This reblog is part of the Internet Cafe devotions. The original can be found here Painful Restoration
. The author and I are not aquainted but have the distinction of New In Christ, deep loss and the often painful but great goodness of God’s Restoration. ~~slwh
“My friend Shellie owns a B&B named Clyde and Marie’s. It is a beautiful Victorian home filled with treasured antiques.
The house stood empty and neglected for years on a tiny lot in the middle of a small Mississippi town. Shellie purchased the house, had it cut in half and moved in two separate pieces to its current location. Issues with the contractor led to the house sitting on its current property totally exposed to the elements for months (in two pieces). The resulting damage was so extensive that everything but the hardwood floors had to be gutted and replaced, giving the restored house new walls, ceilings, electrical work, etc. Shellie celebrated opening the B&B by dedicating the home and business to the Lord. Once nothing but an empty neglected house, Clyde and Marie’s now hosts weddings, class reunions, rehearsal dinners, and all sorts of travelers, but the guests Shellie treasures most are young women, hurting couples, and women’s groups who utilize her home for a place of ministry.
I love this story. It resonates in my heart because I AM that house.
Before Christ, I was a list of failed relationships, shattered dreams, and broken promises. I felt discarded and worthless. I was beaten down and worn out… empty and hopeless…a shell of the woman I am now. What changed? God saved me.
I simply trusted what Scripture says:
Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved. Acts 16:31 ESV
God stepped in and saw value where I saw failure. He saw what HE could do in me. He purchased me with the blood of Jesus and began to restore me. In time I took on the identity of “Pastor’s Wife,” “Mommy,” “Ministry Leader,” “Bible Study Leader,” and “Sunday School Teacher.” Along with these, I picked up a nasty little thing called pride. Just as the weather ruined Shellie’s House, pride threatened to ruin me. God stepped in again…
For me, the worst part of being treated for laryngeal cancer was weeks of post-surgery voice rest. Voice “rest” is really doctor-prescribed silence. For months at a time I used a dry erase board to communicate. I sat in church and sobbed silently while everyone else sang. That was the first time around. When my cancer came back, I faced radiation. The worst single moment of the whole journey was not when I was diagnosed with cancer the first time or even the second time. It was when I was told, “The radiation will cause you to completely lose your voice. Wehope it will come back.” Everything I did “for God” came to a screeching halt for the better part of those three years in the cancer valley. Just as Shellie’s house sat exposed to the elements, I sat in silence. Broken. Damaged. Useless.
I… was… gutted.
I thought that once Jesus saved me, His work in me was done, but it was just the beginning. God has done the most amazing work in me years after He saved me. While traveling the cancer valley, God changed my heart. I learned to listen to His voice. He opened my eyes to the spiritual struggles in the lives of the people He put in my path each day. In the valley, I stopped doing all the things for God that brought me glory and focused on beingsomeone who brings God glory.
God’s Word says:
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
2 Corinthians 5:17
Becoming a “new creation” isn’t a easy process. Just like Shellie had to tear out all the damaged stuff in her house before she could restore it, God had to remove the pride (among other things) in me before I could be who He created me to be. He’s not done yet. He continues to work on me today.
What about you? Are you willing to trust God to restore you? Being gutted is painful, but the result is worth the pain. God desires for you to be fully restored. Will you trust Him?
I want you to restore me to the woman you created me to be. I have years of “stuff” that has left dirty fingerprints on the walls of my heart. There are cracks left by people who have hurt me. There are holes left by bad choices I’ve made. I’ve spent years trying to patch them myself. I have covered some with anger, others with bitterness, still others with pride. I am tired of patching things up, Lord, but I am afraid to let you have control. Give me courage. Hold me and keep me close while you work on the areas of my heart that need to be removed and restored.