Shelling. It’s addictive. It is my favorite past time while vacationing at the beach. It became an obsession when we somehow ended up vacationing at the #1 place to shell in Florida and at the #1 beach on the island. It is thrilling to look for the most unusual, the most perfect, the most whatever shell you can find. With my eyes scouring the shore I always find my heart is lifted and full of praise for the Creator of these portable houses. Singing praise songs into the wind in celebration of His creation. Shells, where not one is the same, where every individual shell has been created different, like you and me.
Last week, we were on the east coast of Florida which is not known for its shell variety. While diligently searching the scarce shell population looking for the most beautiful, unique shell at my feet, my heart began to ache. For every imperfect shell I rejected, I was reminded of how much we are like those shells. Imperfect. Chipped. Broken. Discolored. Faded. Barnacled. Some imperfections, disfigurations are external but mostly they are internal, where God has direct access. I was torn between looking for the perfectly designed and admiring the beauty of the imperfect and thinking, “Thank you Lord for not rejecting me in my imperfections. Thank you for seeing me as fearfully and wonderfully made.”
We have a glass vase that displays our broken, beautiful pieces of shells to remind us to look for beauty in the imperfect. The collection is stunning and a gentle reminder of the beauty in the broken.
Amanda Williams is a forty-year old wife and mother of two who can still swing her pony tail and display just a tad of sass. She is also a Jesus loving girl who realizes she is nothing without the One who saved her. Amanda has two degrees specializing in serving students with special needs and is currently working in the field of Leadership Development. She is a Christian author, speaker, blogger, and publisher who loves serving beside her husband at her local place of worship, First Baptist Church of Ocala.