I watched in fascination as one of our outdoor blinds disintegrated right before my eyes.
We use roll up blinds in the summer to provide shade for our deck. When they’re rolled down, we tether the bottoms to cleats so they won’t blow around. During high winds, however, those things billow out like sails on a boat, causing them to tug at their tether lines. One day a fast moving storm rolled in. Too late, I realized the blinds were still down. I got to the door just in time to see that tug turn into destruction. Oh, the tether line was holding all right, but the bottom part of the blind was being torn apart and ruined…with one violent gust, in a matter of seconds.
When the storm fizzled I went out to assess the damage. I tried to remember when we actually put them up. Even after caring for them by cleaning and storing them away every fall, we’d noticed they were drying out and becoming brittle. They’d still aged. The one, now weary from it’s years of service, now seemingly useless. I remembered when they were fresh out of the wrapper, strong and supple.
I actually felt a stab of remorse as we replaced that old blind with a shiny new one. My husband saved part of the old cord because, who knows? It may come in handy one day. To say the other blinds now pale in comparison is an understatement. But ya know what? I’m not replacing those old things until they’re good and ready to be replaced.
Who knew you could learn a lesson from a frazzled roll up blind?
Lately, I’ve begun to feel like my weathered blinds. Worn, faded and a little tattered. Less than useful. I’ve had a rough time accepting the new, shiny versions of God’s servants. For several years I felt there were younger, stronger forces looking to replace me. Or worse…roll me up and haul me off to the dump! I made rash decisions based on feelings of insecure inadequacy.
I guess I never thought I’d age.
I guess I believed no one would want me out of the way.
I did not want to step aside even when I felt it was the right thing to do. And ouch…I guess I thought I was being demoted to “lesser things.”
I’ve tried getting around this new season. It’s not one I’ve wanted to move into. I didn’t want to shed my youthful skin. I did not want to put on this outfit that now defines me as aging. [clickToTweet tweet=”I was letting the lines in my face, and the changes in my body, rob me of my self worth.” quote=”I was letting the lines in my face, and the changes in my body, rob me of my self worth.”]
I was mad. I had somehow allowed Satan to lure me into believing I was a fake. As if my service had meant nothing.
When we took the ruined blind down I had an unfiltered view of our woods. God’s grace shined through the gaping hole, giving me an unfiltered reflection of me. He’s made me see this season as one of blessed freedom and acceptance. He’s teaching me to embrace the new, older me. I’m realizing that like that aged blind, all I once was, wasn’t fraudulent. I had served a purpose. I did do some good things even in the midst of a storm of poor choices.
I know that from the torn apart and ruined version of me, a new purpose will come. The old cords of my faith are in tact, as good and as strong as ever. My people pleasing persona has disintegrated, been removed, and replaced by peace. My relationship with God is still strong and made new daily.
He isn’t done with me.
Have you begun to feel weathered too? Take good care of yourself. Give yourself a time of rest, however fleeting. It won’t keep the elements of aging from blowing through. But we can accept them and embrace them. Tether your self-worth to God and His Word, not what the gale forces of people and society say.
It’s time to unroll and care for a new blind with all its promise to last for a God-sized time.
Shared by: Patti Hemphill