It was the week before Easter this year when I had this reoccurring feeling gnawing away at me. I should back up a bit. At the beginning of March – a few weeks before Easter – I had gone on a trip of a lifetime to the Holy Land. Even though I love words, there are not any profound enough to describe what happened in my soul on that trip. The thing I came away from that trip with was this moment in the Garden of Gethsemane when I came face to face with some BIG truths about myself and God and life and how I’d lived it up until that point. In that place of olive trees it was a cataclysmic moment where all my questions crashed into the garden of God to be sorted out. All I know is, I would never be the same.
So getting back to that week before Easter. I’d had this gnawing feeling that the measures I took all my life to ensure I would not get hurt at all emotionally – or at least not too deeply wounded in relationships – would no longer be effective. They did not fit, but I could sense that I wasn’t okay with this. I wasn’t okay with not being able to protect myself against pain and suffering. I’d been doing it for so long. “How was I going to survive now,” my soul cried out. So this is where the armadillo comes in. One morning I woke up with an image in my head of an armadillo. In my mind I could see it’s strange “armor” and how weird they look. As I thought about this animal, I thought about myself looking like that when I try to put on my own protective shield, the one I’ve fashioned and perfected over the years. I could clearly see this ugly attempt at protecting myself.
I couldn’t stop there. I looked up armadillos on the internet and learned something startling. Armadillos can get leprosy. I was shocked! That’s when it hit me. God was saying to me, “Keep this up, and you will be like a leper in your soul, slowly dying off piece by piece!” The message didn’t stop there. Later that day, I’d watched a tv show on Netflix that had nothing to do with nature. It’s a guilty pleasure kind of show. Anyway, the main character is a small town doctor. She was examining one of her patients when she concluded that he may have acquired leprosy. When she asked him what he had been doing that day he said he was helping his friend catch his pet ARMADILLO!
Alright, that was enough for me. Change had to be made. So that’s when I just asked God to show me how to stop doing what I’ve been doing all along, self-protecting. I was never made for that role. That’s God’s job. So if you’re anything like me and you wear some weird armor you’ve created over the years, maybe it’s time to stop. I know there are many reasons that armor was even there in the first place, but there comes a time when you’ve got to exchange the substitute for the real thing. It’s a courageous thing to just be willing to change. It’s not going to happen overnight, but it will happen because that’s what God promises. He says His truth is our shield (Psalm 91).
Thanks for reading, and have a great week!
In Christ’s Love,
“being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” Philippians 1:6