5 seconds...

Saturday, September 27, 2008

in the space of the 5 seconds it took me to raise my hand and knock on the door, i was hit by a million memories filling my mind.

for a moment i could hear my laughter joining in with two of my dearest friends.

hear our girlish whispers share our deepest secrets.

hear our voices harmonize as we prepared to sing in church.

from the outside, the house isn't much to look at. it's nearly identical to mine, but the exterior has seen better days. many better days. the other houses around it have seen improvement over the years, but for some reason, this house remains the same. a bit more weathered. a bit more run down. but every time i drive by the street on which this house resides, my eyes are automatically drawn to it. i can't help it. this particular house holds a special place in my heart.

so, as i walked up the old weathered steps to knock on the door, the mommy that i have become faded away and i was 14 years old again, hoping to see if my friend was home.

as the door opened, i half expected to see *ginger* bound around the corner and bark a greeting. i have to admit that i really did look for her for just one moment.

and then i walked in.

my emotions were near the surface already - there are always a bundle of feelings in the beginning stages of a friendship that is forming - but it was coupled with that odd moment of past and present meeting.

there were changes. my mind remembered each room as so much bigger. it's funny how the child in you sees everything as so grandiose. but instead of seeming small, it felt warm, cozy...safe.

the flooring had changed - except for one bedroom i walked by (it still has blue carpet, karalee). the wall colours had changed, the furniture and appliances were different - though i was assured that the bedroom that i had spent many hours in dreaming and laughing and prank calling poor, unsuspecting 1-800 telemarketers, still contained the closet/desk/cabinet combo from the dorms. (thankfully some things remain the same...)

but there was one thing that hasn't changed - the laughter. i can't explain the feeling that filled my heart as i sat again in that same house, 15 years later, sharing my heart with two different, but becoming just as dear, friends. this time though, there were also 8 little ones running throughout the house - and my two little ones, in the midst of the small whirlwind of chaos, were adding their laughter to rooms that once were filled with my own.

as i walked away from a home that carries so many precious memories, both old and new, i felt a prompting in my spirit to turn and look back before i headed through the shortcut to my place.

and as i turned, i paused to let what Jesus was pressing on my heart sink in:

the outside is nothing to look at. the exterior has weathered the extremes of the coldest of winters and the heat of the hottest of summers. the prairie winds have taken their toll. but inside, a place of beauty has been created. building on the improvements that each family has made. making it into a place where you know you are welcome and accepted.

and that is what Jesus is doing for you. for me. you may be facing the worst of circumstances. some may look at your *exterior* and assume you'll never change - you are who you are. but underneath the surface, He is doing an amazing thing. He is adding warmth where there was none. peace where there used to be chaos. He's adding beauty to the ugliness that used to be your decoration. and laughter. where there was once indescribable sadness, He is adding laughter. not just for your healing and restoration, but so that others will see Him and come to know Him, really know Him, through the Hope you've been given.

so, brew some coffee, curl up in a big ol' comfy chair and enjoy the amazing renovation that Jesus is doing in your life, because trust me, it's beautiful.

~...then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations, “the Lord has done great things for them.” the Lord has done great things for us; we are glad.
...those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! he who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy...~
psalm 126:2-3, 5-6a