Peel Away the Layers to follow the Light

I had lunch on Friday with a good friend of mine.  We often have philosophical discussions that often challenge both of us intellectually and emotionally.  Today our conversation led us into a discussion about the layers we have, like an onion, as human beings.

Over time, we have developed these layers to protect our inner core.  Who’s to say why we’ve developed the layers; we all have our stories of being hurt emotionally, physically, and intellectually.   Maybe we have issues with our parents, siblings, or long lost friends.  Maybe in our adult lives we have issues with our spouse or our children.  All of these issues can lead to insecurity about who we really are, the inner core of our ‘onion’.

There was a time not so long ago that I was too guarded to be involved w/ Twitter or FB.  There was a time not so long ago that I felt much anxiety being in a crowd of my peers, especially those that I respected as colleagues, parents, or people.  Since, however, I have had a life-changing experience.  The transformation didn’t occur until I was in a pit lower than I could imagine.  Thank God for the patience of my wife, the insight of a tremendous counselor, and my primary medical doctor who took the time to talk with me for two hours in one visit (it was at the end of the day 🙂 ) God led me to these people and I finally listened!

I have become more of an ‘open-book’ in recent years.  I have become much more comfortable with who I am and more confident in what I can offer the world.  I trust that God made me in His image to do good things and to love all people.  I know there are some skeptics out there that will scoff at my explanation, but that’s okay.  Until that person has some experiences to push them to unwrap the layers of their onion, they will not have the opportunity for true freedom.

Some may even wonder why they should peel back the layers.  Most seem to have morphed into believing who they are is the outside layer of our protective cocoon.  Our inner core, that which God conceived within Himself and from Himself, is our beauty…that which needs to be shared with the universe.

I was raised Catholic and believed in God and Jesus as long as I can remember.  I didn’t always get it, I didn’t always apply  it to my life.  As many young people do, I believed I was invulnerable; I was bigger than life.  I finally woke up out of that nightmare!  I had to be hit over the head hard a few times so that my heart, mind, and eyes would open to God’s calling.  I have been liberated by the Way, the Truth, and the Light.  I have been experiencing God’s greatness my entire life but finally palpably recognized it dwelling within me.

There is no doubt that God works in our lives daily…every minute of every day.  I have been able to give everything up to God.  Hey, I am a sinner and I have made some poor decisions in my life, but God is merciful and forgiving when I have repented and continue to repent.  I truly believe that my role here is to do God’s will.  I now listen with my heart through prayer.  Most importantly, I do my absolute best…although it can be most difficult with all of the distractions of the world…I do my best to listen to God’s calling and follow His lead.  John said it, ‘Jesus  is the Light of the World.’  There is no question that I know the Light, see the light, and now have the freedom to follow the Light.


About jpsteltz

Proud husband and father of four; Literacy Specialist; Reading Teacher; Literacy Coach; HS ELA Teacher; Published Author
This entry was posted in Christianity, Faith, Family and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Peel Away the Layers to follow the Light

  1. Kay Stangel says:

    Your writing moves me to tears.
    Yes, it is difficult to open ourselves up for fear of being laughed at, ridiculed or I’m not really sure why I think that way. Is it because of a lack of trust in some people, that we feel our words will be distorted and told to others?
    I truly enjoy your writing – you are a deep thinker.


    • jsteltz says:

      I am a deep thinker…my blessing and my curse!!! It’s so much easier and liberating to just be ourselves, that which God has made for us to share. That’s the core of our onion that we need to allow the Light to shine on!!

      Thanks for posting here. I appreciate your thoughts. I am still working on figuring out FaceBook. Be patient with me.


      • Kay Stangel says:

        Well Good Morning to you, Desiree and your family,

        Like I said John, I’m still new to Facebook too – When I first got on, I told people to be patient with me too.

        I really feel I should put my comments in an email to you instead of posting them on your Blog. You know me, I have always found it difficult to put my feelings into words and you know how I never end my sentences, I leave that up to the listener to end them anyway they want. haha
        Take Care!
        Is mom and dad up there this weekend?


  2. Mary Kay says:

    It was good to read this John! Amen! The Catholic faith has come a long way since we were kids. They tended to always keep us at arm’s length with Jesus. Bible studies are so important and the church just never had those. They do now. The bible is our key to knowing who God is and what he wants for our life. He created each of us unique. As a body of Christ, we all fit into a puzzle to carry out His mission. It is so important that we all find out where we are gifted so we can serve him with the gifts he gave us! The church can’t have leaders without the servants who work behind the scene. Until we are secure in Christ, we aren’t living our true potential. I have learned to let myself go and listen for what God wants from me. If I am patient, he always directs me to His will, not mine. My feeble mind can’t comprehend his plans.
    Isaiah 55: 8,9
    8“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord.
    “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.
    9For just as the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so my ways are higher than your ways
    and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.

    In our adoption process, it can get frustrating. I don’t know why one boy’s paperwork is being held up but I know the Lord is in control. I know He will work it all out for our good. I know he will bless our socks off! It is only because of Him that we are blessed as a family and we need to share that with those orphans who have nothing except their love of God.

    If you ever want to step out of “being comfortable”, read some of the blogs on my blog. Especially Drawn from Water! God is doing amazing things in that ministry!

    Liked by 1 person

    • jsteltz says:

      Thank you so much Mary Kay for your insight. I couldn’t agree more with your comments. I appreciate you taking the time to read and respond. I will take some time later today to check out your blog!


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