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A Swan's Story

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“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” NLT

At a gathering of family and friends, one of my “Aunties” voiced her observation of the woman I had become. “Look at Dorcas. She’s beautiful now. Imagine!” In other words, Who would have thought?

On a different occasion, I was reunited with one of my mother’s best friends. After an affectionate hug, she pulled back, shook her head in wonder, and gushed, “Oh Dorcas. The ugly duckling became a swan!”

Like most young girls, I always wanted to be thought of as pretty. But for a good part of my childhood, I felt ugly. My poor self-image came from the cultural perceptions of my parent’s native country of what beauty looked like. And it didn’t look like me. As a result of my discontent, I walked around with a perpetual scowl on my face.

My outlook changed when I entered my teen years. Through the love and encouragement of my family and close friends, my Heavenly Father, *Yahweh, removed the hurt from my heart and revealed the gifts He had chosen especially for me. When I embraced His purpose for my life, His Spirit changed me from the inside out.

NIV states, “A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit.”

At our reunion, those dear ladies didn’t see a beauty queen. Far from it. They saw the new me – a young woman who had grown up from an insecure little girl to a confident daughter of the King of Kings. Yahweh filled my heart with a joy that transformed my outward appearance and made me glow with the beauty of His Spirit within.

In Hans Christian Anderson’s story, the other animals ridiculed and harassed the “ugly duckling” because he didn’t look the way they thought he should look. But he wasn’t even a duckling. He was actually a cygnet that finally grew up into what he was always meant to be — a beautiful swan.

Too often we let the opinions of other people influence our perception of ourselves and mold us into who they think we should be. We let our spirits get crushed when we don’t meet their expectations. But it’s not what others think that matters.

Paul says in NCV: “Everything made is waiting with excitement for God to show his children’s glory completely.”

Each one of us is made for a purpose and only the Master Designer knows what that is. We might truly be “ducks” or we might be “swans.” One thing is for certain—when we let Yahweh bring about that transformation in His Way and in His Time, we will become His masterpieces.

Dear Yahweh, True beauty comes from You and Your holiness. Continue to transform me so that my words and actions let Your beauty shine through my life.

Writer’s Note: *Yahweh is the Hebrew name of God the Father.

Copyright © 2017 Dorcas Zuniga. Used by permission.

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About The Author


In 2015, Dorcas became a freelance writer, a fulfillment of her childhood dream. She is a regular contributor to the online magazine Refresh, a Lighthouse Bible Studies Publication. She is also a columnist for Broken but Priceless: The Magazine, the online publication of Broken but Priceless Ministries. Before Dorcas became a writer, her journey brought her to the world of medicine. She graduated from Eastern Virginia Medical School and completed her residency at the Portsmouth Family Medicine Residency Program. She currently practices in Virginia Beach, where she enjoys her life with her

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