By Denae Jones –
Restore. The most basic meaning is ‘to bring back into existence.’ It’s a good word.
We spend many thousands of dollars to restore old buildings and old furniture and old cars. A friend of mine turns old spoons into beautiful pieces of jewelry. I’ve seen an antique sewing machine turned into a new bathroom sink. I love to see historic homes re-built instead of torn down, and something broken turned into something beautiful. The love and dedication poured into those projects breathes new life into something that was all but forgotten.
Sometimes we need to remember that people need the same kind of love and dedication breathed into them. Just look around. We are broken people in a broken world. There are people around us every day that feel so lost or lonely or in such deep despair that they may feel they all but cease to exist. Ask the kid who is constantly bullied and left out at school. Or the homeless man everyone turns their head from on the street. Or the pregnant teenager who is left to figure it out on her own. Or the person who is incarcerated for long periods of time. Or the widow who has nobody visit. Maybe they’ve lost hope of ever being restored. Maybe that dear person is you.
So what do we do about it? Well, we have all needed restored for something at some point in our lives, whether it be our relationships, our reputation, our health, our trust, or any number of other things. We’ve dropped the ball, broken the pieces, and sometimes had to walk back with our tail between our legs and try to fit all the pieces back together. If we’ve been through it ourselves, we need to remember what it was like to feel defeated. Or judged. Or humiliated. Or alone. And we need to realize that there are so many others who feel that way. Right. Now. Are we going to continue to pass them by and leave them out? Or take the first step to help them feel that someone cares? That someone will listen? That they matter?
Secondly, if you are a person who feels you need help, consider where you might be able to reach out for support. If we are having trouble with our teeth, we go to a dentist to improve our dental health. If we are having trouble with our heart, we go to a cardiologist to improve our physical health. If we are having trouble with relationships, we might reach out to a friend to improve our emotional health. If we are questioning God, we can talk to a pastor to improve our spiritual health. If we are having trouble with our thoughts and minds, there is absolutely no shame in going to a psychologist to improve our mental health. Take the first step, whatever it may be, because there are people who care about you.
Sometimes we need to just take a break and get a way for a minute. Something as simple as going on a walk or talking to a friend could help, but sometimes we need to be purposeful about scheduling time to re-charge our batteries. When I was a stay-at home / homeschool mom, I never got a break. Ever. Don’t get me wrong, I loved my kids and loved what I did, but I got worn down and lost in always taking care of everyone else. So once a year, I would schedule a ‘me’ weekend with my girlfriends. Just like every other job, I scheduled a couple of days off, and it did a world of good. I felt restored, and it made me a better mom. If you find yourself in a similar situation, you may consider doing the same. Find a retreat. Spend the night with a friend. Go camping. Disconnect from technology. Sit by a pool and read a book. Do something you enjoy that will help renew and restore your mind, body, and spirit.
Most importantly, even if the long arm of the law says you must pay for some crime you may have committed, or if the arms of others are pointing blame in your direction, you can never do something so bad that the arms of God will cease to embrace you. He never tires of making someone broken into someone beautiful. Just give him the pieces. You will not only leave restored, but you will be renewed. Redeemed. Forgiven. Loved. Worthy. Whole.
It is my hope that when people come into our homes, our lives, our churches, and our community, that they leave us feeling better than they did when they walked in. That they are happier, have made new friends, felt welcome, shared a meal, shared a story, and feel restored.
Have a blessed week, friends!