Hey there friend, have you been feeling as though very little makes sense right now? Do you find yourself feeling stuck, stressed, and unsure of what to do now?
If that sounds like you, this word of encouragement is for you! Don’t be discouraged – you’re only in the building stage! A before ‘in progress’ always has an after!
It’s no secret that I’ve been absent for a little while now and I do sincerely apologize.
Along with life’s offline responsibilities, a feeling of overwhelm and discouragement hit me pretty hard.
Those feelings led me into the familiar spiral of doubting if I’m helping anyone here on the blogs and if I should even continue.
What I do know is this: If I’m suffering from certain emotions or feelings, I know that I’m not the only one feeling them. Neither are you. That’s why I’m here, praying this message ministers to your aching heart.
As I’ve been going through this season of intense struggle, I felt Holy Spirit impress a message upon my heart for each of you who can relate to how I feel.
I hope this word of in–courage–ment will send the Spirit of Truth to penetrate your heart, effectively demolishing the very discouragement raging in your own life.
6 Lessons Our Home Renovation Taught Me About Life
If you’ve ever been through a home renovation, you know how overwhelming it can feel.
Typically, we begin the project with great enthusiasm and soon begin to realize the enormity of it. We might begin to think things like:
- “Am I capable of doing this?”
- “How am I going to finish this?”
- “Look at this mess!! Is it always going to be this way?”
If we’re not careful, we begin to focus more on the mess and less on the potential in front of us.
Isn’t this how our lives can be too?
How often do we allow ourselves to become overwhelmed and derailed by our current messes, missteps, and mishaps?
How often do we allow our regrets to determine our futures?
Tearing down your ‘wall’ of discouragement
Discouragement can stop you in your tracks. Maybe that’s where you find yourself today; questioning your dreams, purpose, and even who you are?
It can quickly and easily derail our progress if we let it; causing us to question, overanalyze, and doubt – even after we’ve been encouraged by great progress!
Giving in to the lies of discouragement can block your vision and blind you to what’s actually inside of you.
This point was illustrated beautifully when we had to remove what used to be our bathroom wall.
You couldn’t see into the bathroom before; there was an obstacle. Options were limited. Because of the wall, we had to work around it and plan accordingly.
Discouragement is dangerous because it can cause us to feel like we have to settle in life. Instead of choosing to knock down that wall of lies – we tiptoe around it and adjust our expectations and options to fit inside it.Tweet
Yet something magical happened when we removed that wall… We began to see options where before we only saw obstacles!
What options, potentials, giftings, and purpose do we fail to see in our lives because our eyes are fixed on the obstacle instead?
Don’t be afraid to dig deeper
Holy Spirit revealed another parallel to me that really struck my heart. I believe it will do the same for you.
In old homes like ours, you can expect some (not so great) surprises when you begin tearing out the old.
In the tearing down of discouragement, don’t be surprised if you also find deeper, hidden issues, that you didn’t even know existed!
Just like how someone had covered up an old leak in our home instead of repairing it….
How many times in our lives do we ‘cover up’ what we should correct instead?
In the same way a water leak turns into a moldy mess, our hearts and minds can do the very same thing!
When we are battling discouragement; we need to ask ourselves, “Why?”
For example, when we see mold growth on a wall or floor; it’s a symptom of an even greater problem.
That toxic mold is growing because there is an ideal environment for it.
That’s when I had an “AHA moment.” I realized that I have been guilty of providing an ideal emotional environment for the ‘moldy’ toxic thoughts to grow in my life.
I have been allowing the enemy to harass me with his lies instead of destroying the root cause for my faulty, leaky, belief system.
How about you, my friend?
Are you covering up some ‘hidden’ leaks? Are you allowing negative thoughts about yourself, your purpose, your ministry, or your life to go unfixed?
The Beauty of Before and After
Picture these in your mind if you will:
- A blank canvas
- A blank page
- A freshly gutted room in a home with debris still all over the floor
- A seed planted
What do these things have in common? They are the beginning stages of something beautiful!
Don’t be discouraged, my friend – all things beautiful begin with an empty, sometimes messy, start.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and discouraged by your “before’s” in life, I know. It’s easy to look at a situation that hasn’t changed in years and have the thought, “I guess this will never change or get better.”
It’s easy to feel discouraged by situations and circumstances you wish you could change but can do nothing about. God knows your heart and He understands!
Just remember this; rainbows are the after of a storm. Magnificent artwork is the after of a blank canvas. Your favorite story or blog post is the after of a blank page.
Breathtaking trees, flowers and gardens are the after of a seed being planted and given time to grow.
Those famous and stunning home remodels are the after of a home that was demolished before it was rebuilt.
We are absolutely no different. When discouragement comes, remind yourself that this is only the before!
You are growing, building, changing, and rearranging. Your ‘after’ will be glorious and worth the process if we will just willingly yield to the temporary discomfort.
My friend, God is not slack in His promises to you. If He said that He would do it, He will! (Numbers 23:19)
Don’t Be Discouraged: We Tear Down to Build Up
One of my favorite Scriptures to live by is found in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5. It reads:
3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not wage war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not fleshly but powerful through God for the tearing down of strongholds.[a] We are tearing down false arguments 5 and every high-minded thing that exalts itself[b] against the knowledge of God. We are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Messiah—2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (TLV)
A stronghold in simple terms is basically a thought or behavioral pattern that has become so familiar it is automatic. Once a ‘trigger’ presents itself, you automatically “go there.” For each of us, “there” can be different.
Our bathroom wall had to be torn down because it was damaged from an old leak and needed to be replaced.
In the same way, we need to be aware of our damaged and faulty thoughts and behaviors. Being aware doesn’t mean we need to allow shame, guilt, condemnation, or discouragement either. Much the opposite actually!
Is there any new or old damage in need of God’s restorative touch for your own life?
Awareness brings change. Honesty brings peace.
Be patient – it takes time to build!
We often have an idea of how long a certain change should take but it is so important for us not to become discouraged at how long the process takes in our lives.
When it begins to take longer than we expected, our knee-jerk reaction is to become discouraged and impatient, right?
What we can’t account for is what we’ll find when we begin to peel back the layers of our lives, just as we would an old, rotten floor. Repairs may be needed and rushing them could mean the fix won’t last!
That’s why numbing ourselves with alcohol, other drugs, food, sex, shopping, or any other ‘high’ simply doesn’t work. It’s a temporary patch on a persistent problem.
Just like that old, rotted, moldy floor – we must pull it up and out – repair and replace.
Is the process hard? Yes! Does it take some work? Absolutely! But there’s nothing like the peace found when we uproot an issue instead of constantly trying to patch it.
Don’t be discouraged, my friend. This is only the before!
When you can’t see the way out of the situation you’re in, God does!
When you don’t know how you’re going to make ends meet, God does!
When you feel like you’re in a black hole somewhere and it’s too dark to see the way out, God knows!
You’re not lost. You’re not broken. You’re not lacking. You’re not failing. You ARE re-building.
When we re-build, we make it better than the previous version. Hold on! Your ‘after’ is on the way!
Oh! And most importantly – DO NOT allow someone else to design your life for you!!
You were created on purpose, for a purpose, exactly the way you are. The most encouraging thing you can do is be true to how God created YOU to be.
Living in someone else’s idea or design for your life is like paying someone with completely opposite design taste to come in and decorate YOUR home.
Imagine that for a moment. Each and every time you’d look at your space, you’d feel discouraged, discontented, out of place, confused, and frustrated, would you not?
The results are the same when we look to others to give us value, purpose, and meaning. They can’t be you and you can’t be them.
Don’t emulate what you wouldn’t want to replicate.
Your life matters and your uniqueness is not a mistake. It’s a gift. Now go and decorate this world with your voice, your gifts, your talents, and your calling.
Sweet friend, please don’t be discouraged. If you need help understanding what makes you so special, ask God to introduce you to you. He created you and delights in YOU!
Don’t forget to celebrate your small wins and ask others you trust what they love and admire about you. Go easy on yourself! This is only the beginning of a beautiful after!
What do you think? Did this help you? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!
If this touched your heart, please share with your social media family. Thank you! ♥
All My Love & Gratitude,
We continue to tear down, so that we can build up. We continue to work on ourselves to be better. 💯
Amen sis! I wholeheartedly agree with you! ♥ Beautifully said.
I am SO glad you’re back with more posts. I ‘get’ that discouragement, I really do. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought of giving up my blog because of thinking I’m not helping anyone, it’s all a load of rubbish, I’m not as good as everyone else is at it and so on. And of course blogging itself takes A LOT in terms of mental and physical energy, which we’re short of when not well, and a lot of time. Mix in all the other ‘life junk’ we have to do and it gets overwhelming pretty quickly.
This is a wonderful way of looking at it, like demolishing the discouragement, looking as renovation as a ‘work in progress’, and holding on to that hope for what comes next.
I think if I’d torn that wall down my first thought would be ‘oh shit oh shit oh shit, we can’t put that back in’! 😂 Followed by the amazement of how the change looks and all the new options that open up. But so often fear keeps that wall in place.
And yes, I have lots of ‘mouldy’ toxic thoughts growing, and lots of leaks springing up all over the place! I’ve actually felt I’ve been skirting rock bottom again lately and it always feels like such a lonely place. To know you’ve felt discouraged and down as well makes my heart hurt. I’m so sorry, Holly. If nothing else, it gives us the harsh reality of needing to change something, especially when we’re trying to do too much. Sometimes has to give eventually. And you’re absolutely right, repairs and restoration and growth take time and can’t be rushed. Likewise getting back up when we’ve hit rock bottom isn’t a race. We can go slow and steady, working on the deeper issues and more reliable solutions, not those things you say are like a temporary patch on a persistent problem (very nicely put).
I’m always in awe of your posts, Holly. You write incredibly well and you always do it in such a way as that we can relate. It’s motivational and inspiring, but it’s not condescending in the slightest. You have a talent for it, for sure. I hope you can read back your own beautiful advice when you need it.
Sending lots of love your way. 💜🙏🌻😺🧡
Caz, your comments are literally like a breath of fresh air. So is your blog! I absolutely adore the transparency and heart with which you write and share your experiences. Words can’t tell you how grateful I am that you chose to push past those lies floating around in your head about your work being rubbish. You are brilliant at writing, creating, and everything else you put your hands to do. You’ve blessed me SO many more times than I could ever count! I’m not the only one who can say that . . .
I adore what you said about looking for the deeper issues and more reliable solutions. That’s so good, Caz! You’re absolutely right. It does take time and it will require patience of us as we grow, learn, and let go of those old faulty ways of thinking. My friend, I literally pray that your heart overflows with the goodness of God and that you begin to realize each and every day how special you are! You are a gem and if I could take your pain, frustration, and discouragement away today, I’d do everything I could. 🤗
I’ll be honest with you Caz. I’m in awe of the words you spoke about me. I keep thinking, “She can’t possibly be talking about me!!” Wow. I’m deeply touched. What I will say is that it makes me very very happy to hear that my words don’t come across as condescending. In my life, I’ve been the Queen of Stupid many times over. To be honest, it’s why I love Jesus so very much. He isn’t after my perfection – He’s after my heart. Understanding who He is and how much He LOVES us, we can then look past our shortcomings to find the real beauty of who we are. I want to be a beacon of light, hope, and the love of Christ to all who will hear. 🙂 To be condescending to anyone would be to look past my own poor decisions, difficulties and struggles. We, as human beings, relate to one another in our imperfections. It’s nice to know we aren’t alone! ♥
Crazy love headed your way my friend. I value you so very much! Thank YOU for your honest insights and conversation. I love when you write!
Such a beautiful post and so well written Holly .Relating renovation to life the chaos during the tearing down, rebuilding ,about patience and not to be discouraged are all brilliant . One can completely relate to this. Wonderful share!
Dearest Nisha, it’s always a treat to hear from you! Thank you for your kind words! ♥ It does my heart good to hear that it is a relatable read. We all need encouragement as we grow through the process called life and learning.
Sending love and gratitude to you for sharing your thoughts and being here! 😘
You are very welcome my friend!
This is my favorite post of yours so far, Holly!! Soooo good!!! There are so many beautiful points I need to come back from a computer after I’ve digested this more. For now, I’m going to say thank you for allowing God to speak through you and for sharing this in-courage-ment with us!!
Aw Shell. I have no words for how humbled I am that Holy Spirit spoke to you through me. Wow, that makes me smile! Thank you with my whole heart for your words of encouragement. In all sincerity, you have NO idea how much that means. As you know, I am really really hard on myself and struggle terribly with self-esteem (etc). It’s tough sometimes to push back the lies long enough to hear the truth. Your words speak life into my bones. I’m grateful for you!
Sending loads of love and heartfelt hugs your way. ♥
It is SO good to see you back, dear Holly! I have missed you!
And back with a bang! 😉
You have NO idea how much I needed to see, and read, this blog post TODAY! You have well and truly brought nourishment and encouragement to my soul! THANK YOU! <3
May you not only continue to be a blessing to all of us… but may you be blessed beyond measure with every good thing from above.
Much love, and lots of virtual hugs, to you,
(sigh) Oh Meg! Wow, wow, wow. Your words are like life to my heart, thank you! I genuinely believe God knows exactly what we need at any given moment. To hear that I was able to be used by God to minister to your heart makes me incredibly happy!
Endless love and many hugs coming back to you. You are loved, cherished, and so very appreciated! ♥
I am so very glad that I could return the favour and bring some happiness to your heart too 😉 <3
Sending huge hugs and love to you <3 Thank you for being you <3
What a wonderful and tangible explanation of inner rehabilitation by using the material world. Brilliant! I’m familiar with construction and am undergoing my own inner rehabilitation . . . I’m slowly winning the fight against PTSD. Thank you for the excellent post.
First and foremost Mark, I am so proud of you for the courage it takes to face and heal from PTSD. I too know that pain and it is one that many people simply don’t understand. It affects each and every aspect of our lives.
Oh how I smiled when I read that you are slowly winning the fight against PTSD. Amen my friend! Just out of curiosity, are you familiar with EMDR? I was wondering if that would help you at all.
You are an amazing support and encouragement to me and so many others, Mark. You leave a huge positive impact in every life you touch. Thank you for being you! I’m cheering you on and sending lots of prayers for continued healing your way! You’ve got this! ♥
Thank you, Holly. Wow, such kind words. 🙂 Yes, I have tried EDMR and it was somewhat effective. I am with a new therapist and she does something called brain spotting. It has really been helping.
Oh wow. I’m not familiar with brain spotting. Thank you for sharing that with me! It sounds interesting. Most of all, I am incredibly grateful that you have found a technique that is working for you!
Thank you, Holly. 🙂 I appreciate your kind words.
It’s my pleasure, Mark. You are full of kindness yourself! Takes one to know one! 🙂
Love these connections between renovations and motivating ourselves to keep going onwards! You’ve made several amazing connections and a lot really resonated with me. Thank you for sharing and best of luck with any outstanding and future renovations 🙂
Aw! Thank you so much for your kind words! I am glad this post was able to resonate with you. ♥ All the very best to you & your loved ones!
These are such great tips! So important to not get frustrated and give up! Thanks so much for sharing!
Thank you Charity! You’re right, the only way we fail is if we don’t try or we give up on something that was worth doing! Thank you for your thoughts.
What a wonderful word of encouragement! Thank you.
I love how you share your wisdom. You most definitely have a gift for blogging and your soothing non-judgemental voice is needed. I enjoyed every word in your post but particularly loved this: “Your life matters and your uniqueness is not a mistake. It’s a gift. Now go and decorate this world with your voice, your gifts, your talents, and your calling.”
I have neglected my blogging duties for some time and your encouraging blog post reminds me that I have a responsibility to readers who might be in need of a timely word which speaks to their heart, or sheds light upon their situation.
Keep writing. Keep decorating our lives with your godly insights. May the Lord continue to inspire you and thanks for sharing your heart.
YOUR heart and words of encouragement ALWAYS make my day. You’ve no idea how dearly I treasure and appreciate you. ♥ Wherever I read your words, they bring light and joy.
I am deeply humbled by your compliments on my blogging. As you know, I am known to struggle with feelings of ineptitude – or just plain old self-doubt. I always want to write something of value for the one on the other side of this screen. What you have said here (and elsewhere) touch my heart so much.
I believe that we each have a God-given voice. Through all of our experiences in life, good and bad, God has weaved a story to be told. Our personalities and writing styles are no mistake. God has designed us to reach certain people with certain messages. We are all needed, in whatever way we are being called.
I believe our lives are our ministry. Even when the name of Jesus is not being spoken, His light and heart should be speaking loud and clear. 🙂 It just might make someone curious, “Hmmm, what is it that’s so different about him/her? I want what they’ve got.” Then we can say, “Good! His name is JESUS!” 😀
I absolutely adore your blog and your writing. There’s never a moment where I don’t receive insight and understanding after reading your thoughts. You are beautiful inside and out, Carol. I am blessed to call you friend.
I pray that you never underestimate the gift God has given YOU. You are a powerhouse that has the devil shakin’ in his boots. Never stop using the gift our Lord has given you. And never doubt that you impact endless lives every single day…just by being who you are for His glory. ♥
When I read the “I guess this will never change or get better”, I started nodding almost immediately. Throughout my twenties I experienced deep struggles with depression and this was a lie I would find my mind feeding me, over and over again. It took years to get to a point where I accepted that some days I would not feel 100%, and that was ok. BUT, also know that if I wanted to work on feeling better more than 50% of the time, I would have to work at it. It has been hard work, finding the underlying causes of why I put myself at risk of falling down into the darkness, but every step has been worth it. And every step of the way God has been with me.
Thank you for sharing this, and encouraging thinking about it in a productive way. It is always good to hear from you, and soak in the wisdom of the words you share. ❤
Big hugs coming to you, Hamish. I value your transparency so much. Your writing style is hands down one of my favorites too. 🙂
Isn’t it mind blowing how powerful our thoughts are?!? They seem so innocent; yet they are anything but. One simple thought literally has the power to create a mindset (string of thoughts and beliefs) that hold us in bondage. It’s one of the reasons I love the Scripture about taking our thoughts captive so much. He’s telling us how easy it is to spiral downward when we let that stinkin’ thinking get the best of us.
My heart goes out to you in your fight against those unhelpful thoughts and the heaviness of depression. We really do have to look at each thought and say, “Is this helpful? Is this taking me somewhere good or bad?” If it isn’t, we must toss it out like the trash. Looking at our thoughts from a non-judgmental view of ourselves is far more helpful than trying to “tame or control” negative thoughts. That takes entirely too much energy!
I am humbled by your words of encouragement, thank you my friend. It blesses me deeply to hear that you were touched. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, as always!
God knows all about our troubles, all about my deep struggles with depression, and reaches out arms wide enough to embrace us in all our imperfections. I am immeasurably thankful for God’s grace. ❤
Thank you for sharing, Holly! I am so glad I discovered your blog! I appreciate your words, expertise, and radiant energy! Thank you for this motivational post! We are never alone in how we feel, and it’s nice to be reminded to keep going when we’re feeling down. I’ve been reminding myself daily to celebrate small wins, and when you start making that a habit, you become so appreciate of what life has to offer. Congratulations on your home renovation! Although it may be stressful, like you mentioned, it’s a beginning stage of something beautiful! You’ll have a blank canvas that you can design to fit perfectly for you!
You are such a blessing! Thank you for this wonderful, thoughtful comment! I appreciate you so much! ♥
Amen, I love what you said about being reminded that we’re not alone. It really is important because sometimes we can feel so isolated in our pain and questions. The truth is – so many others are feeling the exact same way, either now or in the past.
I love that you are appreciating the ‘small wins’ in your life. It never ceases to amaze me how much of a difference that makes. Writing down our goals for each day and then checking them off (even if they’re minor tasks) is another way to really celebrate our efforts. We often become so hard on ourselves that we don’t realize just how much we do! Some things have just become second nature.
Thank you for your congratulations! This home was built in the 1920’s and needed quite a lot done to it. We are hoping to sell in the very near future which makes me want to make it as nice as I can for the one coming next. 🙂
Sending lots of love your way. Thank you again for such a beautiful, heartfelt comment! ♥
[…] what you’re thinking makes you feel discouraged, afraid, shameful, trapped, insecure, and incapable; those thoughts are garbage, and, should be […]
[…] what you’re thinking makes you feel discouraged, afraid, shameful, trapped, insecure, and incapable; those thoughts are garbage, and, should be […]