When I first walked into the house that was for sale, my senses were assaulted by the beige walls and dark trim throughout the house, and the claustrophobic feel of the kitchen. My son said, “Mom, let me tell you what we can do to this house,” and then proceeded to share a very different vision than the reality I was facing. I appreciated him sharing his ideas of what “we” could do, but I knew I had very little skills to contribute to such a renovation and that he would have to carry the lion’s share of the work. He was so confident in the potential of the house, and it had all the basic features I was looking for in a home, so I trusted in his ability to make the old dark house the home of my dreams and bought it.
Drastic measures were needed to bring light into the dark corners of the house. Talking about knocking down the kitchen ceiling wasn’t difficult, but when the sledge hammer actually came in contact with the sheet rock, my breath caught. As the demolition continued, it took concentrated effort to keep my anxiety at bay. I knew this was a necessary step to create the much needed updates to a worn and weary-looking room. But it was still painful to watch, especially with the blizzard of insulation raining down.
Each day was filled with projects requiring scrubbing, sanding, patching, painting, and more. Carpeting was removed and replaced with wood laminate flooring. Cabinets were taken down and primed. It was exhausting, but the work load was lightened with help of family and friends. They didn’t just sit on the sidelines and cheer me on. They rolled up their sleeves and jumped into the chaos with enthusiasm that rivaled my own. And when I faltered in energy and vision, they encouraged me with reminders of how beautiful the finished product would be.
Several times during this process, I recognized a parallel between making a new home, and God’s work in making a new ME. I was worn and weary, dingy and dim. I was functional, but not joyful. Then He pulled me out of the darkness and into a new life with Him. Just as the old home was made new, so was I when I let go of a legalistic religion and reveled in a relationship with Christ. I needed my son, Trevor, to make the changes happen in my home. And I needed Jesus to make the changes happen in my heart. Letting go of the old was a necessary and painful process. But oh, so worth it!
Yesterday I held a housewarming to share the joy of my new home with family, friends, and neighbors. When the last guest of the evening arrived, she gifted me a beautiful framed print with the scripture from 2 Corinthians 5:17.
All I could say was, “Thank you so much…and AMEN!”