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Abstract Textured Surface
  • Writer's pictureBrandi Bourne

Under Construction







This morning I was walking in my usual spot and I noticed that the area where they had been doing some work was a lot cleaner. Just a few weeks prior it was a mess. They have been planting trees and installing a watering system from the looks of it. The park is unfinished, but it’s still one of my favorite places to go because I can have just a few minutes with God and exercise while doing it. Not that it’s some rigorous workout – I’m just going for a walk since I have to go to work immediately after that. But I snapped a picture, attempting to catch the same area I had taken a picture of just a few weeks beforehand. I had a feeling it would turn into a blog post somehow. But I thought “you know, when they finish this place, it’s going to be even more beautiful.”


Do you ever have those moments where you just get frustrated with the process? Like you feel like you’re growing but it’s just taking SO long. You know, that moment where you look around, and all you can see is this mess? Clumps of dirt and muddy tracks laying along the path, from digging up what’s not supposed to be there. Disheveled soil from new things that have been buried to support what has been planted in the ground. Nothing is growing on the surface just yet, there’s nothing green. There’s a path there, but it’s not clear. Does your heart ever feel like a construction zone and you’re just trusting that the architect knows what He’s doing? Maybe that’s just me but that’s how I’ve felt lately. I mean at least there’s some things growing. I think now I might be more like the second picture:

 



 

Things are a little more smoothed out. The leaves are coming back, I’m starting to see those signs of growth. But it still feels like a construction zone. Now, I tend to be extremely hard on myself. Sometimes I set expectations for myself that are much higher than is even possible. Of course, I also serve a God of the impossible so in some cases that can be a good thing. But most of the time, it’s not. I just always have that nagging feeling like I should be further along than I am in this walk. And the occasional regret for walking away from God for so many years doesn’t help with that. But usually, all of that stems from comparison, which is not healthy. My walk is different from the walk of others, and yours is too. It’s ok to be different. I’m slowly learning to accept that fact myself.


I also struggle with focus. I have 7 books that I’ve “started” reading at home. On Audible- 3 “In Progress,” 6 “Not Started.” And what are most of those books on? Something to do with growth. Growth in my spiritual gifts, growth as a leader, growth in my mind, growth in my finances. Granted, I love to learn, I’ve always been passionate about that. Here lately I have told myself that I am going to buckle down and stop trying to do so many at once. I set a goal at the beginning of the year to read 1 and listen to 1 book a month. But I always seem to find something else I want to learn more about, an area I want to grow in. And in the midst of that, I sometimes forget to ask the One who’s really doing all that work in me – the architect – God.


(By the way I’m totally hijacking the “architect-builder” thing from one of our Pastors on a podcast you should go check out, but in my defense, I had the title of this blog saved this morning before I listened to it. I love how the Lord always connects things like that. https://youtu.be/w5JBMt8Sc8o?si=RRogt1gwhB0MSNft )


"Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain" Psalm 127:1

I’ve come to the realization that I’ve taken in so much information, I’m not sure that I can apply it all. I’ve overcomplicated what God is trying to do in me. You see, He knows what we need to work on and when we need to work on it. If we get too caught up focusing on and trying to fix all of our flaws, well, it’s going to be a muddy mess.


“So, then, neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are God’s coworkers. You are God’s field, God’s building.” 1 Corinthians 3:7


Being under construction hurts sometimes. There are times that roots are pulled up from the ground and it feels like a part of you is being destroyed. It is a step in the healing process. I think about times when I’ve built a garden in the ground. Now I’ve never been lucky enough to own a tiller so most of the time it was me digging straight into the ground with whatever I had. If I ran into a root it had to be removed. And those suckers are not easy to remove I’ll tell you that. Often times they go deep into the ground, and sometimes I couldn’t quite get all of it out in one go. There were times I’d miss some roots and they’d end up being weeds I had to pull later. Or those roots would steal needed nutrients from the soil and kill off what I had planted (if a bug or fungus/disease didn’t get it first that is…).


I had this experience recently of digging up a root. At the surface, it was just an event that occurred. But it opened up to the realization that a relationship was coming to an end, which then lead to finding some pain from my past that was still in the ground of my heart. Now I’d love to say I walked through that with God and walked out healed and yay happy moment. But that’s not what happened. Not yet anyway. I missed that root at first and immediately allowed self-sabotaging thoughts to take over. Next thing I knew I was bawling and screaming in my car things that weren’t even true about other relationships in my life (Lennon was not with me). The whole “nobody cares” selfish mentality took over, quick. And the next day, a conversation fueled that thought. Which lead to other thoughts. By the end of it I was sitting there wondering if I need to be on medication (which I do not believe in personally) because there’s something wrong with me. Which is exactly what the enemy wanted. Thankfully this time I reached out for prayer. And thanks to that, I’m back up on my feet after getting knocked down for a second. I can’t say the root is gone or that I am healed yet, but now I know it’s there and now that conversation with God about how to pull that root is happening. I'm also going through a...I guess you could call it a "class" called "Freedom" at my church that's helping me with a lot of that too. Eventually, I’ll probably be a little more specific than I am now about it. But since some of this involves others I can't go into detail right not.


You see, if we don’t start pulling the bad roots in our lives, then God can’t plant the new thing that He wants to in that space. Many of us have experienced a lot of trauma in our lives that have caused these roots to grow deep in our hearts. Roots of bitterness, envy, or unforgiveness. Roots that cause us to look for love in the wrong places. Roots that cause fear, anxiety, or a failure to trust other people. Even roots that can lead to depression. But you see, God can see the whole “tree” that we are. He knows exactly what root needs to be pulled up and when. And in some seasons, there’s a lot coming up out of the ground, but at the same time, He is planting things. That’s what I saw at the park. And now that some time has passed and winter is over, there is evidence of what was planted coming to life. You know it reminds me of 2 passages of Scripture.


“Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.” Colossians 2:7 (NLT)


“This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “Go down at once to the potter’s house; there I will reveal my words to you.” So, I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was, working away at the wheel. But the jar that he was making from the clay became flawed in the potter’s hand, so he made it into another jar, as it seemed right for him to do. The word of the Lord came to me: “House of Israel, can I not treat you as this potter treats his clay?”—this is the Lord’s declaration. “Just like clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand, house of Israel.” Jeremiah 18:1-6 (CSB)


We are but a creation of the potter. He forms us, molds us into the greatest version of ourselves, the version that He created us to be. But that process takes time. And I think we forget that sometimes. There’s going to be times where everything looks like a mess, but if we are truly following the Lord then all we do is follow what He says and let Him do the work. Will it take effort on our part? Yes. But at the end of the day, He is the one who transforms us. Scripture says we are His masterpiece, His workmanship. Our identity is found in Him.


But if I’m being honest here, I’ve struggled greatly with identity in my life. Despite knowing that I am fearfully and wonderfully made, I tend to stare at that list of flaws wondering how in the world such an awesome God can use someone like me. Not someone who messed up before Jesus, but someone who still messes up with Him sometimes. But then I remember, God used Paul, once known as Saul and a murderer. I remember how Rahab, a prostitute, was included in the lineage of Jesus. I recall how Jacob, whose name meant “deceiver” (and he did indeed live up to that name in his youth) was the father of the 12 tribes of Israel. I remember the Samaritan woman at the well and her story, and how she ran into the town to tell everyone about Jesus. I think of Jonah who ran from his calling as a prophet and ended up in the belly of a fish. I’ve read all these stories of God using imperfect people to bring His Kingdom to the Earth and I remember who I am. I remember that even if I do screw it up – God will be right there to help me get back up. There are times that what the Lord shows me scares me, especially if it involves others. But all I can do is give my best effort to steward what He’s given me well and trust Him with the rest. And pray. I do ALOT of that now.


I’m sharing all of this because I need you, reader, to see what God has placed in you. You’re not a mess. You are a masterpiece. You’re just still in the process. If we’re being honest, we all are. There is not one perfect person on this planet. Don’t just give grace to others. Give grace to yourself. Embrace your process. Find joy in the journey. And don’t stop – don’t settle for where you are but take steps towards who you want to be. Let God transform you. Let Him guide you on what needs to go and when. Let Him plant seeds in your heart wherever He wants. And watch what He does. Look at how far He's brought you already! And soon, you'll be amazed at how much you've grown in a short amount of time. Keep growing. Keep going. And always trust God.





 

 

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