The Hole in the Wall
We live in an area where, between June and November, we all hold our breath a little differently. That's hurricane season. While these storms are, thankfully, few and far between, and we do have time to prepare, they can be devastating, nonetheless.
(Sidebar - this year, we saw massive devastation in Florida and Puerto Rico, and assuredly the return to normalcy will be a long time coming. I know many of you, fellow Wait-ers, have loved ones in those areas, and while I'm writing about a minor inconvenience today, please know I'm sensitive to the magnitude of what they've lost. ♡)
All said - when hurricane Ian rolled through Charleston a few months back, while it wasn't the largest we've experienced by any means, it did do a bit of damage to our town and added to an ongoing issue right here at my house. My house leaks. It has since the day we bought it ten years ago. We've had extensive repairs and preemptive measures taken to stop the water intrusion, but there's something about how this precious place was built that is a magnet for water. The problem with this most recent water leak was that it went undetected for several days. I reached down to pick up a book off the floor next to a chair in the corner, and as I did, my foot squished into the carpet. Did I mention that carpet was new in the last six months? Did I mention that was the same area we've had extensively repaired several times due to water intrusion? I digress.
The water had soaked into the wall; mold had grown in the carpet, insulation, drywall, and down to the studs. It had leaked through the floor to the ceiling below—a mess. Disaster team was called. Out it all came. Again.
Since we were not the only people who experienced damage, it has taken several months for the repairs to be completed. However, since the day it all came out until now, there have been two massive holes in our home—one in the wall in my bedroom and one in the ceiling downstairs. Two gaping holes marking the moment.
And so - even holes in the wall can contain a pause for the Lord to speak.
For two months, I've tried to do everything I can to hide these gaping holes. I put a chair in front of it, a plant beside it, anything to do to distract from the hole in the wall in my bedroom until repairs could be made. The ceiling was a bit harder to camouflage, but I tried to ignore that as much as possible - leaving the light off in that area so as not to draw attention to what was glaringly obvious.
The Lord reminded me that there are some gaping holes in my own life that I've been doing a great job trying to hide from rather than doing the hard work of fixing them. These are run-of-the-mill issues of selfishness and thought patterns I've adopted as my own that are ultimately not going to sink my life but certainly are not the highest plan God has for me.
I've been putting things in front of those holes - busyness, lack of discipline, lack of boundaries - to avoid dealing with them, instead of dealing with the issues head-on. I've been great at ignoring these things rather than assessing them appropriately.
There's only so much you can do to disguise a gaping hole in your life. At some point, that gap has to be addressed. In the same way that holes in the walls of your home disrupt the integrity of the structure, holes in our spiritual lives disrupt all the blessings and fullness that God has for us. It's hard work to do the repairs, but necessary.
We've finally been able to start repairs on the house as of yesterday. As the team works in the adjacent room to repair my house (again), I know that this will also not be the last time I'm working to repair holes in my own life. I know that I will need to do this over and over and over on this side of eternity. But, with the Lord's help and gratitude for his grace, I'll be, once again, working on these places in my own life so I can be made new in Him again.
We're all a work in progress. I'm so grateful for grace (and for people who know how to repair houses).
"My dear friends, you always obeyed what you were taught. Just as you obeyed when I was with you, it is even more important for you to obey now that I am not there. So you must continue to live in a way that gives meaning to your salvation. Do this with fear and respect for God. Yes, it is God who is working in you. He helps you want to do what pleases him, and he gives you the power to do it." - Philippians 2:12-13 ERV