There’s Something Holy About Remodeling (Our Hearts and Our Homes)
I am this house. I’ve said it a thousand times. I would have never guessed that a decade of restoration on a one hundred year old three-story mansion would become such a picture of my own healing. Honestly, I had no idea what I was signing up for. The project looms over my tiny frame. The amount of care and time that it takes to do things safely and lovingly are exponentially more than I could have imagined. Here I am, still removing the years of built up things that have begun to crumble. It doesn’t take a detective to see the obvious in the situation. This is also a symbol of God clearing away the dead things in me. Perhaps that’s a reason why remodeling shows are everywhere you look. We aren’t just looking to live into the new. We are all looking to be made new.
I can’t sugar coat it and tell you that it’s all as fun and easy as it looks on television. No one shows up to do my hair and make-up in the mornings. What I can tell you is that even in the painful removal of the old, Christ shines through. You start to see His face in the underneath. All of the covering up kept Him hidden, but the careful removal of threadbare things allows you to get down to the truth.
We realize that truth brings freedom. It’s the embracing of that truth and letting it wash over you that heals bones of the thing. We have to take each piece for what it is. When we get to the underneath, we assess the decay and address it.
When you are the thing in need of repair, it brings a whole new set of needs to be addressed. Different causes of wear and tear require different types of care. It can be difficult to remove old wood and replace it, but when you step back you can see the empty space as an opportunity. Forgiveness, confession, and repentance create a wide margin for the new. The new looks more like Christ and subsequently, you will too.
It’s there that we see ourselves as we really are. There’s no pretense left. There’s nothing to hide under. We can see ourselves as worthy to be restored. We see our deep value as someone created in the image of Christ. When we see it, we become much more thoughtful of what we allow into our lives. When we’ve seen the beauty emerge from the ashes and sit with that healing, we don’t want to cover it up ever again. There’s an understanding that we have beheld a sacred glory that is meant to be shared and not hidden. You can safely place your restoration into the hands of a trustworthy expert.
That is the most wonderful part of our personal remodel: Jesus plainly tells us that He is doing it. We do not have to orchestrate it or make a master plan of healing. We can just submit to the plan that Christ lays in front of us. He tells us in Isaiah 61 that He heals the brokenhearted and sets the captive free. In verse 4, He starts to share the why. They/us, the healed ones, will start repairing generational disrepair and rebuild devastation. Hurt people might hurt people, but Healed people get to be healers.
They shall build up the ancient ruins; they shall raise up the former devastations; they shall repair the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations. -Isaiah 61:4
Steph Cherry is the CEO of The Boho Table, a non-profit providing care for the homeless. She and her husband Denbigh are restoring a three-story mansion outside of Austin, TX to use as a retreat for the weary. Her favorite job is raising her three girls and adventuring with her family.