God is in the restoration business! It is no surprise fixer upper shows are a craze; people want to make things new or have it look as it used to! Restoration is only needed if something needs fixing or some type of rehabilitation. We restore things to bring them back to the original state or better. God does this very thing for us! He specializes in taking broken lives of people who have a big ole mess and making it new! That is exactly what Jesus did for us as He gave His life for us. We cannot earn it, but we can accept it! He has a plan for our lives filled with purpose and value! He takes the broken pieces and creates something new, whole, and beautiful! Our story is important because our story points to God’s story. A true real life love story! With Him we go from broken to beautiful!
The pain in brokenness can seem hopeless at the time, unfixable, a devastation beyond repair. Yet there is One who can take what has been shattered to a million pieces and recreate something new, that is Jesus! He can take our broken dreams, hurt feelings, mistakes, failures, losses, all of it, and what appears as the shards of life and He puts back together so we have something whole. As a Creator that is what He does as we allow Him to recreate in our life, despite how things look and feel!
There is a movie scene that sticks with me, where the woman lost her husband in a car accident, she was devasted and felt her life was ruined. She took a crystal dish, threw it to the ground and it broke in tiny pieces. She looked at it and said, That is my life, a mess, shattered and broken! At the end of the story the fragments were put together in a different way to make something new, whole and beautiful. The story was a parallel to the work the Lord does in us. He is able to take what is broken in our lives and do that very thing! Revelation 21:5 says, “And He Who is seated on the throne said, See! I make all things new! My prayer is for you is that you lay the broken pieces at the feet of Jesus and let Him make your life whole again! I pray whatever you are going through right now that your hope will be rekindled.
All too often I would wake early heavy-hearted and teary-eyed with the burden of regrets. I know it is the enemy, and often we can be our worst enemy. The Lord does not hold things against us, so we must follow His example. I decided to walk away from the morning’s jabs and let God’s Word and a hot cup of tea do its work, especially since it was 4am, the caffeine didn’t hurt! The Lord showed me that we will go through things and those very “things” become our platform from which we share. My heart’s cry after my brother passed was, let this somehow bring God glory. That was the beginning of loss for me, yet over the years loss has become a recurring element in my life. Through this journey I have come to understand what the Lord meant when He says to count it all joy. I am not joyful it happened, but I find joy in how the Lord uses circumstances to His glory. He teaches us along the way and shows us how our mess becomes a message that others will come know they are not alone in all this! God loves us with an everlasting love beyond what we can fathom! He is the God of restoration! We see it in so many places if we just look!
I am remarried, so that is a restoration in itself, and even though I am married to a wonderful Christian man we still are human and deal with real life stuff. During one of those human moments, God showed me that we are being restored as a whole. Marriage is like a car or piece of furniture that is being restored. Often it needs to be stripped, bad parts are exposed, replaced, sanded, polished etc., it’s a long process. Keeping that perspective in marriage, points my attitude in the right direction! We are in this together and what affects one affects the other. We can have an “I am in this with you sweetheart” kind of attitude and can genuinely be glad God is doing a work in us! Our perspective needs to become eternal, more concerned with our hearts and relationship with Jesus Christ than anything else! When we address life from an eternal perspective, we will see real restoration happening. From this new marriage we have a son who is now two years old. As he came running around the corner into my arms and I heard the Lord say to my heart, this is the face of restoration! A child is new and innocent, with a future ahead of them and all the hope and joy you can imagine! My husband and I had been divorced and God brought us together after a hard life on both our ends. Our little man is the ninth child in our blended clan but our first! Children are a true gift from God! It is the children God blessed me with I see this picture of His redemptive love over and over again. It’s not that life ceases to have struggles but that He works things out in the midst of it all! brought such joy during the hardest times in life. My eldest sons were babies when my brother died. Caring for them and looking at their sweet little faces and their love for life kept me going through a very horrible time. Restoration comes in so many forms!
Just this past Christmas my eldest son called me for there had been distance between us. Sadly, many know with divorce comes much brokenness. I did not want to just buy my son a gift that would have no meaning, just to give him something. I prayed it would have meaning so I asked the Lord what I should do. Immediately the Lord brought to my mind a drawing I did years ago, how my son always loved it. I recalled when he was a teen he asked if he could have it after I die. He didn’t have to wait that long! My daughters and I picked out the perfect frame and they gave it to him for me, as I was not able to be with him. His response blessed my heart! My daughter video recorded his response to opening the gift so I got to see his response. It opened the door to our relationship, it was answered prayer, it was the beginning of restoration! I am just back from a trip where I saw him for three days, my heart is so full! God will lead us and create opportunities and ways where it seems there is no way! The Lord equips us to be able to handle what comes our way. He steps in and takes the load, if we let Him! It is a daily press in every aspect of life which is why we must continue the push forward. Just as Paul speaks of pressing on and taking hold of what lies ahead, forgetting what lies behind. Whether we need to leave behind how amazing something was or how horrible it was, we need to leave it in the past where it belongs. Can you honestly say you trust God with your future? Do you believe He has a good plan for your life? Do you know that He is interested? We cannot change what has happened, but we can get God involved! There is hope when we pray and ask the Lord to take what has happened and restore, bringing life where there has been death. Maybe not a physical death but where there once was life and now it has grown lifeless. Pray as David did in Psalms, “In the day of my trouble I will call on You and You will answer me.” Sometimes when God speaks to us it is what we need, not what we want. He is our Restorer, Healer, Redeemer, He will guide us and lead us the right way. God is the constant in my life, I am the one that is constantly all over the place! We can all feel like that! He wants to restore where there has been loss. We often want to take things into our own hands to fix, our idea is to get things back to the way they were. We have the idea of restoring that car to how it was when it initially rolled of the line. We try to do the same in our lives and we want to hit that rewind button. However, God doesn't work that way, He takes us forward in life not backwards!
The loss of what was can bring sadness, but where there is sadness He brings joy! Where there is weakness, He brings strength and where there is pain, He brings healing! A friend of mine who had been through the wringer shared some powerful words, “Faith starts were strength ends”! Stop trying to do it all on your own and lay the cares of your mind and the weights of your heart before the Lord, His love far outweighs it all! After you do, don’t get distracted by the lies of the enemy who is quick to throw our sins in our face and pull our minds into what was. Satan is the accuser of the brethren; it is important to keep this in the forefront of our minds when those thoughts creep in. Our response needs to be, My God has not forsaken me, and Jesus took care of all of it at the cross! We desire to be whole and fixed up, inside and out! We may not be impervious to life’s junk, but we can have victory over it. Let us pray as David prayed in Psalm 51:12, “restore to me the joy of Your salvation and sustain me with a willing spirit.” We have a faithful Savior who walks with us through it all!
Dawn Love and son Kiehl