Several years ago I was contemplating renovating my kitchen and having a hard time with the thought of change. I sat down with a designer to put a sample computer-generated remodel together and I didn’t like what she wanted to do, at all. It didn’t make any sense for my space and for some reason, it actually brought me to tears. Later that afternoon, I was at church and somewhere in the midst of the worship, sensed that the Lord wanted me to open things up. It felt like I not only had His permission for the changes I wanted to make, I was being given a directive.
I released the process to the Lord, mentally drafted my own remodel plans and eventually, I picked out all of the new kitchen features: cabinets, countertop, flooring, lights, and other more minor characteristics. When the physical work began, seeing the destruction and removal of the old was exciting—getting rid of the old to make room for the new.
At church one December evening, I was distracted from listening to the sermon when I suddenly sensed the Holy Spirit encouraging me to write scriptures on the walls and floor of my kitchen before the flooring was installed the following morning. I went home, began, and didn’t seem to be able to stop until all of the blank space on the walls and soffit were filled. In some way this felt like dedicating the new space, the process, my home and really my heart to the Lord.
A short time later I had, overconfidently it turns out, assured a friend who scheduled a visit that the project would be complete by the time she arrived. This proved not to be the case and I essentially had to invite her into my mess. True to form, this dear friend cared more about being with me than the state of the space in which we’d be.
Though it might sound like it or even look like it if you ever visit me, this was not an easy process for someone as particular as I am. The reconstruction progression has been stretching and occasionally or even frequently trying to my patience. At times it has even been painful as I’ve encountered setbacks, yet always there has been a way forward.
Almost simultaneously with the kitchen remodel, the Lord has been remodeling me. The afternoon when I felt the Lord’s directive to open things up, I realized it applied as much to my heart and life as it did to my kitchen. He began doing a heart work in me, dismantling old ways of doing life which had limited His expression in me.
This has meant confronting the areas of my life that are incongruent with the Christ life, allowing others in, sharing at times unnamable struggles with trusted friends, coming for prayer, and lots of crying. Perhaps not so ironically, the same friend who stepped into my kitchen mess I had already invited into my spiritual mess—to listen, hold me accountable, and be part of my healing community.
This journey the Lord has had me on this past year has been like my kitchen project—while at times it has been painful, there has always seemed to be a way forward.
Unlike the kitchen remodel, the tearing down of old ways has been more difficult than I imagined and far from exciting from my perspective, but I have found reconstruction in the spiritual process to be life giving and sustaining. As I learn to open my heart to Him, let go of my self-protective ways, and allow Him full access, I see that He is drawing forth that which He has already placed in me. He has been revealing to me, little by little, how I am built and how He has made me.
The Lord has been restructuring how I think, how I do life, opening a way, not just in a physical sense with my kitchen, but for a greater expression of His presence in me and equally a greater expression of who I am in Him. As this process continues, He’s reminded me that He won’t force me—I must invite Him in, much in the same way I would invite a friend to my table. I have found that in doing so, the initial discomfort I experienced has made way for growth.
My prayer for you this evening is that you would invite the Lord into your own mess, whatever state it may be in, and grant Him the leeway to begin a remodel in you.