Redecorating- Trading Ashes for Beauty.
We started redecorating our house right before COVID went into full effect. So, these last seven months, we have done bits and pieces to almost every single room. It was fun but, many times, overwhelming. For example, purchasing furniture online and praying the sample 2 x 2 color swatches and sizes will be right for our spaces, with no return possible. In my pitiful mind, I pictured the Lord saying, “Hey Pete, we have a request for a couch to be the right color- what do you think?” The redecorating is still not finished with only one room complete. The other rooms are still lacking a picture here or there, etc.
The blank walls staring back at me reminds me of a Bible study I wrote a couple of years ago titled, “After it Breaks, Rebuilding after Loss.” I wrote this study on the heals of 9 losses in 3 years, with four more losses to follow the next two years. A season I hope never to repeat. But what I learned from that journey was priceless and has served me well. And much like the redecorating of the house with rooms still not finished, I am not entirely over each loss.
The wall is bare at the entrance of our home now because of the change in decor. This wall seems to stare at me with such a sense of sadness. I know that sounds dramatic, but what I have found interesting is the feeling I get because it is so bare, bland, no color, or sense of connection to the other rooms. Lifeless. So why can’t I focus on finding a picture for that space and complete the room, get rid of this feeling? These feelings reminded me of the restoration process after each loss. More than halfway through the grieving process, I was ready to move on, which I did, which was a mistake. I mean, who doesn’t want to get over the heartbreak quickly? But in my haste, it took longer to heal my heart.
As the Scriptures tell us, there is a time for everything, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, and a time to heal. And I might add, a time to cover the bare walls with new beauty. I am learning to accept God’s perfect timing and rest in His promises to provide for those who grieve…to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes.
Lord, thank you for your promises. We are grateful you are with us, even when we don’t sense you near. Thank you for being greater than our trials, and that you are trading our ashes for beauty. Father God, increase our trust in You and Your ways and timing. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
John 16:33 In this world you will have trouble, but take courage, for I have overcome the world.