change v.changed, chang·ing, chang·es 1. To cause to be different 2. To exchange for or replace with another, usually of the same kind or category 3. To lay aside, abandon, or leave for another; switch – Merriam-Webster Dictionary
I really hate change. I am pretty sure everyone does, some just embrace it better than others. The more I resist, the harder it is to face. Change is only one of the many horrible side effects of losing a loved one. Schedules change. Holidays change. Habits change. Pets change. Jobs change. Even the mundane things like receiving or making a phone call at a particular time changes. There is a comfort in things not changing, so needless to say, this past year has been a doozy.
When is it time to move the toothbrush or a pocketbook hanging on a doorknob? When do you clean out the closet or throw away the last magazine they read? I long for a rule book that gives an exact timeline. Whenever I ask others these questions, the answers are always different. After giving it much thought, I rationalized in my own mind, we would wait one year. In one year, we could do it. In one year, we could move the jewelry, toothbrush, shoes, pocketbook, make-up, etc.
One year. HA!! (That was my version of God laughing at me.) Just when you think you have life planned out, everything changes. Or at least it does for our family.
Here’s the story. . . My sweet Daddy wanted to put some hardwood floors downstairs in the house. When our amazing contractor came in to look at things, Daddy asked him to fix a leak in the ceiling too. Of course he said yes, and the work began.
HA!! (God laughing again.) The hardwood floor project with a minor ceiling leak issue turned into the discovery of major water damage caused by a roof leak which also needed repair. Most people know what accompanies water damage…. rot, mold, soft sheetrock, wet carpet, etc etc etc etc etc etc etc. It’s not pretty, and it’s definitely not contained to one room of the house. The other main room affected, Mom and Dad’s bedroom.
The bedroom has been cleared out. Mom’s pocketbook, make-up, jewelry, notes, bibles, everything – moved.
Here is the really neat (maybe weird) part of this story. . .
The water damage forced us to move the things we were scared to move. (Please know every time I say “we”, it really means “I”.) I didn’t want to move the sentimental stuff. I threatened Daddy with his life not to move anything. When I walked in to box stuff up, I was so taken back by the hole in the wall where the water damage was discovered. The damage from the water was all I could think about. The big, emotional moment I was prepared for was quickly deterred with the other issues in the room.
Did God use water damage, rot, and mold to help us do something we could never do on our own? Absolutely. Did God cause the water damage, rot, and mold so we would get this done? I just don’t think so. This has been a year of major refelction on what I believe about how God works. Can God use something as ugly and horrible as cancer to teach us something? Absolutely. Did God cause it to happen to teach us something? No. I just can’t believe He would do that.
“Disappointment With God” by Phillip Yancey is a perfect reference for me through all of my questions this past year. The book asks 3 main things: Is God unfair? Is He silent? Is He hidden? Yancey makes some valid points and gives answers to these questions in a way I have never heard before. (I’ve probably heard it before, I just didn’t have a reason to question it.) The quote I go to many times, especially on weeks like this past one. . .
“… I realized that there are actually two cosmic wagers transpiring in life. I have focused on the wager from God’s point of view, the wager as pictured in the Book of Job, in which God ‘risks’ the future of the human experiment on a person’s response. I doubt anyone fully understands that wager, but Jesus taught that the end of human history will boil down to one issue: ‘When the Son of God comes, will he find faith on the earth?’ The second wager, reflecting the human viewpoint, is the one that Job himself engaged in: should he choose for God or against him? Job weighed the evidence, most of which did not suggest a trustworthy God. But, he decided, kicking and screaming all the way, to place his faith in God.” – Phillip Yancey
I am definitely kicking and screaming, but I am choosing to believe in a trustworthy God. I never thought I would see a day when I would think, I am thankful for rot, water damage, and mold. Today, I am thinking it. I’m not happy about it. I hate the damage it has created in such a beautiful home. But, I am thankful it helped us do something we may not have ever been able to do on our own. Be thankful for the rot. I’m still shaking my head on that one.
Pictures of the new renovations will be posted soon. (Pictures of the house, not my heart).