Today, we are going to go through another renovation, are you ready? Let me just set the stage for what even started us on this journey of renovation. We had a flood in our downstairs bathroom and we called a plumber. He came out and well needless to say, he didn't properly fix it. He said it was fixed, but we realized that when we all showered around the same time, water was everywhere! It went into my office, in the kitchen, dining room, and living room. It was a disaster, and very overwhelming. All of a sudden, things transpired out of my control, and there was complete chaos, yet in the moment I had perfect peace. I completely understood at that moment that this situation, while it appeared to be a complete disaster, and devastating to some degree, was going to work for my good. Have you ever been in situations where you knew what you immediately saw in your natural eye was somehow going to benefit you although it didn't look that way?
Well, I had no idea what to expect but I knew who I placed my trust in, and that was going to help me through the process. However, and I say that with a deep sigh, I didn't realize the work that was about to take place in me. Last week I shared about the renovation in my office, but that isn't where it started. The renovation had to start in the bathroom and filter out into the rest of the house. Since the floors were continuous, we had to rip everything out. Now at this point, we could have just repaired the floors and any areas that had water damage, but I saw an opportunity. I saw that now, I could change the appearance of the bathroom. I saw that this inconvenience had allowed me to see opportunity. How many times, do you look at disasters and realize there is a hidden opportunity in there. As we started the bathroom renovation, I became excited because I saw progress, but the greatest renovation was being done in me.
The reality is that my heart was broken. I had suffered disappointment and grief silently and had been going through it for years. I would put on a smile, and continue on my way, but that wasn't the condition I wanted to stay in nor did God want me to. You know, as a woman of faith, I have to practice what I preach (literally), and I so desired to have that healing. I had even convenience myself, that I was better. That I was healed and ready to tackle the world, but something was going on during this time, that made me realize I wasn't healed at all. Just like our toilet, I thought I had fixed it, but one good jolt under extreme pressure and boom; clearly I wasn't fixed. Why do we allow ourselves, to continue to live in pain and hurt that is unhealed? Several reasons come to mind, we don't have the tools to truly be healed, we don't know what healing should look like and we've lived in it so long, we can't see anything different. In Proverbs 4:23 we are reminded that we are to "keep your heart with all diligence for out of it springs the issues of life."
We can fake the funk but only for some time. Something will eventually trigger you and those issues will flow out of your heart and mouth. So how do we really do a renovation of our heart, and make sure that we are healthy! As I worked on my office renovation, my interior designer told me about this art work she recommended for my office. One of the scriptures is Proverbs 27:19, "as water reflects the face, so one's life reflects the heart". Even when we believe we have it all together, our life will reflect the heart. So with understanding all of the heart issues that can occur, I want to make sure that what others see is authentic and beautiful.
As with any project that you begin to do, it takes planning, effort, time, money, and professionals to begin the work that needs to be completed. I've learned through all of my renovations that before something can be rebuilt or fixed, you first have to tear some things up. So as you prepare, think about the cost. There is a cost whether you do it or not. When dealing with your heart, the cost is greater if you do nothing, then if you do something. Here are 5 steps to a heart renovation, that I want to share with you today.
Get real with yourself - In some ways this may be the hardest thing to do. When you've lived in a particular condition for a long time, you begin to think it is "normal". Be honest with where you are at, how you are really feeling, knowing that there are pockets of hurt, disappointment, frustrations, or other emotions. If you are looking at other people and seeing somethings really clear in their lives, maybe you need to start your evaluation there. Most times, we are critical of people that are exhibiting what we are feeling because we think we handled it so well. You may find it helpful to find a quiet spot and do breathing techniques to quiet your mind and heart. Once you've been able to do that, explore and identify where there may be opportunities for renovation. If you believe in prayer, this is a great time to seek counsel from God as to where to start.
Desire something different - Now that you've identified some opportunities for improvement, the question becomes, are you ready for a heart renovation? Without the ability to envision or understand the possibilities of authentic healing and change, there really is no reason to renovate. To my husband everything in the house was fine, it served its purpose. He didn't have the vision I did for the renovation. As I exposed him to my favorite home shows, and pictures of what I could envision, then he started to see the possibilities. At times, you need someone to help you to understand what the potential will look like so you can see it and desire it. Let me share a couple of thoughts on what it can look like.
You have a heaviness at times that is unbearable. No one knows you have it. It's not seen to the naked eye, it is something that causes a tightening in your chest, and it is difficult to breath. The heaviness can often trigger anxiety and before you know it you're in a full blown panic attack and feel so out of control and fearful. What if I told you, a heart renovation could help you deal with the underlying issue causing the heaviness. The thing that happened years ago, that caused this heaviness to abide in your heart. It could be lifted. You could feel freedom all the time. You could release that weight and not carry it anymore. Would that sound like something you would like to explore?
Maybe you feel an uncontrollable rage inside of you, and you hate feeling that way but either you want to destroy yourself or something else? There have been times that this rage comes out when dealing with high stress situations. After you explode then you realize what you've done. You may even black out for a moment and realize that was a scary place to be. Maybe others haven't seen that. Yet, it is a boiling point inside of you that erupts but you take it out on yourself, because you don't want to hurt others. A renovation could look like peace, and calm. No eruption happening, you could have peace in place of rage. You could identify that feeling before it gets out of hand, and apply techniques that would help you to never go back to rage again. Rage will not be a way to express the emotion. You will be able to name your emotions and feeling and understand a positive way of dealing with them.
One thing that my therapist says to me, is compare=despair. This was an area where I needed a renovation. I would compare my situation, my life, my body, my career, my business, and the list goes on, to others. I would quickly see my deficiencies and would want to "fix" them or feel inadequate in particular areas of my life. This has become more and more difficult with the presence of social media. What if I told you that you could be proud of who you are, and what you're doing without noticing what others are doing? What if I told you, you've found your passion and desires and you're pursuing them? You've become an influencer in your own space. You're helping other people get to higher levels because you're SOARING in your lane. You can find freedom in doing what YOU LOVE!
Consider the process - The process isn't a quick fix, it is going to take time. With any transformation, you are required to do the work. You can expect it to be difficult, frustrating, and messy but the reward is great. The key is, you have to commit to the process. You will have to get uncomfortable in order to work through some of the conditions you have suffered with. You will have to do a lot of introspective work. You're going to have to spend time on yourself, that you have filled with other things. This process is going to require that you are the priority. You will need to share with those around you, that you are doing this work so they can respect that and give you the necessary feedback, space, and grace.
Consider the cost- There is a cost to any renovation, so you need to consider all the costs to this transformation. Prior to any of the renovations we completed in the house, both my husband and I had to consider the cost, and figure out how we would manage it. This was done prior to starting the renovation. If you start the renovation without a clear plan of how you will manage the costs, you can find yourself in a more overwhelming place than necessary. So take time to really consider what this may cost you. Here are some examples.
Relationships- you may find that you lose relationships in this process. Not everyone is going to agree with your new belief systems, new way of handling situations. When we renovate ourselves, it begins to shine a light on others where they are not doing the work, so expect some relationships to pause as well.
Letting go- I know this may sound strange, but when you become comfortable in our pain and difficulty, some people find it hard to let go. I'm often reminded of show hoarders where people are so consumed literally by things, that they find it hard to let go. We can be emotional hoarders, and this may take extra work but letting go will be so freeing.
Forgiveness- It may cost you some grudges you don’t want to release. Forgiveness is so important and some people have a difficult time letting go of unforgiveness and grudges. It will be required, as you go through the process.
Time- It's going to take time to work through the renovation. During our home renovation we had to do it in steps because we wanted to pay cash for it. So while we would see the light with one room, we realized we had to go through the process again on another area. When you're dealing with emotions understand the process will need to be done in phases. It's going to take time. Don’t try to do the process all at one time. The process is used to grow you, and create a sustaining lifelong impact.
Hire a professional- Don’t try to do it alone. The process can be daunting and painful. You may want to quit and go back to your old ways. Having someone walk on this journey with you will empower you. You will see results faster and you won’t be able to give up so quickly. If I had tried to do all this work on my own, I would have stopped half way through it, thrown up my hands, and said never mind. By having a professional walk you through the process, they will be able to give you tools for your toolbox of life. They will teach you how to adjust your behavior, and work through some of the challenges you face.
Are you ready to become the best version of yourself? Are you ready for a heart renovation, so that you can have the capacity to love, learn, and build strong relationships? I believe in you! I know that your renovation is going to amazing. I can't wait to hear about the renovations you've done, and how your change has impacted others around you. See as we renovate, then others see the possibilities, and they desire to renovate, and we start becoming a better community of people! Let's do this together, you're not alone!