When the Season of Restoration Feels Long


kitchen restored 2

I’m in my office, but sitting next to my kitchen countertop with the bottom of the two sinks showing me their underbelly. It’s shoved in here, while the guys are putting back the cabinets in our kitchen.

One overnight, not-so-big water leak (there wasn’t even a big pool in the morning, for laminate’s sake) and it’s been four weeks with seven of us finding center in this chaos.  This ripping apart, dismantling and setting apart.

We’re making ourselves as flexible as can be. We know there’s an end and goodness in sight. In the midst of it, there was a moment when we wanted to lose heart a bit. Like when the umbrella fell in the wind and shattered our patio table last Saturday night.

We lifted our heads and said, This sucks, but this is not the end of the story. We know–I believe–this story will end with Beauty restored.

When time is right, there will be a new table for a new day. 

Restoration. This is the word written over our home in this season.

A new floor is coming.

I’ve searched my heart and asked, Restore in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a right spirit within me. Always. Lord. Please, always.

But today, as I sit in the midst of the hammering and I am sitting right in the midst of the messages for this women’s retreat I am leading this weekend, I can’t help but imagine this restoration as speaking to the story of women and there’s this sense: Restoration is happening.

This weekend, with the women of Cedar Grove Church, we’ll be talking about being restored to our profound sense of place. Of finding our place in God’s story and the story of women. We will go back and stand with Eve, Mother of all Living Things, in the Garden and remember how she reached for something that was more than she was meant to have. We will remember that her reaching was part of our destiny as women to desire more and better. How our hearts still want to reach and expand to include good things. We know our first Mother stretched and enlarged and said Yes to the wrong seed. And how Mary, beloved Mother, said Yes to the enlarging too, except she said Yes to the right seed. A Divine invitation.

But our story, this story of women, has been so stuck in the before–no grace for our Eve–before Jesus came and liberated women. The price still being paid with every rape and beating and bruising. With every word that dismisses and diminishes and wants to put us back in that old place. Every pointing finger that wants to make us stand on that old floor.

Except, that price has been paid. That blood reached back right into the beginning and restored and covered with Love all that was missing and broken.

I know the season is shifting. Change is coming.

Restoration is happening.

It just feels uncomfortable in the in-between. This season of dismantling, repairing, restoring and patiently waiting is chaotic and unnerving and noisy at times. But the very place we put our feet, the story we stand on, is being renewed.

I’m tired of standing on a blaming, shaming story. There are holes in that old floor that covered the earth. Stains and tears and too much blood.

The kitchen is where our hearts gather and where we nourish bodies and soul. It’s where we live out communion.

I’ll be honest, I know nothing about restoring cabinets or floors. I didn’t grow up around hammers and nails.

But I know something about the restoring of hearts, simply because of what Spirit has done in mine. Today, in the midst of the chaos and the noise, I know this: the Spirit is doing a new thing.

It’s coming.

Yes, it’s coming.

We are not staying in this place of women as second class citizens and silent witnesses.

We have good news to tell, after all. That is our destiny; not this.

And on that day, we will stand–all of us together–with unveiled faces and see the Glory. We will stand blameless, shameless, restored, fully loved.

  • Nicole A. Joshua

    “…being restored to our profound sense of place. Of finding our place in God’s story and the story of women.” I will be holding on to this thought as I continue to process what that space looks like. It’s so good to hear your voice, precious friend. I missed it :-) As it is already the 4 October here in your home city, I will say, “HAPPY BIRTHDAY!” May God drench you with His presence, his grace, his shalom. Hope you have a splendid day. Love you!

  • Amy Hunt

    Oh, yes! I keep going back to this. There is so much richness here that only He know fully. I’m lifting you up and celebrating all you’re experiencing and giving thanks for His sustenance.

  • Julie Cochrane

    I always love the message of restoration. I have known the power of restoration from a place of complete devastation in my own life. The picture you presented of Eve in the Garden reaching for something that was more than was intended for her to have, is actually the scene of my own fall into the dark place. You’re right – the process takes time and is painful, but honestly, for those of us with the courage to face the journey, the new place we arrive at is so liberating, so exciting, and so full of opportunity!

  • http://www.caramichelestrickland.wordpress.com/ Cara Strickland

    This is lovely, Idelette.
    In the midst of my own season of restoration, I am right there with you, eager to see what it looks like, for your kitchen, for me, for us. xoxo.