By the time you read this my house will be a complete mess. Guaranteed. Thanks to the heavy rain that brought water damage to our ceiling, we are spending this week having part of a ceiling ripped out and replaced. Consequently, there are beds in the living room, nightstands, hampers and anything else that goes inside of the bedroom all over the dining room. The dining room table is covered with all of the clothes that were in the closet and there are bright blue tarps on all of the floors. And don’t even get me started on the drywall dust! Seriously, if you hear a scream coming from far away, there’s a very good chance it’s this cleaning freak reaching the end of her rope with the complete chaos in my house! (Because my room is one of the rooms being repaired, I can't even run there and hide!). It’s truly amazing that this much mess can come because of a small leak! And yet here we are. And as we’re living like we’re in a construction zone, I’ve turned philosophical and started thinking about how this physical mess is a lot like the messes that we deal with our spiritual mental and emotional lives. The truth is that the sin we allow into our lives can cause as much distraction as a damaged vent that is leaking water into the ceiling. It seems like a small thing, but left unattended, it can cause big problems. Whether it be sin that we committed or sins that have been done against us by other people the result is that we are damaged and need our hearts and minds to be repaired. But here’s the thing—-whether it be repairing a water damaged ceiling or a broken, hurting heart—removing the damage and making things right again isn’t a magical process. They both require addressing the root of the problem, fixing the damaged areas, and making the necessary repairs. It’s a truth that I’m reminded of every time we do a home repair project. And I remember. I remember back to when my heart and mind were as broken as our ceiling. Some of it was because of sins that I was tolerating in my life. (You know the “little” “Christian” sins that we wink and say, “Everybody is doing it—-what’s the big deal?”. The big deal was they were damaging my relationship with God and my heart.) Other damage was caused by my Dad’s choices to live in lies and deceit and abuse his family. All of these “leaks” in my life caused damage that needed to be repaired. Looking back, I remember how I immaturely thought that it would be easy and quick to fix these problems—-just say a little prayer and God would make things better. It didn’t take me long to realize that this wasn’t how finding healing worked. Instead, it was much more like a home repair project. First, we had to get to the root of the problem. What was causing the hurt in my heart and the confusion in my mind? This involved remembering things I didn’t want to remember, facing truths about our family that I didn’t really want to believe, and confessing sins in my own life that until this point I’d been excusing. Then there was the work of “demolition” I spent so many hours of prayer repenting and confessing sins that needed to be overcome. Other times I had to go to counseling and talk through issues. I prayed and journalled and talked about the issues until all of the pain was gone.
And just like when they ripped out the water soaked ceiling in my house, demolition was messy! There were tears, anger, difficulty trying to forgive and sometimes having to ask forgiveness when I didn’t respond in a Christian manner. The truth was removing the damaged areas in my heart and mind wasn’t easy—-it was often messy—-but it was better than living with it. Finally, there was the process of rebuilding. Learning new ways of thinking, acting, responding. Studying the Bible to learn God’s ways of doing things and then implementing them into my daily life. Again, this process wasn’t easy (and I wasn’t always successful at doing the right thing) but those were just the times when I had to determine to try again, keep going, and continue following the steps to finding healing. What made all of this work worth the time and effort? Just like any home repair project—-the end result. Living without the damage and brokenness. Freedom from the pain in my heart and the twisted thinking in my mind. The truth is that even though it was sometimes ugly and messy and difficult, every tear, every memory, every change I had to make was worth it because it led to healing in my heart and mind. Today, I’m no longer living under abuse or the fear of abuse. My mind isn’t all twisted up with lies and manipulation. I’m no longer searching for my value and identity in other people’s approval, but I am daily finding my value, my purpose, and my identity in Christ. The hard work created changes and the changes are even more wonderful than I could ever imagine.
The same can be true for you. Just because you're living with pain and brokenness in your life, doesn't mean that it has to stay this way. Today, you can take the first steps toward allowing the Holy Spirit to “repair” the damage in your heart and mind. You can choose to begin your journey to Finding Healing. Perhaps you have already made your choice to start pursuing all that God has for you but today, you find yourself living in the middle of a mess. You’re remembering something that is causing you pain, trying to repair a difficult relationship, or overcome a habit that you’ve struggled with for years. Maybe you’re wondering why this isn’t easier—-why can’t God just magically “fix” everything instead of making you live through this "messiness". Perhaps you’re frustrated and starting to think about giving up—-wondering “Is this really worth the effort?” Here’s my best advice to you: KEEP GOING!!! Don’t give up!!! Just because it's messy now, doesn't mean it will be messy forever.
In fact, the mess is actually what is creating your miracle!
This is the truth that we need to cling to so that we can endure the difficult times and see the process through to the end.
There is purpose in the mess. Trust me when I say that if you keep following Biblical principles, someday the “mess” will end. You’ll have worked through your issues and your heart and mind will be repaired. Then you’ll be able to enjoy the end result—the life God has planned for you. Yes, I understand it isn’t always easy, but I can also promise you from experience, that it is worth it.
To Read More About Adessa's Journey to Healing and How You Can Start Making Repairs in Your Life, get your copy of Finding Healing.