Becoming Ourselves

Photo of artist, Georgia O’Keeffe, by her husband, Alfred Stieglitz (PD).  Though O’Keeffe’s vision was compromised by macular degeneration in later years, she continued to work well into her 90s.

It has been said that we become more ourselves, as we grow older.  Superficial beauty fades, and a softer (or, in some cases, starker) beauty takes its place.  This incorporates our scars, evidence of the life we have lived, with and without our consent.

We long, in youth, to be part of a larger whole – the beloved or a noble cause, perhaps.  The paths we take determine greatly – and depend greatly on – whether or not that happens.

The heart calls us to venues and ventures we would never have thought ourselves capable of pursuing, let alone achieving.  Sometimes though it seems we are being led.  Not by our desires alone, but by some external force.

“…[H]e made me into a polished arrow and concealed me in His quiver” (Isa. 49: 2).

Most of us must deal with tragedy, along the way.  Some lives are cut short by it.  Grief and loss can arise from many causes in this imperfect world:  abuse, racism, poverty, and violence, to name a few.

We are shaped by these experiences, and can be broken by them.  Chances are, we will be forced to make difficult choices.  Almost everyone is.

For a tree branch to be made into an arrow, it must be stripped of leaves (John 15: 2); fired, so as to become pliable (Isa. 48: 10, Rom. 5: 3 and 8: 28, James 1: 2-4, 1 Pet. 1: 6-7); straightened (Eph. 2: 21 and 4: 15-16, Heb. 10: 24-25); sanded (Heb. 12: 7-11); and oiled (Ps. 104: 15, Gal. 5: 22-23, Eph. 5: 18) [1].

Ultimately, the arrow finds its target.  So, too, will our lives, in God’s hands, find their intended target…even if that target is not what we originally supposed.

We can rely on that.

[1]   All credit for this information about arrow construction, and the biblical citations associated with it goes to Fountaingate Christian Foundation. See, ChurchLink, Bible Study Warehouse, Series:  The Call – Lesson 7,  “Preparation for Ministry”, Copyright © 1981, 1996 Paul Bunty and David Collins. All rights reserved.




Filed under Child Abuse, Christianity, Poverty, Religion, Terrorism, Violence Against Women

13 responses to “Becoming Ourselves

  1. I agree… It is funny, but we often don’t seem to like, what I call real beauty. A 55 year old actress in India recently returned from London, after having had tummy tucks, skin pulls and the like. What i saw, was emptiness

    My wife has stopped colouring her hair, and the whites show. I like this. The whites add softness and character to her face. We often run from this

    • What a positive comment, Rajiv! Yes, we worship youth in the West. It is a losing game, since we all age whether we want or not.

      • Oh… the worship of youth is fast catching up here as well. I did not see too many cosmetic surgery clinics when I was in China. However, I am sure that this has changed.
        I saw lots when I was living in Singapore
        South Korea is stuffed with them..
        And so, can we Indians be left behind?

        Aging gracefully is so much better.

  2. This brings to mind the scripture, “He is the Potter and we are the clay.”

  3. “Ultimately, the arrow finds its target. So, too, will our lives, in God’s hands, find their intended target…even if that target is not what we originally supposed.”

    Could there be a more true statement? My life is a living testimony of this truth. After so many years of twists and turns,ups and downs,plans made and plans dashed,could it be that I am on the precipice of seeing this come to fruition? Anna, you have made my day with this post. I shall read it again and again this coming week!

  4. Wow, this is a fine post, Anna (as usual)–I especially love the opening, that we “become more ourselves” as we get older. Can you believe I’m smiling and saying, “oh good, how wonderful!!” Healing is happening 🙂 And your closing words are equally marvelous–the conviction of hope, that the arrow which is my life in God’s hands WILL find its target! Oh my, I’m lifted up–thank you, thank you, and God bless you so Abundantly 🙂

  5. jacky

    I can concur with Ron Anna! This very same scripture the LORD pressed upon me Isaiah 49:2. I even wrote on this the other day ‘Polished arrow’. It’s funny I used to dye my hair and I have in the bathroom another dye kit but somehow I’m happy about getting older. Youth has gone. I’d rather be where I am now than back then despite everything being firmer in all the right places.. But most of all knowing the LORD as I do and still getting to know Him is paramount to getting through each day. Now I can live by myself very comfortably and the deep loneliness pangs are very rare now Anna. Praise God! God Bless for this wonderful post and the link which I shall check out and also your scriptures. jacky x

    • I am glad you liked the post, Jacky. It came from my heart. I am even happier to know that your healing has progressed so far. Given what you endured, your very survival is a miracle. May God bless and keep you. ❤

  6. Reblogged this on Kimberly Townsend Palmer and commented:
    Beautifully expressed; resonates with the soul.

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