Work in Progress
aI pull open the double glass doors and carefully maneuver through the dark around a pile of beams near the entrance. Flashlight in hand, I weave around the various stacks of hardware and materials that litter the ground leaving no clear path to the light switch. As I flip the lights on, dust particles dance through the air, still refusing to settle from the work performed hours ago. My hearts joins in its unsettledness as I survey the mess.
Cords and wires dangle above me and decorate the room like mangled birthday streamers celebrating the chaos of this moment. Beams are stripped bare, cold and exposed. Walls are removed, floors are scraped, and insulation is uncovered. It's been a little over a month now since the storm blew through transforming my church home, a place of warmth and safety, into a cold and sterile construction site.
Oh, how things can change in an instant! Life catches us off guard at the most inopportune times. And that has a way of making the most familiar place seem like the most foreign, uncomfortable place on earth. Seeing our building in this condition has unearthed a plethora of emotions within each of us. We have grieved the loss, worried for the future, and rejoiced in the possibilities, sometimes simultaneously. We are rebuilding, and that is an emotional process as well.
I look at my church building now, this construction zone, and outwardly it seems to be a big mess, but I find comfort in the fact that it is a work in progress. The plans are drawn out. The work is getting done little by little, day by day. The process is not easy or glamorous or quick, but progress is being made. It may not look like much at this point, and I may not understand all that is being accomplished under the surface, but every step is vital to its future.
And it's a balancing act. We can't get so focused on the plans and the final product that we rush or skip steps. Likewise, we can't get discouraged by its current state that we stop being productive. We have to keep showing up and doing the work even when it feels like nothing is changing visibly. Each phase has a purpose that is important for completion.
It's taken me a lifetime to make peace with the "process". Although there are times that I still want to hurry past the discomfort of waiting or curse the pain of developing, I've learned that there is beauty in the process. Even if I can't see it then, it always emerges.
Like my church building, my heart is His dwelling that He is constantly renovating. Sometimes He knocks down walls and restructures me from the inside out. Those seasons can seem excruciating and like they will never end. It's hard to see the purpose or progress through the pain, but it's in those times that I have to trust Him the most and keep showing up and doing the work.
Even when I'm tired of the construction zone and the smell of sweat and the manual labor, I can still see the Him working through it all. Believe it or not, this is where the magic happens. This is where strong foundations are built! This is where He is expanding the walls of my heart to hold more than I ever thought they could! This is where growth and renewal happen! This is where provisions are being provided for my future! It's through the messy process that I become whole and complete!
So, maybe your house or your heart looks like my church, a cluttered, disarrayed area of construction. You're in the uncomfortable space between what was and what could be. Your back is tired, and your mind is weary. I want to urge you to lean into Jesus during this process. Let Him walk it with you. It may not be an enjoyable time, but it can be an effective one. It may not be desired, but it is probably necessary. Trust that He will give you exactly what you need when you need it. Keep working. Keep progressing. Keep believing in the process, that it's working, that it is building you into who you were destined to be. And when that happens, I bet you'll then see the beauty in becoming, the purpose over the pain, and the grace in the progress!
Hey! My name is Andrea. I'm a teacher by day in a small Texas town, but in every other aspect of my life, I consider myself a learner. This blog is about life: learning through experiences, sharing through stories, and growing through faith.