The Messy Joys of Remodeling


My husband is finally doing it — remodeling our bathroom. So why am I anxious? It’s something I’ve wanted for the past couple years.

But in the making of something new and better, we’ve been making our way through a big mess. Walls torn down, boards and tools and mess, mess, mess; and everything from that SMALL bathroom, which I can’t believe was even all IN that tiny space — is now scattered all over the house.

And let’s not forget the noise of tearing down those walls and prying up layers of old floor, the dust and nails and other debris — and the disruption of life as usual, including the need to run downstairs in order to find a working bathroom.

Oh, I had finally made some simpler plans of my own, even paid an interior decorator to come and make a plan for the small, cramped bathroom I didn’t want to completely let go of. But that’s not the vision my husband had. My plans were enough to get him going, but his plan is much bigger and better than what I could have ever envisioned. He’s an engineer, after all!!

Sometimes we are more comfortable with things as usual, the way it’s always been — even if it hasn’t been that good. Just a little change might be OK. But more change can be messy — and we may have to tear down walls and venture into unknown territory before new and better things take shape.

But like anything in life, we sometimes need to get through a big mess, some inconvenience, and a bit of confusion — before we can come to the place where we can look around and see that this journey has made things better.

And we can even take that lesson into our spiritual lives. God has a blueprint for each of us, and the clearer our spiritual vision becomes, the easier it will be to read those new specs and to follow God’s plan for our lives. But then things may suddenly become messier, no longer everything in its place. Ethical decisions are more complicated. And we may even have to stop a moment and pry loose some old barriers so we can open up a window to a new view of life.

Tearing down those walls can be much more difficult than tearing down those old bathroom walls. Remodeling our lives means change. And venturing into this unknown territory can be as unsettling as living within a remodeling mess.

It’s an ongoing journey. And there will be obstacles in the way … dust and debris popping up from old cracks and crevices and resistance to what’s new and different.

But if we trust in the Great Engineer of the universe to have a greater plan, somewhere along the way we will come to the place where we can look around and see that this journey has made things better. And that God has a much bigger and better plan for our lives.


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