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 upsome ‘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.
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,