by Callie Davies
We have whole television channels dedicated to seeing homes transformed. There are dozens of shows involving ripping houses apart as much as possible without fully destroying them.
But this demolition is never for the sake of leaving the house that way. They are always restored. Over the years, things are often added to these homes by their multiple past owners in an attempt to remodel them and improve them. What I find remarkable is that these “improvements” are often the very things that are holding the house back from what it should be, from what it was originally created to be.
These programs often show the cast removing textured ceilings, tearing off sheetrock, removing walls, ripping up carpet, painting over wild wall colors, and generally removing all evidence of past owners falling into decorative trends. The transformations are less of a remodel and more of a restoration.
The ordinary homeowner does many things that they truly believe are improvements to their home. They are desperately making changes and additions on their own. Often the ideas for these changes come from reading articles, browsing Pinterest, or talking with friends. Temporary fixes. And “fixes” is a debatable term, considering they are normally just a covering that will make the house more appealing, especially to those who do not know, or cannot imagine the true beauty underneath all of these dated remodels.
It is not until a true designer arrives on the scene that beauty begins to shine through. (Shout out to Chip and Joanna Gaines).
To me, this is exactly what is going on in so many of our lives and hearts. We as ordinary humans try with good intentions to remodel ourselves time and time again. We read self-help books. We go through marriage classes. We meet with counselors. We find ways to highlight our strengths and hide our mess.
These are not bad things. My gosh, I am certainly not discounting the value of putting in your own hard work, setting goals, and using the resources around you to improve your life. At the same time though, you must include the Great Creator and Designer.
Without God’s hand in our attempted life transformations, we end up with a bunch of remodels and never the true restoration that we so desperately need.
To me it is easy to see why we do not let in The Designer. We watch these home restoration shows and marvel at the successful transformations. We even think to ourselves how great it would be to live in one of these beautifully restored homes. But we do not make the call to the designer to come take a look at our home or go out in search of an old worn home to make our very own restored project.
Why is this? What seems like the most obvious answer is that it is too expensive. The cost is too great. We feel like we simply do not have the money, and if we were able to get the money it would be at the cost of something too valuable to us. Another reason though, is that if we are in a position where we have truly put in work and given our best efforts to make improvements to our house, it does not sound appealing to have someone, even if he knows better, to come in and undo it.
We do not want to be told that we have been doing it wrong or that some adjustments we made have actually lowered the value of our home and need to be undone.
If that does not perfectly exemplify our reservations about letting God in to transform our lives, I don’t know what does.
We love to watch God work and design in other people’s lives. We are in awe when we hear an incredible testimony, and we even think that it would be truly fantastic to have a new fresh outlook on life or to be going out of our comfort zone to glorify God. We love to look at the finished product, the restored lives, that God has designed. We even daydream about having our own lives fully transformed. But when it comes down to it, we end up with a life patched with good intended trendy remodels, but we never get the restoration that our hearts long for.
If you have ever watched one of those restoration shows, then you can to attest to the fact that the shows never end with the designers or the clients saying that they regret the investment that they made. I have never once gotten to the end of the episode only to hear complaints that the cost was too great or that the result was not worth the commitment. This also holds true when you allow God to redesign your heart and life. In personal experience, and in the lives of others I have heard from, the road of letting God design a transformed life for you never ends in disappointment.
I will admit that there is one comparison that I cannot make between home restoration shows and God’s holy restoration of lives.
On these shows it is often a pleasant surprise when the designers tear into a wall and find something that is original to the home. I have seen them dismantle a crumbling stone façade on a fireplace to reveal the original brick fireplace or modern sheetrock walls torn down to reveal beautiful arched doorways. The designers step back in awe and utter surprise as each of the mismatched time period “improvements” are torn away to reveal the home in all of its original beauty.
Our God, though, is never surprised by the beauty that is behind all of our failed attempts to improve our lives on our own. He designed and created each of us.
When we finally give Him the opportunity to come in and restore us, there are no surprises. He is fully aware all along of the beauty beneath all of our “improvements” and “fixes.” Instead, we find ourselves in awe of what a beautiful design God had when creating us. He designed each of us uniquely and without fail. Be brave. Let Him in to do His restorative work, even when it seems the cost may be too great.
Callie Davies has lived in the 918 for two years, and her view is filled mostly by life with her husband and puppy, as well as a classroom full of fifth graders. She is passionate about impacting lives through education, and enjoys writing as a hobby.