Heart Renovations

Do you have any idea how long it takes to renovate a room?

First, there is the planning. Measuring, estimating costs and time and equipment needed. Wandering along cement-floored aisles, staring numbly at the dozens of options for walls, floors, and ceilings – let alone all of the fixtures, outlets, and trims. Checking prices, sketching a plan, nervously placing the first costly orders. 

Next there is the pulling-apart of the old. This part is actually kind of fun. It feels good to rip off the ugly, water-damaged, faded pieces in hopeful expectation of the newness that is coming. Sometimes you get pricked by a stray nail, or a splinter from the fraying wood sticks you as you carry it out. But it feels like a small price to pay for stripping out the walls that you’ve stared at with disgust for so long.

And then there is the real work. Now, to be quite blunt, I don’t know as much about this part, because it’s usually my husband who takes over at this point. He meticulously measures for new studs, maps out the wiring needed for lighting and outlets, insulates every cavity, and levels the openings for new windows. Siding and caulk have to go up on the outside, and then the walls and more caulk on the inside. Paint, ceiling installation, flooring… and then all of the trim (more paint), outlet and light switch covers… And on, and on, and on.

It takes months of weekends and evenings. Months of feeling like it might never be done – and like we just want to be done with it all. It is messy. SOOOO messy. Screwdrivers and drills and nails and paint cans and paint brushes wrapped in plastic spill out of your room remodel into the next rooms over. Sawdust coats your houseplants and clean dishes. You’re not always sure which parts of the mess are garbage, and which are integral to the final product.

But I’m not just trying to impress you with how long it took us to complete our sunroom remodel. I think there is some truth embedded in this story.

Once I calculate the costs and decide to surrender my heart to His expert renovation plans, God starts His work. It starts with pulling out the jealousy and bitterness and selfishness and other old junk. But it doesn’t stop there. He has an even bigger plan – one that involves building something new, something beautiful and functional and wholly different than the original. One that results in creating a welcoming space full of love, a heart that reflects His security, truth, and humility.

“It seems like when she really came alive though, was when she began to serve God and actually be used by Him. See for too many people, the story ends with finding God. Like, all these things happened, and I found Him. But that’s not supposed to be the end. That’s supposed to be the beginning of this new life.”

– Francis Chan, “Finding Truth” video series

Your heart renovation will get messy and it will seem like it’s taking way too long. You may even want to quit before it’s done. But keep on surrendering and letting the Master Engineer do His work. See it through to the beautiful, hospitable end. The results will be worth it… both for you, and for everyone else who gets to enjoy the fruit of your renovated heart!

“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.”

Philippians 1:6 (NLT)

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