I remember being a kid, overwhelmed by the mess all around me. Mom told me to clean out my closet, so there I sat in a haze of dust, surrounded by junk that had been shoved away after multiple moves…

Three problems were clear:
  1. I’d never cleaned out a closet before
  2. I didn’t know how
  3. I didn’t know how to ask for help

Asking for what I needed wasn’t a part of my family system. The words “stop crying or I’ll give you something to cry about” are a fitting motto for my upbringing. So I choked back tears (I now realize were most likely an asthma attack) and dredged through items long forgotten. 

Objects resurfaced from a younger life, objects attached to memories, and memories attached to feelings. There I was, a kid, alone with these painful memories. 

Little did I know that that day, God saved all my tears in a bottle. He recorded my sorrows in his book. He stayed close to me even though I was unaware of his presence and although I couldn’t hear him yet, He made promises.

He promised a loving home. 

He promised that one day, my heart would never be the same.

Years passed and my heart was neglected, much like that closet. Memories that overwhelmed me were shoved out of sight. Lies coated those memories like a thick layer of dust and those same lies took my breath away. Although I was an adult with a spouse and a child… 

… my three problems remained. 
  1. I’d never cleaned out my heart before
  2. I didn’t know how
  3. I didn’t know how to ask for help

One good thing changed though, I’d learned I wasn’t alone and God was ever near. 

He knocked on the door of my heart and on the other side, I heard him repeat his promises. 

“A loving home.” 

And if I let him in, “A heart that would never be the same.”

So I did, as an adult, what was never allowed as a child. 

I asked for help. 

Over time, and with my permission, God hoovered up the lies, glued the broken memories back together and installed windows that flooded my heart with light. It took my eyes some time to adjust to the brightness. 

Later on God asked if he could repair my faulty alarm system. I began to sleep through the night. God was joyful in his work, I felt a little silly standing around the rooms of my heart, wringing my hands, wishing I could help. Noticing my anxiety God would pull up a chair and say, “Rest, I just like being with you.” Smiling, he’d turn back to the dead rot he had been clearing out that day.

I learned that the shameful state of my heart never phased him. Each room was met with his compassion and comfort. He’d gaze at the mess and reassure me, “I’m going to take care of this.”

Over time I gave God access to more and more rooms of my heart. Even the dreaded closet. 

Now that I had help, I had hope. 

This is what he loves to do. God is the renovator of hearts. His attention to detail is unmatched. He is a carpenter after all. 

We are all fixer uppers and God is the one with the blueprints. He can do for you all that he has done for me and more.

Help and hope are here to stay, if you’ll stamp the permits. So how does that work?

Acknowledge the truth that he is near.

“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted.” Psalm 34:18

Sometimes we are so broken-down we can’t sense that he is close to us. He is paying attention to our needs. He cares deeply for us. Our concerns are his concerns.

A prayer to clear out the dust:

“God, I break agreement with the lie that you are far away, too busy for me. I break agreement with the belief that I should do this all on my own.”

Acknowledge the truth that you have unmet needs. 

“As for me, I am poor and needy, but the Lord thinks of me.” Psalm 40:17

Self neglect isn’t a fruit of the spirit, so why do we think it’s virtuous to shove our needs out of sight? 

A prayer to agree with the truth:

“God, my unmet needs matter to you. You think about me and I have your attention. My heart needs repairs and I can’t afford to do the work on my own. I need you.”

Ask for help. Stamp the permits.  

“You are my help and my rescuer, God hurry to my aid!” Psalm 40:17

Sometimes we get into a DIY situation and realize we are in over our heads. The wise person knows when to call in the expert.

A prayer to give God permission to oversee your renovation:

“Help God, this is too much for me. You have the blueprints and I’m making a decision to trust you. I give you permission to do whatever work is needed and I’ll follow your lead. Thank you for your gentleness, your compassion, your attention. Thank you for including me in this process, for honoring my pace. Thank you for giving me hope. Where do we begin?”

Never Be The Same | First15 Worship feat. Ashley and Bryan McCleery

Never Be The Same (feat. Ashley McCleery & Bryan McCleery) – Lyric Video // First15 Worship

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