It’s Molting Season!
When I was a kid growing up in the country, one thing I feared most was snakes. To this day, I have a paralyzing fear that stops me in my tracks at the sight of a snake. One hot July afternoon, my cousin and I were walking down the sidewalk between my grandmother’s hedges and her rosebushes. We each had a stick in our hands dragging it down the sidewalk, just wasting time as children do. Suddenly, my cousin stopped and placed the top of his stick on what appeared to be an old piece of dry paper. Like inquisitive children, we bent down and poked what we thought was a piece of paper. Suddenly, my cousin grabbed the piece of paper and started yelling “snake” and chased me around the yard. My grandmother came outside to see why my cousin was chasing me and why I was screaming my head off. She yelled for my cousin and me to come to her and bring whatever we were playing with. We humbly showed up at my grandmother’s feet with our sticks and what we thought was a piece of dusty paper, pretending to be a snake. My cousin extended his hand to show my grandmother that it was just a piece of paper. My grandmother immediately slapped it out of my cousin’s hand. As the paper fell to the ground, she informed us, that was not a piece of paper; it was an actual snake’s skin. Realizing that we weren’t pretending, we were in possession of a real snake or the remnants of what used to be, my cousin and I stood there with our mouths open.
Seeing the puzzled look on our faces, my grandmother explained to us that periodically during the year, snakes molt or shed their skin. She explained that all animals, birds, some reptiles, and even humans shed their exterior skin, feathers and/or shell. This shedding or molting process is a necessary act of nature to make room for a healthier more resilient exterior. Although both humans and snakes shed, there is a distinct difference between humans and snakes as it relates to the shedding process. When humans grow their skin grows with them, when reptiles grow, they “outgrow” their skin; thus the need to shed/molt.
Unlike shedding, molting is a more physically intense process. Because the new skin grows under the old skin, the snake undergoes an extremely stressful transformation process leaving it vulnerable to predators. The unique thing about snakes is, when the skin sheds, it all sheds in one piece; leaving behind the form of a full-bodied snake. It’s literally like losing another body. At some point in the lifespan of a snake, the skin becomes uncomfortable; the skin that the snake started in has now become too small for its current phase in life. As awful as it sounds, humans and snakes have similar characteristics. Some of us are either going through or are preparing for the molting process; we are in the process of shedding what feels like another person. In some cases, you are shedding the discomfort of a relationship you’ve outgrown, a job, negative thought patterns, your friend circle, or perhaps you are simply tired of being “too small.” Unfortunately, the shedding or molting process can be painful, stressful and downright unbearable, but it’s necessary in order for you to grow new more resilient skin. As much as we’d like them too, not everyone will grow with you, sometimes you simply outgrow situations and people. God wants big things to happen in our lives; when you shed the skin of failed relationships, a painful past, toxic people, and those things that keep you from being extraordinary, you free yourself of the small things and open yourself to receive God-sized blessings. It’s