Deterioration is gradual. It is subtle… until… it’s not so subtle anymore. The state of disrepair becomes obvious and, before we know it, it drives us mad. At this point, the dreaming begins. A simple thought like, “What if we ….” results in an endless flow of ideas. In our minds-eye, we see the results of elaborate and ornate reconstruction.
The excitement continues until the practical reality stage. It is there that plans are often needing to be scaled back. Our magnificent renovation plans sometimes become a simple paint job or a modified version of the grandeur. However, unless we take that path of dreaming, we will never experienced these ideas becoming reality and seeing the beautiful renovations that transpire.
Realization of disrepair
According to Webster, renovation means “to restore to a former better state or to restore to life, vigour, or activity.” A “former better state” as it relates to me as a person is an interesting thought. To be better than I was at a time when things seemed best actually sounds like a great idea. This could refer to fitness, health, emotional well being or possibly it could refer to relationships or my spirituality.What does that look like for me? How could I go through that kind of renovation process? Is it even possible to plan towards that?
The key begins in recognizing the state of disrepair. How have things deteriorated? Is it possible to restore your condition back to a former better state? Is this even something that should happen?
Nearly a year ago, I wrote “Winter of my soul”. It is a reflection of a broken place, where I going through a major transition in my life. I could no longer imagine or dream. Instead of “what if...”, I couldn’t help but sadly wonder,”now what?“ One difficulty after another came my way. The world as I knew it crumbled. I called out to God and I sought after Him. I became very aware of the state of brokenness.
Strengthened by His Presence
I knew I was not alone. Initially, God’s assurance was only a whisper. Then, as time went on and the circumstances seemed to worsen, God’s presence became stronger.
I realized that I was under renovation. God was at work in my life. He may not have created the circumstances, but He did allow them. He was at work in me. He cared deeply.
A decision is needed
There was a deep inner tension in me when I realized I was at a crossroads and had to make a decision. Would I ignore the need to renovate or would I embark on the messy process? It would be costly, and I knew it would require more demolition and deconstructing before the rebuilding could happen. I was either going to walk with God through this journey and let Him do His work and completely overhaul me OR I was going to choose to no longer trust in God and limp along in the state of disrepair and hope that the ultimate damage was not too great.
Ironically, the choice of to not further disrupt my life and not trust God to finish the work actually was the most appealing. It was easy to believe that God had let me down. Why would I want to trust Him? I was tired of pain. As I pondered that option, I had a deep sense that if I went that way, I would miss out on something great. There is something in my deepest part of my being that hates missing out! So, I relinquished myself to God. I gave Him my pain, my plans and my future.
I fully believed and trusted God when He said, “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” – Philippians 1:6
A time to rebuild
As I gave in, the destruction went quickly and, ironically, it was much less painful than before. God’s strength carried me through. The dark days were filled with a deep underlying sense of hope. Somehow I knew that it was part of the renovation process and that, while it was hard and so very messy, it was going to be beautiful. Every single day, God gave me scriptures, a word from a friend, or a powerful sense of His presence. In all my life, I had never encountered Jesus in that way. He promised, “They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations.” – Isaiah 61:4
Things started to take shape. God gave me a clear vision of my calling. This gave me hope! Spiritual gifts that I had not had before began to develop and others became much more evident. My soul was soaring. My circumstances slowly began to change. At times, I felt like the ever-optimist because I knew that God was creating a magnificent and grand transformation even when the situation looked like a construction zone. As I embraced the process and received the joy, God spoke to me. He gave me clear promises. I wrote them down with the long list of prayer requests. I began to see answers.
The story of renovation
I felt the transformation deep in my soul. The anxiety over the situation lessened, the hope of the future flooded my heart and joy permeated my being. I felt it, I knew it. God was up to something BIG. He loved me. He had renovated me deeply from the inside out. God had restored me to a former better state AND restored me to life, vigour AND activity.
It was an enormous renovation. I’m a new person. I don’t need to push to make life happen anymore. I ask God what He wants me to pray for and then I watch Him do incredible things and open doors I would never have known existed. God is my drive engine. He propels me forward. I want to stay in renovation and manage the upkeep. I want God to keep- fine-tuning, fixing, and updating.
Makeovers are intriguing and fascinating. There is something so exciting about seeing a complete and beautiful transformation. The old becomes new. In fact, it becomes so much better than it was in it’s best former state.
That. is. what. God. is. about.