She's a Brick House

By Bettye Carroll

Wow have I gone through changes this past year and a half! None of it was necessarily easy or comfortable. But it sure made me take stock of who I am and what I am not! It turns out that I really don’t like challenges or change. Many of us really don't unless we are seeking it and then we still complain even if it was our idea in the first place. We are hard creatures to deal with when we are out of our comfort zone or in unfamiliar territory, we don’t like it or at least apparently I don’t.

While going through all these changes all at once in my life I was an emotional mess. Let me just tell you some of the changes; we sold our home of 30 years and moved into my mother-in-law’s house and retired the church all in the same month. That may not sound like a big deal but my home and my church were my world.  I sat down with God and asked, “What is happening to me, and why can’t I get a grip?” He gave me a vision of a house being stripped to the bare bones in order to become a new, livable, desirable dwelling. So just like the popular programs on HGTV which depicts houses being renovated and getting down to the bare bones, I too was being stripped from all the things that made me comfortable and feel secure and left with who I was without those things. My bare bones looked a bit messy and ugly and my foundation of trusting God was on some rocky soil. I had to knock down a few walls in order to make room for new growth. I was getting a spiritual make-over and it still continues.

I admit to watching HGTV when the opportunity arises because I like to see how the house is transformed. Of course to make it more exciting there is always a segment where they find some sort of disaster that may cost lots of money to fix when they get down into the structure or bones of the house. But most of the time it works out and the house is transformed into something that most would love to have. Almost like a cinderella story except it’s about a house this time.

 Transformation is intriguing to us, we like to see things made better or look better. But transformation doesn’t take place without changes and changes are costly. I heard early in my Christian walk “Constant change is here to stay”. I wholehearted belted out a loud Amen to that! However, I have not done so well at times with change. In the midst of it I grumble and complain about how uncomfortable I may be and my selfishness sticks out like a sore thumb! But when I look back after some time has passed and I have allowed God to do His work in me I can see the fruit that God intended. He is such a gracious and wise God. The parallel he gave me on the house under construction gave me some clarity and perspective. It gave me hope for a better me! 

I thought about the scripture in Proverbs 14:1 “A wise woman builds her house. But the foolish one tears it down with her own hands.” Here is the Amplified version of that. “The wise woman builds her house (on a foundation of godly precepts, and her household thrives), But the foolish one (who lacks spiritual insight) tears it down with her own hands (by ignoring godly principles). We can tear ourselves down when God is building us by not discerning the truth of what He is doing in our lives. Even worse we can ignore the fact that He is working on our lives.

 God is always renovating us, we start out as a new creation in Christ and He is always building on that.  You would think I would be used to it by now. I do know this, with every uncomfortable place I am in, His grace is always and completely sufficient for me. I just need to remind myself of that truth.

 We are all Cinderella stories because we have all been transformed and are still under transformation of some kind. I am okay with that. I need a lot of work. God in His infinite wisdom doesn’t allow us to arrive at perfection on this earth. He is the author and perfecter of faith (Hebrews 12:2). In the Greek “perfecter” literally means “completer”, “finisher” which speaks of bringing something to its conclusion. He created our faith and He will watch over it, care for it, and sustain it. Philippians 1:6 “I am convinced and confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will [continue to] perfect and complete it until the day of Christ Jesus [the time of His return]”. AMP.

It is important for me to understand and take comfort in the fact that God in Christ is not only the creator and sustainer of my faith, but He is also the sustainer of my daily walk and the finisher of my spiritual journey.