What do you think of when you hear the word reconstruct?
When I hear that word, it almost sends me into a panic. It makes me think of starting over. If something needs reconstruction, then that usually means destruction happened. Often something that you reconstruct may have broken pieces that need to be rebuilt or replaced. Reconstruction takes time, energy and is usually labor intensive.
Reconstruct. This is a word that is part of my family’s daily life at the present moment. We are in the midst of renovating our 45 year old home down to the studs. My very talented husband has taken on most of the labor intensive part of the job, but we have worked together to dream up the new layout and design. I am like a kid in a candy store when it comes to the decorating part of the renovation, and delight in finding things to fill our walls and spaces to make us feel warm and peaceful once our renovation is complete.
I find myself wanting to rush the renovation process along to get to the decorating phase. I revel in the pretty parts, while my husband prefers bathing in the sawdust and working meticulously through the process that will get us to the beauty.
If you are someone who has gone through a home renovation before, you know all the work that goes into it from the planning, design, demolishing and ripping apart and then reconstructing and rebuilding. It is quite a process and requires time, hard work, dedication, patience and attention to detail. Words that you will often hear bouncing off the walls, err..I mean studs, of our home include demo, knock down, take out, replace and gut. We have had to deconstruct A LOT, but for every destructive word you hear, you will also hear words like repair, remodel, restore, open up and reorganize.
Earlier this week, as I stood looking out into to wide open and empty space that once housed our kitchen, dining room, living room and den, I was taken back to just how much we ripped out and demolished and became almost nauseous at the thought of how much is left to reconstruct and put back together. After my uneasiness settled, I reminded myself that sometimes reconstruction needs to happen. Sometimes our lives need to be taken down to the studs and reconstructed into something new. Sometimes we need to empty ourselves and take down walls we have built up around us. Sometimes we need to be down to our bare bones so God can reconstruct us and fill us back up with what our souls truly need and help us to find the peace we have been longing for.
I know this, because that is exactly what God did with my marriage. My marriage got to a point where it was down to the last stud holding the house up. One light swing of a hammer, and the whole thing would have come crashing down. And it almost did.
I never imagined having to go through the hardships that our marriage went through, but God used the destruction of our marriage to knock down walls we both had been hiding behind. In our shattered pieces, He took our hearts in His hands so that He could reconstruct our demolished pieces, open up our hearts to His love and rebuild our marriage one wall at a time.
Like our current home renovation, the reconstruction of our marriage has been labor intensive and required patience, persistence and trust in God’s process of putting all the pieces and parts back together. Together we have had to bathe in a lot of sawdust, nail and re-nail, measure once to only need to measure again and redraw our plans on occasion when we hit a bump in the process.
As a girl who likes to rush through the not so pretty part of the renovation to get to the fun and beautiful part of decorating, I have learned that letting God reconstruct every detail with His precision and in His timing will lead to a beautiful finished project. The finished project may not be perfect, and will surely have cracks or imperfections, but that is where the beauty of God’s grace comes in. His grace will cover any paint spots we missed, loose screws we failed to tighten or walls we still need to put back up.God is in the renovation and remodeling business and the reconstruction of my demolished marriage is living proof.
We even see proof of God’s rebuilding and reconstruction in the Bible. In Ezekiel, God speaks of rebuilding Jerusalem and other parts of Judea by restoring broken and desolate places, building up churches and bringing so much growth and restoration with His grace that all will know it is the work of God. Ezekiel 36:36 says, “Then the surrounding nations that remain shall know that I, the Lord, have rebuilt what was destroyed and replanted what was desolate. I, the Lord, have spoken: I will do it.” Our God is faithful, and He will not stop until He has finished rebuilding and seen the process through to completion.
I hope the next time you find yourself in a situation where life feels like it has been deconstructed, you remember that God can reconstruct and rebuild. It might take time, hard work, patience and attention to detail, but if we allow God to work in His timing, He can take you from an empty house with no walls to a beautiful home filled with love, grace, peace and restoration.
It is going to be hard living in the sawdust and studs for awhile, but I know if we are patient with the process we will get to the beautiful places of the reconstruction. As 1 Peter 5:10 tells us, “And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. “ Let us all offer our hearts to God and allow Him to reconstruct our path and restore the broken places deep within using the power of His never ending grace.
Dear Lord, we come to you today in our weakness. We come to you feeling broken. Lord, we ask you to cover us with your unending grace and restore what is broken and destroyed within us. Lord, give us the patience to endure the trials as you reconstruct our lives, the persistence to continue to seek you and the trust to place our lives in your loving hands. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Sometimes what starts out as beautiful (as evidenced by the picture on the left from our wedding day) wears down. Sometimes it wears down so much that it needs to be destructed into a million pieces so that God can reconstruct it and make it new (the middle picture represents the destruction that happened in our marriage). The photo on the far right is from a few weeks ago celebrating my birthday. This photo represents the beauty of reconstruction and what can come after the destruction and brokenness. The couple on the left has gone through a lot of destruction, but on the other side of the destruction is a renewed and reconstructed relationship. A marriage much richer than the one seen on the right. A marriage rooted in the grace of God.