Restoration

I’m currently renovating my bedroom, and what I was hoping would take a few days has turned into what will probably be a few weeks. I started sanding down the stucco on my ceiling, wishing to finish it in one day, but it’s turned into a four day process.

Isn’t that like life sometimes? We jump into something assuming it’ll pass quickly and we can move on to bigger and better things (like painting the walls), but it turns out that it is a far bigger time commitment or that there are a lot more steps involved?

Five years ago I renovated my old bedroom and had to go through the same process of scraping down the plastered on stucco pattern. I spent day after day in my room chipping away at it. I can’t help but feel that that is what it’s like for God when He’s working on us.

Over the past several months, I’ve grown in inexplicable ways. God has taught me so much, and I’m now beginning to walk into a season of restoration in my own life. God is stripping off the old scabs on my heart, filling in the holes from my past and replacing them with new, life-bringing Truth and putting a fresh coat of paint on it all so that I might catch the eye of an onlooker. That someone could look at my life and see God at work, see His amazing grace being poured over me as he renovates my heart.

I’ve been recognizing that when we desire change and growth, it often becomes a much bigger project that what we originally anticipated. We think, or dream, that it will be an overnight process. That we can have some good prayer at night and in the morning we will be a new person. How often are we disappointed when that isn’t the case?

God’s work in us takes time. It is a process with countless steps, because we never reach the point of perfection. Just like a house, there are always things that can be improved and upgraded. Our hearts are full of so much baggage, wounds and sin that it takes our entire lives to become God’s restored people. Romans 12:1 is a great example of this. We are to continue pursuing perfection because the end goal of Heaven with Jesus is well worth the hard work and time.

I have loved working on my room, as intense as it has been, because as I’ve been working on the appearance of my room, God has been working on the state of my heart. He has been teaching me so much and giving me a much needed getaway. It’s given me a place to cry to Him, worship Him and listen to His truth.

I’m so thankful that God gives us these analogies to help us grow. He teaches us each in such unique ways to grab our attention.

What is in you that needs restored? Where are you willing to let God work, no matter how long or daunting the task, because God’s work in you is never finished.

Have a blessed day,

-Sadie

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Words

I’m constantly surprised by the many tools one can find online. For instance, last night, I wanted to see number of the days between one date to the next. I typed this into Google, and what do you know, numerous options came up. Several weeks ago, when planning an activity for my students, I needed to scramble a list of words so they were no longer in order, and discovered that several websites provide that service! (It’s the simple things in life, right?)

I began to realize that there is never an end to the internet and what we can use it for. I am discovering how many ways in which we misuse the internet, and the many ways in which it is used for good. It reminds me a lot of our words. Our words come in an endless fashion. There is no end to what we can say, using not only words, but the inflection or tone of voice.

The other night, I was talking with a friend in my apartment building. His son, who is quite young, came and was asking me to do something for him. While he was waiting for my help, the father rambled some angry words in Spanish (that I didn’t understand) to the little boy who then left. He began to cry as he was walking down the hall towards their apartment. It turns out that the son had said a couple of bad words and that was why he got in trouble.

This little boy has become like a son to me over the past months, he greets me almost every day as I head out to work and every evening as I’m getting home. His father told me that often times, in the morning before school, he asks to come and spend time with me. I love this little boy like he were my own, and hearing him crying actually broke my heart a little bit. I quickly understood that the son was not crying because he was in trouble, he was crying because he was embarrassed. It was the words his father used, and the tone of voice that made the son embarrassed. Ironically so, it was the words the son used that got him in trouble in the first place.

Words can be a blessing, or a curse. Words can heal, but they can, also, very easily wound. It is far too easy to let words leave your mouth and penetrate the mind of someone else without thinking first.

Our words hold so much power, and I feel that that is often overlooked. We don’t realize that what we say might follow a person for the rest of their lives, whether positive or negative.

When we are young, we are taught, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” That has to be the biggest lie that children are ever told. Words can most certainly hurt and far more than broken bones. Bones eventually heal, but words can create a wound that might never be fully healed. Along with broken bones comes a story, but along with hurtful words comes anger, hurt and true, heart-level damage.

If being perfectly honest, there were many negative words that were said to me growing up that are still with me today. I don’t think most of these words were slung at me with the intention of hurting me, but they did regardless.

Satan has this way of taking these hurts, these awful words, and turning them into lies. He works hard to have us believe them about ourselves and let them define us. Thankfully, we have an awesome God who is waiting to fill us with truths about who we are. Our God is waiting for us to let Him define us, to wipe away these wounds and replace them with His love and grace. Words are one of the many things that cause hidden wounds. God is the only one that can take these hidden wounds and make them into something beautiful. Don’t let words define who you are and don’t buy into the lies satan twists these words into. You are worth so much more than that.

Have a blessed day!

-Sadie

Wounds

When you give someone a piece of your heart, and they take advantage of it, it leaves a wound. When you set expectations in your heart, they take over a small part, and when those expectations aren’t met, they become wounds. Many of us internalize wounds, some without even realizing it. I know that is what has happened in my heart. I simply accepted wounds as wounds and didn’t realize the incredible power in handing them to Christ.

As I prayed about my wounds this morning, I had this vision.  Each wound that I prayed for, I imagined literally taking pieces of my heart and actually handing them over to God. Some pieces bigger than others, some look more healed than others, yet all wounds. It left me with a heart that was disfigured and much smaller.

Fortunately, that isn’t the end of the story.

God then grabs what is left of my heart, and holds it in His hands. As He’s holding it, my heart is becoming whole again. It doesn’t remain deformed, ugly, or useless. God renews it, He transforms what once was distorted into something whole and beautiful.

We often hear this in reference to sins, which is true. Yet, how often do we realize that wounds can and do hinder us if we don’t hand them over to God? They change us. They affect our relationships, our attitude, our beliefs. Most of us learn to accept them as part of who we are, but it doesn’t have to be that way. It’s shouldn’t be that way!

God did a lot of work on my heart this morning. It was not instant healing, but the process has begun. I can feel it. I can feel the bitterness, hurt, anger and frustration (that I didn’t even realize was there) leaving my heart and it being renewed with true God-given joy.

What I find amazing is that God wants these things for us. He doesn’t want to see us in pain. He doesn’t want us to simply accept wounds. He doesn’t want us to internalize these hurts. He cares enough about you to want to provide healing (Psalm 147:3). He already knows all of your wounds, but giving them to Him and letting him transform you is so incredibly important.

We often look at 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, which states, “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body” in reference to sexual purity. Yet, when we internalize wounds, we are not treating ourselves as priceless, God-created temples. Wounds fester and affect us, they change us. They create anger, bitterness, negative thoughts, discouragement and these things appear in our every day lives. They do not glorify God! A body that glorifies God begins in the heart. Proverbs 4:23 says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

What wounds have you internalized? What wounds do you hold on to? What wounds can God take and make beautiful? What wounds can He use for His purpose?

Pray that He would make you aware of your wounds, and that He would transform them. The process is long and may even be painful, but it is also beautiful.

Have a blessed day!

-Sadie