The rubble is everywhere.
The dust of it clings to my shoes and hangs in the air and sticks in my throat.
I sip brown coffee, the way I like it rich with cream, and survey the destruction.
The walls that unnecessarily stood around the living room are gone and the room in which I sit, though strewn with the debris of demolition and pizza boxes and a stray lego or two, is wide open, filled with light and free of obstruction.
Why we decided now was the perfect jumping-in point, I’ll never know, but it seemed like the right time to yank out the tattered carpet and remove the barrier walls.
This change is something we’ve wanted since we moved in over a decade ago.
“Wouldn’t it be nice if this space was open?”
“Does this wall serve any purpose besides holding a light switch?”
We asked these questions for years, but left the project untouched until now.
Because change is messy.
Change is destructive and chaotic and all-consuming.
Change is in itself a season, a period of unrest that puts to rest the “had beens” and illumines the future.
Change requires an investment, patience, thought and sweat equity.
Change promises a shiny new reality but demands one march through fields of uncertainty littered with the multi-layered “what-ifs” that snag your steps and distract you from the goal.
My sheetrock dusted floor and piles of debris remind me of times in my life that change came unbidden. They serve as symbols to the seasons that my life needed renovated, my relationships refurbished, my walls torn down and the surroundings of my soul cleaned out.
I never wanted those seasons of change. I fought them like a baby fights sleep. I prayed for others to change, for protection, for solutions I might find more comfortable.
But God asked his questions:
“Wouldn’t it be lovely if this space was open?”
“Do these walls and this clutter serve any purpose?”
“What if things were different?”
“Do you trust me, really, Alyssa?”
And the sledgehammer swung.
And the saw sang and the timbers fell.
I remember one particular morning when the symbolic dust of demolition clogged the air of my life. I was spent from a night crying and praying, sleepless and wrung out. I did not welcome this change. God was wrong. It didn’t need to look like this. The summer morning was deceptive and taunting in her sparkling beauty as I stumbled out in the early light, physically sore from the pain of broken relationships.
I had not signed up for this. I hated this change. I wanted my life to remain built along the design of my making. I hadn’t seen the sagging floor, the tilted walls, the overall screwy haphazard state of my priorities. I had acted so long in a certain pattern that I couldn’t seen the truth of the dangerous mess I’d created.
On that sunlit morning, God moved in. Sure, I’d known him, loved him called him savior. But like a contractor on-duty 24-7, God began the necessary removal and rebuilding of my personal life. He’d known all along this morning would come, and he was prepared to see the project through to completion.
He opened up my spirit. He set me in a place of spaciousness where the fullness of his goodness could move in and lighten up my existence.
He knows my future, knows what tests lay before me, and I believe that God was preparing the foundational work in my faith that I would need in order to withstand future storms.
This is the God I choose to worship because he proved himself. He’s not wrong. Ever. He is trustworthy even when the plan is to make a veritable wreckage of your life. He never walks away from a jobsite.
If you are facing change, if you are facing the challenges and pain of an overhaul, can I whisper to your soul these words?
Trust. Seek the truth of God’s word, lay your mess at his feet and trust him to see you through this season of change.
It may be overwhelming today. It may be embarrassing and it might make you angry, but just…trust.
He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.” Psalm 18:19
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