the night to help calm a crying baby and a crying teen Mom.

I had never seen- didn’t realize how powerful genuine 1 Corinthians 13 love can be.

But there in the trenches of darkness, where the ugliest natures of human beings are laid bare-

It shone like the sun.

Radiant in its purity.

So bright in the darkness.

We don’t see how bright his Light can be when we avoid the dark places.

Sometimes God calls us to things beyond our strength.  When I would tell people where I worked, most of the time they would say- “I could never do that.”

That perfectly describes how I felt.

I remember crying and praying on the way into work- I needed God to help me- I knew I wasn’t equal to the task.

And in those vulnerable, broken moments- God moves in mighty ways.  He takes broken vessels and works miracles.

See beyond the shell.

Shell

The tough exterior.

Defenses meant to push you away.

Let them wound you, and keep on loving.

There is nothing more shocking than love that keeps no record of wrongs.

Love that is patient and kind- even when mocked and belittled.

Love that always hopes- sees what they could be- believes in them.

Love that perseveres through the ups and downs- when you keep on keepin’ on.

Remember- God didn’t give up on us.  He sees beyond the shell.

Love takes time.

To get through the layers of defense.

For them to believe the miraculous.

Don’t give up.

Love.

Fight.

Pray.

And see beyond the shell.

 

 

 

Linked up at the following:

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8 Responses to See Beyond the Shell

  1. Falen says:

    Absolutely love this. Soooo true, encouraging, and inspiring!

    • Rachel says:

      Thank you! It was good for me to remember God’s faithfulness during that very challenging season of my life. Glad you stopped by. :)

  2. Kelly says:

    Don’t give up and see beyond the shell…such a good thing to remind me in a certain circumstance in my own life. How fitting this is right now for me. This is beautiful.

  3. Leelee says:

    That is one inspiring post. So glad I came across it.

  4. Mary Beth says:

    I worked for 3 years as a tutor at a children’s behavioral care facility. I can relate to much of what you shared here. It’s amazing to see God work in those situations though. Thanks for sharing with WIP!

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